FRUSTRATION, annoyance and self-recrimination were all in evidence in north London on Saturday where neither Barnet nor Wrexham achieved what they had set out to do.
Playing up the notorious Underhill slope, Denis Smith's Dragons gave themselves a mountain to climb when they found themselves trailing 2-0 after 40 minutes.
Then goals from Mark Jones - his first in six matches - and Matt Derbyshire, who took his tally to five in four, brought them level with 40 minutes to play, but the visitors were unable to maintain the momentum.
On a day when the weather claimed its fair share of postponements, both managers bemoaned a lost opportunity to make up ground on the sides around them.
In Wrexham's case, failing to close the gap between themselves and the play-off zone and, as far as Barnet boss Paul Fairclough was concerned, squandering two valuable points in his battle to avoid being sucked into a relegation scrap.
Despite having the experienced Darren Ferguson and Dean Bennett available again after both missed the last four league outings, their lack of match fitness dictated an unchanged starting line-up for the visitors.
Instead, the pair had to wait just 45 minutes before being thrown into the fray and the changes had the desired effect, giving Wrexham an improved attacking presence and adding more stability in midfield.
But it was at the back that the first-half problems were most in evidence. Keeper Mike Ingham endured an uncomfortable afternoon that began as early as the ninth minute when he dropped a routine cross under pressure from Jason Norville, whose close-range shot was scrambled away for a corner.
This was only partially cleared as far as the edge of the penalty area and Tresor Kandol, whose well-struck effort cannoned off the Wrexham crossbar.
Lively Barnet front-man Kandol then almost took advantage of momentary hesitation involving Dennis Lawrence and Ingham, although the
keeper managed to block the shot.
Just when it seemed the Dragons were getting the measure of the task in hand, they found themselves trailing to something of a freak goal in the 29th minute.
With Ingham uncertain once more, Danny Williams saw his attempted clearance charged down by Norville, who immediately lashed a first-time shot into the roof of the net.
If that was not bad enough, Ingham's nightmare continued in the 37th minute when he kicked the ball straight to Kandol, who was on his own and, despite a brave rescue bid by the keeper, managed to force the ball beyond him to double the home side's advantage.
The goal seemed to shake Wrexham out of their lethargy, Lawrence and Andy Holt combining to set up a difficult chance for Derbyshire, whose volley flew just too high.
They got themselves back into contention a minute before the break when Simon Spender fed Jones, who drove his shot home through a crowd of players.
After Sam Williams stung Reed's hands in the 50th minute before Ferguson's first telling pass put Derbyshire clear to equalise.
The stage was set for the visitors to press home their advantage but Jones steered a close-range header wide and Reed's nerves were evident when he almost threw a Sam Williams cross into his own net.
Wrexham might have sealed the victory with six minutes remaining when Derbyshire raced onto a through ball from Jones, but for once his accuracy was lacking and the shot flew wide.
It could have proved costly when Barnet broke forward in the final minute as Norville's flick found Kandol. But Ingham somehow smothered his effort and Jones was on hand to hack the ball away to safety. * GRESFORD Athletic progressed to the third round of the Cymru Alliance League Challenge Cup with a straightforward win at Bodedern.
In one of the only games to escape the ravages of the weather, Gresford were 1-0 up through John Roberts after just four minutes and Danny Purdie made it two after 27.
The home side pulled a goal back right on half-time but Craig Williams and Purdie again made the tie safe.