John Akinde, with his tenth goal of the campaign, opened the scoring after just six minutes after beating Mark Haines for strength and pace, before David Stephens gambled following Luisma Villa’s corner to stab home at the near post.
Captain Curtis Weston then made it three-nil when he turned in Luke Gambin’s lay-up to further sink the Clarets.
City’s Joe Ward reduced the deficit when he struck low past Graham Stack five minutes shy of the hour, but it was too little too late for the Clarets, who were, over the ninety-minutes, outplayed by the Bees, and Luisma Villa wrapped up the win with a deflected effort thirteen minutes from time.
City manager Mark Hawkes kept faith with the starting eleven that were involved in the 0-0 draw with Barnet on Saturday. The Bees were forced into one change with Luke Gambin replacing Sam Hoskins after his loan from Sky Bet League One side Yeovil Town expired.
It was almost panic stations early on for the visitors when David Stephens’ long ball into the box was misjudged by Mark Haines, who recovered from a groin injury sustained on Saturday in order to participate in this fixture. The ball then fell kindly to John Akinde who shot straight at Tony Thompson.
But Akinde was not to be put off by that miss when he outmuscled Mark Haines en route to goal just six-minutes in. The physical front man shook off Haines’s challenge before finding himself one-on-one with Thompson, and he made no mistake in opening the scoring with an accurate shot that nestled firmly into the bottom corner. That goal was Akinde’s tenth of the season, and he was a constant threat throughout the course of the match with his presence and skill on the ball.
But the Clarets, who contained the Bees expertly in the original fixture, found themselves two goals behind within eleven minutes. It was the imposing centre-back David Stephens who gambled at the near post following a well-drilled corner from Luisma Villa, and the former Welsh Under-21 international stabbed home after City were caught flat-footed for his first goal of the season.
Mark Hawkes’s men looked understandably shaken following a nervy opening fifteen-minutes and you could not help but sense a third goal before half-time would completely finish the Conference South side, although a goal in their favour could have turned the tie on its head completely.
The Bees’ head coach and former West Ham United legend Martin Allen was shouting orders at his team from the dugout throughout, mainly aimed at his centre-back pairing of Bondz N’Gala and David Stephens and lone strike John Akinde, as he looked for them to retain their shape. He clearly sensed that the Clarets could forge their way back into the match, but they made sure of the victory before half-time.
The home side’s third goal came on the half-hour mark, and it was worthy of winning any match. Luke Gambin skipped past Leon Redwood on the by-line; far too easily it must be said, before pulling the ball back for skipper Curtis Weston who curled home past Tony Thompson. The City goalkeeper, on-loan from Sky Bet Championship side Rotherham, got a hand to the strike but it simply had too much pace on it.
Both camps reacted soon after that crucial third goal with Martin Allen replacing Bondz N’Gala – a tactical substitution following his booking just moments before – with Jack Saville taking his place. Mark Haines was then withdrawn by Mark Hawkes, with youngster Marvin Ekpiteta taking his place at centre-back.
City almost reduced the deficit when Christian Smith whipped in a free-kick from the left but, thanks to a fine reaction save from Graham Stack after Yado Mambo’s deft touch, the Bees retained their lead going into the break.
The Clarets made a change at the break, with Luke Callander replacing Michael Cheek as the lone striker, as they looked to win the second-half against a side who currently sit eight points clear at the top of the Conference Premier for a clear reason: they’re organised and know how to play.
Joe Ward looked to initiate some positive attacks down the right wing in the early stages of the second-half, although Barnet, and credit to them, gave the visitors little time on the ball, forcing them into errors that permitted the Bees to counter.
And it was Ward who looked to spark a City revival when he latched onto Yado Mambo’s header from inside his own half. It took an unkind bounce and took Jack Saville completely out of the game, allowing Ward to bomb forward and arrow a shot past Graham Stack and into the bottom corner.
That goal sparked the Claret Army, with 403 making the trip to the Hive, into song with ‘We’re going to win 4-3’ echoing around the ground. The way City appeared to be rejuvenated by Ward’s strike, another goal certainly seemed likely as Barnet lacked a little composure.
Marvin Ekpiteta was unfortunate that his headed flick had too much pace on it as Christian Smith could only help it into Graham Stack’s arms and, as the game dulled ever so slightly, a comeback looked to be a distant dream.
Luke Callander did show some intent down the left-hand side with around twenty minutes to go, but his cross, which was weighted to perfection, could only be helped over by the on-sliding Joe Ward. Jon Nurse then looked to handle the ball in the area, but it would have perhaps been harsh on the Barnet front man as it rolled off his shoulder.
Luisma Villa almost made sure of the victory when he fired over his free-kick as it brushed the top netting.
But Villa made up for that miss in the 77th minute when he scored Barnet’s fourth. Jon Nurse set-up the tricky winger, who was a constant threat in both ties, as he watched his deflected shot fly past Tony Thompson.
A tough defeat to take for the Clarets, who performed admirably just three days prior, but they can hold their heads high for what they’ve achieved, even if their FA Cup run has come to an end.
Credit to Barnet, and it will be interesting to see how they fare against Wycombe Wanderers, who currently sit one point off top-spot in Sky Bet League Two.
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
18. Luke Gambin
4. Jack Saville (On for Bondz N’Gala, 32)
12. Sam Cowler (GK)
20. Jonathan Nurse (On for Luke Gambin, 63)
23. Adam Mekki (On for Elliott Johnson, 46)
25. Joe Gater
29. Matthew Stevens
30. Harry Taylor
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 Christian Smith, 73)
15. Luke Callander (On for Michael Cheek, 46)
16. Marvin Ekpiteta (On for Mark Haines, 32)
17. Nicky Nicolau
18. Jack Barham
19. Niklas Freund (GK)
Referee: Mr Colin Lymer
Assistant referees: Mr Mark Potkins and Mr Anthony Da Costa
Bookings: Barnet: Bondz N’Gala (28, persistent fouling)
Chelmsford City: Mark Hughes (40, cynical foul), Lee Sawyer (81, foul)
Scorers: Barnet: John Akinde (6), David Stephens (11), Curtis Weston (30), Luisma Villa (77)
Chelmsford City: Joe Ward (55)
Attendance: 1,294 (403 Chelmsford City fans)
City Man of the Match: Joe Ward