Martin Allen was pleased to still be in the hat for Monday’s FA Cup first round draw on Monday night following Barnet’s 0-0 draw with Chelmsford City at Melbourne Stadium on Saturday.
Speaking after the game, the manager said:
“I’ve watched the FA Cup for 44 years I since I was five years old and year in, year out we have seen upsets from teams below. The FA Cup is a great leveller. There was a great atmosphere here today with all the Chelmsford fans and everyone was here hoping that we were going to get knocked out.
“They played very well. They didn’t have that many chances, but they were well organised, they’ve got some good players and they made it very difficult for us throughout the afternoon. All credit to them, we have just about survived and we will be enjoying the draw on Monday night.”
Barnet arguably enjoyed the better chances in the game, with Luisma spurning a close-range effort in the first half and a David Stephens header drawing a point-blank save in the second before Mauro Vilhete hit the bar in stoppage time.
However, Martin did admit that his side perhaps were at their best on the day:
“We had some good opportunities but it wasn’t to be. I didn’t think we played that well in the first half. I thought that we were below our best. We didn’t play with the same intensity and pressure that we normally play with. But as I say, it is very difficult to come to these places.
“There was a carnival atmosphere, there was a big crowd and everyone has been talking all week about the upset that is on the cards.
“But we stuck to our task. It wasn’t always great but in these games we have seen it so many times over the years, we were there to be shot at today and thankfully we have survived it.
“With the two great wins that we have had earlier in the week, 2-0 away at Gateshead and 3-0 against Braintree, everyone just expects you to just turn up and win. It’s not like that in the FA Cup, it’s a tough fixture and probably the hardest out of the three I’d say.”
The stalemate means that both sides will contest a replay at The Hive on Tuesday, a challenge that Martin is already looking forward to:
“The key to this competition is making sure that you are in the draw for the next round and both Barnet and Chelmsford will be in the hat.
“That’s the beauty of the FA Cup. We face them again on Tuesday night and no doubt it will be a very tough game. We have to play better now on Tuesday.”