There was little indication of what was to follow at half-time, when the Devon team led through Richard Huxford's own goal. Brian Stein levelled straight after the break, and Gary Bull promptly added the first of two penalties. Three more goals followed within seven minutes: Adrian Foster and Paul Trollope, with a 25-yard free- kick, putting Torquay back in front before Bull's second spot-kick.
Mark Carter put Barnet ahead for the first time 11 minutes later and Nicky Evans added their fifth six minutes from time. Duane Darby pulled one back immediately, though, to set up a tense finish. Remarkably, all four substitutes (Evans, Carter, Trollope and Darby) put themselves on the score-sheet.
York City, two points adrift, can reclaim top spot if they beat Halifax tonight. The wily Wayne Clarke was on target for Walsall, who stay third after a 2-0 win over Northampton. Wrexham also enjoyed, if that is the word, a 5-4 home win, Steve Watkin scoring twice against Chesterfield to help the Welshmen up to fifth place.
In the Second Division, West Bromwich Albion became only the third team this term to prevent Plymouth Argyle winning at Home Park, but the 0-0 draw means that the Baggies trail the leaders, Stoke, by nine points. Hartlepool climbed to fourth with a 3-1 success at Fulham: Andy Saville scored twice, the first from a 23rd-minute penalty which earned a red card for Jim Stannard, the home goalkeeper.