TEN-MAN Concord held Conference National table toppers Barnet to a stalemate in an exciting encounter at the Aspect Arena, writes Jack Smith.
The Bees stated their intent on progressing by fielding a strong side including the prolific Charlie Macdonald and Keanu Marsh-Brown.
It was the hosts who carved out the first opening with a glorious clear cut chance which saw Steve Cawley clean through one on one with the on rushing keeper Sam Cowler. The former deftly chipped the ball over Cowler only to see it strike the crossbar.
Barnet then had two wonderful chances to take the lead, each spurned by the two front men. Bernard Mensah then Macdonald in that order both dragging shots wide when in on goal.
Concord contained their counterparts very well for the remainder of the first half and caused the Barnet back four some problems with the lively Joe Gardner working openings from the right wing.
And it was Gardner who provided a delicious delivery for Cawley, but he headed wide when well placed to score.
Marsh-Brown created himself some space on the right before swinging a left footed effort narrowly over the top left hand corner on the stroke of half time.
Barnet – fresh from a half time ear bashing from the less than happy manager Martin Allen – came out slightly sharper in the second half.
And they forced a chance for Marsh-Brown who was bought down by the covering Danny Glozier, with referee Lugg wasting no time brandishing him with the red card.
From this point on though, it was all about the inspired Concord performance which followed.
Substitute Lewis Taaffe was a menace, grafted hard and got his reward when put in on goal by short pass from Barnet skipper Jack Saville.
He looked certain to score but somehow curled a side-footed effort millimetres wide of the right hand post.
Gardner continued to forge openings and almost provided the winner with a low cross which Sam Collins was narrowly beaten to by Joe Gater at the back post with the goal gaping.
Another Gardner cross late on was hacked clear by Gater and agonisingly evaded the presence of Taaffe a matter of yards from the goal line.
Resilience and stout defending saw Concord through to earn a replay at The Hive on Tuesday night and Barnet will travel home disappointed they failed to take advantage with the extra man.
Concord manager Danny Cowley said: “Nobody comes to Concord Rangers and gets an easy game.
“We have played the best teams in our division, teams in the Football League and now the best team in non league football – and been competitive in them all.
“We take a lot of confidence from that.
“I thought we were always a goal threat, even with 10 men.
“The players response after going down to 10 was excellent. We are a really determined group and always excellent in adversity.”
STAR MAN: Joe Gardner (Concord Rangers).
Concord: Vickers, Walker, Glozier (red card 52), Woodyard, King, Lampe (Fry 46), Gardner, White, Cawley (Pinnock 80), Collins, Stokes (c) (Taaffe 56). Subs: Fry, Miles, Ogilvie, Pinnock, Taaffe.
Barnet: Cowler, Vichete, Saville (c), Gater, Muggleton (Stevens 78), Hunt, Taylor (Kennedy 46), Gambin, Marsh-Brown (Akinde 78), Mensah, Macdonald. Subs: Akinde, Cojocarel, Fonguck, Kennedy, Stevens.