A last gasp goal from Charlie Ruff for the Clarets forces a replay against National League opponents
It took the hosts 70 seconds to have the ball in the net, a neatly worked corner routine found a spare man at the back post who nodded the ball across for a Barnet player to tuck away. The linesman’s flag spared the Clarets blushes early into the tie.
Barnet continued to dominate the early exchanges with both teams squabbling for possession and no real chances being created.
The first shot on goal came from Pritchard for the hosts after 20 minutes with the Barnet player’s long-range effort bouncing comfortably past Ejeheri’s post.
The Clarets first real opportunity came from Jackson. James made a bursting run down the right and swung in a delightful ball. Jackson was on the end of it and flicked an effort towards goal forcing Walker into a save low at his near post.
A fantastic save from Ejeheri kept the score at 0-0. A freekick crossed in by Barnet took a couple of deflections on its way into the box and was headed at goal from close range. Ejeheri with a reflex save tipped the ball onto the bar and out to the corner.
De Havilland was the next to test Ejeheri. The Clarets were only able to half clear with De Havilland collecting before striking from range. Ejeheri was equal to it and held onto the effort.
A corner routine of the Clarets own saw the best chance of the game fall the way of Jackson. Vaz played the ball in; James got their first and drew the save. The rebound fell to Jackson who on the stretch couldn’t quite keep his effort down.
The Clarets fashioned another chance from a set piece but failed to test Walker. A corner clipped in from Ruff was met by Winfield who couldn’t direct his effort on target.
HALF TIME: BARNET FC 0-0 CHELMSFORD CITY FC
Four minutes into the second half the hosts found a breakthrough as Wynter smashed home from close range.
Ejeheri kept the score at 1-0 as De Havilland broke through the Claret backline and struck at goal forcing the Clarets shot-stopper to into a low save with his feet.
Ten minutes into the second period, the Clarets came forward and created some chances. A freekick won by Yila and delivered by Vaz saw Chelmsford win a corner. The resulting corner picked out Winfield whose header went just the wrong side of the crossbar.
Pritchard fashioned another chance for the hosts glancing his header just wide of Ejeheri’s post.
Ejeheri once again called into action having to get down and save from a Barnet counter
A Jackson cross asked questions of the Barnet backline as he clipped the ball into a crowd. Lodovica went down, any appeals for a penalty waved away and Barnet were eventually able to regroup.
Pritchard leading the defence of another Chelmsford set-piece. The first clearance fell to Trotter on the edge who connected with his strike well, but Pritchard was quick out to the ball to get the block in.
As the game headed into the final 20 minutes it became scrappy with both teams looking to try and dominate the other.
A half-chance came as the game ticked into the final ten with a Blackwell cross being only partly cleared and the ball ricocheting just out of the reach of a stretching Lodovica.
Ejeheri was yet again called into action pulling off two saves within the space of a minute, the first an acrobatic save to deny a well struck effort from Hall
Pritchard again involved for the hosts as his snapshot made it through a crowd of defenders but flashed wide of the post.
The Clarets with a golden chance to get back on terms. Vaz flashed a ball into James who flicked the play wide to Da Costa, his cross picked out Jackson who didn’t really connect to his first-time effort that flew over Walker’s bar.
Winfield was called into action as the clock ticked towards the 90, putting in an essential sliding block to keep the hosts from doubling their advantage
Blackwell had a chance to level late on as he wound up from range forcing Walker into a fantastic save low to his right, the Barnet keeper couldn’t hold, and City had themselves a corner
Charlie Ruff equalised at the death as he converted Tom Blackwell’s delivery from the far side to send the away end into raptures and give the Claret Army something to celebrate after getting behind the team from the first minute
The equaliser would be pretty much the last play of the game as Robbie Simpson’s men would take their National League opponents to a replay at The Melbourne Community Stadium for a place in Round 2.
FULL TIME: BARNET FC 1-1 CHELMSFORD CITY FC
Barnet FC: Walker (GK), Collinge, Okimo, Gorman (C), Kabamba, Kanu, Pritchard, Wynter, Beard, Shields (Hall 64’), De Havilland
Unused Subs: Azaze (GK), Armstrong, Flanagan, Smith, Woods
Cautions: Walker (87’)
Goals: Wynter (49’)
Chelmsford City FC: Ejeheri (GK), James, Barnum-Bobb (Da Costa 80’), Trotter, Winfield (C), Lodovica, Jackson, Ochieng (Dunne 62’), Ruff, Vaz, Yila (Blackwell 68’)
Unused Subs: Marsden (GK), Yearn, Simpson, Terry, Wilkes, Davison
Cautions: Vaz (44’)
Goals: Ruff (90+3’)
Match Report by Josh Verroken