Ultimately Barnet can have few complaints about being knocked out of the FA Cup by Shrewsbury Town following a 3-0 first round defeat, but until the Shrews took the lead midway through the first half the Bees had more than matched their League One opponents.

The Shrews had a two-goal advantage at half-time and when they added a third early in the second period the tie was beyond Barnet’s reach.

Boss Martin Allen was left to rue his side not been able to capitalise on their opportunities and said: "We started very well and had several good chances to take the lead but they didn't get converted and then on their first attack they score, so that was particularly disappointing.

"It looked like every time they went forward they did score whereas we dominated the game without keeping too much possession."

Allen, whose side were without suspended top scorer John Akinde, added: "The game was played more often than not in their half but we weren't able to convert chances. We got into good areas but our attacking play was not as good as it needs to be.

"I thought the players had a good committed performance but we certainly were lacking in the final third."

Allen was forced to re-arrange his side with top-scorer Akinde ruled out and Shaun Batt, who notched the winning goal against Hartlepool last week, sidelined with injury.

Long term injury victims Michael Gash and James Pearson continued to be unavailable but the Bees were able to recall fit-again Elliott Jonson to the defence after a five-match absence.

Barnet chose three central defenders, Bondz N’Gala, Michael Nelson and Bira Dembele with Mauro Vilhete and Johnson performing as wing-backs in a 3-5-2 formation, while Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro and Ben Tomlinson led the attack.

This was Shrewsbury’s new manager Paul Hurst’s first home game in charge, but it was the Bees that were first to settle with the home rearguard looking anxious.

The Bees entered the game with some optimism being as their opponents were rooted to the bottom of League One and were without a win in their previous 11 matches and this lack of form was evident in the opening minutes.

Akpa Akpro caused some consternation in the Shrews defence with keeper Jayson Leutwiler happy to concede a corner with the ball not being cleared by his fellow defenders.

In the 27th minute the tie started to turn in favour of the Shrews. Vilhete halted the run goalwards by Louis Dodds by foul means and from the resulting free-kick on the edge of the penalty area Jim O’Brien’s effort rattled the crossbar, with Mat Sadler reacting the quickest to bundle the ball home from close range.

The Bees almost drew level minutes later when Nelson helped the ball into the path of Akpa Akpro but his attempt was wide of the target.

Cruelly just moments later in the 32nd minute Shrewsbury extended their lead. The talented but temperamental forward Ivan Toney delivered a fine cross from the right for AJ Leitch-Smith whose diving header went past keeper Jamie Stephens in a flash.

Barnet then made three substitutions during the interval with Ryan Watson, Luke Gambin and Justin Amaluzor replacing Johnson, Tom Champion and Tomlinson.

Gambin duly delivered a good cross from the left and Akpa Akpro had a headed effort, but the tie was effectively over when Jack Grimmer, up from the back and capitalising on a loose ball, fired his shot into the top corner from 30 yards on 57 minutes.

To Barnet’s credit they kept competing and troubled Shrewsbury on occasions but did not seriously threaten to force their way back into the tie.

Barnet: Stephens, Johnson (Gambin 45), Dembele, Nelson, N'Gala, Vilhete, Weston, Champion (Watson 45), Muggleton, Akpa-Akpro, Tomlinson (Amaluzor 45). Subs not used: Vickers, Sesay, Taylor, Nicholls.