The Clarets made one change to the side that recorded an impressive 3-1 away win over Havant & Waterlooville the previous weekend, with Rob Girdlestone replacing Marvin Ekpiteta following James Love’s suspension.
Barnet, meanwhile, named a strong starting line-up and made just two alterations to the team that beat Braintree Town 3-0 in midweek. Lee Cook and Jonathan Nurse dropped to the bench in place of Mauro Vilhete and Sam Hoskins.
It was a nervy opening five minutes or so as the hosts struggled to retain the ball – perhaps down to some understandable early nerves – and Barnet almost punished the Clarets when Luisma Villa put in a teasing cross. Sam Hoskins met it in the middle of the area, but could only nod narrowly over.
Christian Smith then rose highest in the box to powerfully head over Joe Ward’s well taken set-piece as City began to compose themselves and return to their impressive recent form.
Some intricate play on the left by Stevenage loanee Rohdell Gordon resulted in Michael Cheek coming close to breaking the deadlock. His first touch took it away from goal however and his shot on the turn could only find the side netting.
An audacious shot from skipper Curtis Weston followed midway through the first-half before Luisma Villa put wide the best chance of the half. He found himself all alone in the box and, with Tony Thompson well beaten in the City goal, Villa sliced the ball as it flew wide.
A lucky escape for the City men indeed.
Bondz N’Gala then missed the ball at the back post following a driven corner as it skipped wide, as the Bees looked to swarm in on the Clarets and steal the initiative.
But the Clarets were not to be disheartened, even if a lack of chances came there way and, when former Barnet skipper Mark Hughes flicked it on to Rohdell Gordon, Joe Ward almost met the cross, but it just rolled past his outstretched boot. Fine margins again.
The second-half was a more open affair with space down both channels allowing the pacey wing-men who were on show some artistic licence. Sam Hoskins was first to test the City defence when he made his way to the by-line, but is cut-back was poked rather hopelessly into the arms of a grateful Tony Thompson by skipper Curtis Weston.
John Akinde then drifted his way into the box, getting the better of youngster Rob Girdlestone, before curling a shot high and wide from all of fifteen yards.
Rohdell Gordon then shot just wide on the turn as the Clarets sensed that the game was there for the taking. They began to grow in confidence as a result but, had Curtis Weston not slipped before he shaped to shoot, it could have been a different story.
As the game wore on and entered its final stages, both sides evidently – and rightly so – didn’t want to concede and, to their credit, both defences stood incredibly strong.
It was an enthralling last ten minutes with both sides defending well and playing creative football.
Mauro Vilhete then pulled a fine save from Tony Thompson in the dying embers of the game and then watched on as his shot from distance shaved the cross bar.
A draw, in the end, and on the balance of play, was perhaps the correct outcome. Both sides played terrifically with the Clarets showing heart, endeavour and passion while the Bees showed great tenacity and skill. The two sides will have to go again at the Hive on Tuesday night for a spot in the next round.
1. Tony Thompson
2. Rob Girdlestone
3. Leon Redwood
4. Mark Hughes (C)
5. Mark Haines
6. Yado Mambo
7. Lee Sawyer
8. Joe Ward
9. Rohdell Gordon
10. Michael Cheek
11. Christian Smith
12. Harry Morgan
14. Evans Kouassi (On for Joe Ward, 73)
15. Luke Callander
16. Marvin Ekpiteta (On for Mark Haines, 65)
17. Nicky Nicolau
18. Jack Barham
19. Niklas Freund (GK)
1. Graham Stack
2. Andrew Yiadom
3. Elliott Johnson
5. Bondz Ngala
6. David Stephens
8. Curtis Weston (C)
9. John Akinde
14. Sam Togwell
15. Luisma Villa
16. Mauro Vilhete
24. Sam Hoskins
4. Jack Saville
11. Lee Cook (On for Villa, 46)
12. Sam Cowler
18. Luke Gambin
20. Jonathan Nurse
23. Adam Mekki
29. Matt Stevens (On for Sam Hoskins, 71)
Referee: Mr Craig Hicks
Assistant referees: Mr Aji Ajibola and Mr Daniel Bonneywell
Bookings: Chelmsford City: None
Scorers: Chelmsford City: None
City Man of the Match: Tony Thompson