Barnet were held to a goalless draw by Concord Rangers in the first round of the FA Trophy at the Aspect Arena on Saturday, meaning that the two sides will contest a replay at The Hive on Tuesday night.
Both sides had the chances to win the tie on the day, with Bernard Mensah and Charlie MacDonald going close early on before substitute Mathew Stevens nearly won it at the death after the visitors had Danny Glozier sent off early in the second half.
As promised earlier in the week, Martin Allen fielded a mix of first team and Youth Players for the game against the Beach Boys. Jack Saville captained the side which featured only three faces from last weekend’s win at Torquay, including that of regular skipper Charlie MacDonald.
He was partnered up front by Bernard Mensah with Keanu Marsh-Brown given a first start since August. There was also a comeback for Sam Muggleton, with the full-back starting his first game since suffering a leg fracture at Braintree Town back in October.
Meanwhile, centre-half Joe Gater and Harry Taylor – deployed in the centre of midfield – were handed their senior debuts with four more U18 players named on the substitutes bench.
The game began at a fast pace, with both teams having glorious chances to open the scoring within the first ten minutes.
Firstly Concord striker Steve Cawley hit the bar after just two minutes, lofting the ball over the advancing Sam Cowler before seeing the ball bounces up and over the goal.
Barnet spurned an equally presentable chance two minutes later, when the ball was laid off to Bernard Mensah inside the penalty area before the Watford loanee placed his shot wide of the post.
Mensah then set up his strike partner on seven minutes with an excellent flick-on that Charlie MacDonald collected before muscling his way through on goal, but having looked destined to score the striker then dragged his shot wide of the same left-hand post.
Barnet continued to look dangerous going forward with the pace of Marsh-Brown and Luke Gambin on either wing, but were being kept at bay by a determined last line of defence – with one last-ditch challenge by Jack Lampe leading to a lengthy stoppage as the defender received treatment.
Concord did test Cowler for the first time on 39 minutes, when Sam Collins fired in a shot from inside the area which the goalkeeper did well to palm away and ensure that the scores were all level going into the break.
Barnet made one change at half-time, bringing on Charlie Kennedy for Harry Taylor in the heart of midfield.
They started the second half on the front foot, and soon had the hosts reduced to ten men when left-back Danny Glozier was shown a straight red card for bringing down Bernard Mensah as the last defender.
Barnet were making their man advantage count by controlling possession, but they were nearly caught out on 57 minutes when substitute Lewis Taaffe was slotted through one-on-one, but with Cowler already committed on the floor the striker prodded narrowly wide.
Barnet nearly found the breakthrough with twenty minutes remaining, after a teasing ball across the face of goal by Luke Gambin from the right somehow evaded three attackers with Jack Saville the closest to converting with a diving header.
Martin Allen made a double change shortly afterwards, with top scorers for the first team and Youth Team respectively John Akinde and Mathew Stevens replacing Marsh-Brown and Gambin.
The pair nearly combined to break the deadlock during the closing stages after Akinde nodded a long ball forward by David Hunt back into the path of Stevens, but with minutes remaining the young striker placed first-time finish wide.
It proved to be the last chance of note, although a free kick for the hosts did creep through a crowded penalty area as the game ticked into three minutes of stoppage time.
With nothing to choose between them, the two sides will now contest a replay at The Hive on Tuesday night, with a 20:00 kick-off.
Concord Rangers: Josh Vickers; Jeremy Walker, Steve King, Jack Lampe (Matt Fry 46), Danny Glozier; Joe Gardner, James White, Alex Woodyard, Sam Collins; Steve Cawley (Mitchell Pinnock 78), Tony Stokes (c) (Lewis Taaffe 53).
Barnet FC: Sam Cowler; Mauro Vilhete, Joe Gater, Jack Saville (c), Sam Muggleton; Luke Gambin (Mathew Stevens 73), David Hunt, Harry Taylor (Charlie Kennedy 46), Keanu Marsh-Brown (John Akinde 73); Charlie MacDonald, Bernard Mensah.