Carshalton Athletic’s FA Trophy dreams came to a valiant end on a chilly Tuesday night in North London, writes James Barrett-Sterling.

A closely-contested third round replay at National League outfit Barnet, which was played in the shadow of Wembley Stadium where the eventual final will be played, ended in a narrow 2-1 defeat.

All the goals came in the first 20 minutes as Barnet’s in-form striker Shaquille Coulthirst scored either side of Jacob Mendy’s equaliser and, even though the home side dominated possession throughout, Carshalton missed two great chances in the second-half to at least force extra time.

But Carshalton player/manager Peter Adeniyi believes his squad shouldn’t dwell on the defeat but take the positives out of the experience.

“I was immensely proud of the boys, we gave a great account of ourselves against Barnet and we must take that level of performance into our remaining league games,” said Adeniyi whom came on as a substitute during the second-half at The Hive.

"The back four were immense and Patrick (Ohman) made some brilliant saves, while those in front of them covered every blade of grass.

“If we perform anywhere to that same level every week then we should win a lot of games before the end of the season.”

Unlike the original tie, which took 42 minutes to see a goal before finishing 3-3, Barnet struck early as Coulthirst turned home a low Dan Sparkes cross from close range on seven minutes.

But Carshalton kept their composure and sliced Barnet wide open 10 minutes later – Tommy Bradford’s through ball put Mendy clear on halfway and he eventually buried a left-footed shot past the exposed Will Huffer.

The Robins fans were in dreamland but their jubilation was instantly cut short as Coulthirst smashed an 18-yard shot into the top far corner during Barnet’s very next attack.

"Conceding early wasn't part of the plan as we wanted to keep it tight, but I must credit the boys as they stayed in the game and got an equaliser," lamented Adeniyi.

"Unfortunately we conceded again straightaway but the boys kept battling, stuck to our gameplan and we had chances to score again after the break."

Adeniyi was alluding to a 46th minute strike by Bobby Price that thumped off the far post before being cleared, while Christie Pattisson took advantage of a slip in the Barnet defence on 61 minutes to burst through but Huffer blocked the shot away with an outstretched leg.

"It just wasn't meant to be but it that wasn't for the want of trying. I know these guys quite well, they won't feel disappointed for long. It's been a great cup run for all involved but we have to now make sure we finish the season strongly," Adeniyi added.

Carshalton Athletic get back to league affairs with a local derby against Kingstonian on Saturday 16th February (kick-off 3pm).