Barnet breezed into the first round of the FA Cup on Tuesday night with a 4-1 win over Chelmsford City in their fourth qualifying replay.
With nothing to choose between the two sides following Saturday’s stalemate, Barnet turned on the style at The Hive with goals from John Akinde, David Stephens, Curtis Weston and Luisma
Villa helping to secure a comfortable victory.
Martin Allen made just one change to the side that were held to a 0-0 draw at Melbourne Stadium just four days earlier, having allowed striker Sam Hoskins to return to Yeovil Town following his loan spell.
Luke Gambin was the man to take his place in the side, lining up as a deep-lying striker behind John Akinde as Barnet retained the same two banks of four from the weekend.
Following a bright start by the home side, the Bees took the lead after just six minutes. A misplaced header by former Barnet captain Mark Hughes caught his centre-backs off guards, allowing
John Akinde to muscle Mark Haines off the ball before running through and tucking away his tenth of the season.
Barnet doubled their lead just five minutes later, and this time the scorer came in the less familiar figure of David Stephens. Having come the closest to settling the first leg with a point blank header that was blocked on the line, this time Stephens made no mistake from a corner by bundling the ball in from close range for his first goal of the campaign.
The third came on the half-hour mark, created by Luke Gambin – a lively presence throughout – when the nippy forward collected the ball in the box before nutmegging his marker and striding up the byline. He then pulled the ball back to the onrushing Curtis Weston to sweep the ball into the top corner for his second goal in four games.
With the game as good as over, defender Bondz N’Gala was withdrawn for Jack Saville two minutes later having picked up a harsh yellow card for a foul on Michael Cheek out by the touchline just moments before.
Adam Mekki later came on for Elliott Johnson during the interval as Barnet looked to protect their squad after a rigorous ten days that has seen them play four matches in both league and cup.
Chelmsford did pull a goal back on 55 minutes when a long bouncing ball forward eluded both substitutes as midfielder Joe Ward latched on to the ball before drilling low across goal and just inside the far post.
The goal buoyed the visitors and from that moment they enjoyed a period of possession and pressure, although Barnet continued to look dangerous.
On 64 minutes Jon Nurse replaced Luke Gambin and the player-coach would play a vital role in putting the game to bed fifteen minutes later when his booming header out by the touchline from Jack Saville’s long free-kick forward feel perfectly into the path of Luisma Villa, before the Spaniard sent a deflected shot past the wrong-footed goalkeeper and into the net.
The emphatic 4-1 victory means that Barnet have now secured their place in the first round proper of the FA Cup, where they will take on League Two high fliers Wycombe Wanderers at The Hive on the weekend commencing November 8th.
We will be bringing you more details on the game as soon as we get them.
Barnet FC: Graham Stack; Andy Yiadom, David Stephens, Bondz N’Gala (Jack Saville 33), Mauro Vilhete; Luisma Villa, Curtis Weston (c), Sam Togwell, Elliott Johnson (Adam Mekki 46); Luke Gambin (Jon Nurse 64); John Akinde.
Chelmsford City: Tony Thompson; Robert Girdlestone, Mark Haines (Marvin Ekpiteta 33), Yado Mambo, Leon Redwood; Joe Ward, Mark Hughes (c), Christian Smith (Evans Kouassi 73), Lee Sawyer, Rohdell Gordon; Michael Cheek (Luke Callander 46).