The ‘other’ Rovers were the visitors to Sharpenhoe Road for this latest match in the sides’ League programs. Barton fielded an unchanged starting line-up following last Saturday’s game at Bedford Town. The home side kicked off facing up the ‘slope’ and were quickly into their side looking strong in defence, creative in midfield with the only first-half criticism being a lack of quality finishing. Time after time during the half openings were made and squandered against a Kempston side that were stout in defence but offering very little as an attacking entity. As early as the 3rd minute winger Victor Osobu pulled a save from Kempston 'keeper Peter Denton at the expense of a corner which came to nothing. Home midfielder Nathan Tshikuna was next to try his luck from a free-kick but his effort was easily pouched by Denton. A Charlie Smith free-kick on 19 minutes saw Denton in action once more with a finger-tip save and the resultant corner yielded nothing for the homesters. With 24 minutes on the clock Osobu’s right-wing cross found his opposite winger Bradley Bell but, from almost under the bar, Bell blazed over when he really ought to have opened the scoring. The remainder of the half saw further Osobu, Bell, Connor Vincent and Dean Dummett chances passed up but, with 34 minutes gone, a goal-bound Tyrique Hunt shot for Kempston was blocked at the last-gasp by home defender Kai Phelan to keep the score-sheet blank at half-time.
Question on the home fans minds at half-time was ‘could Barton sustain their domination of this match into the second half’ but they needn’t have worried. Aside from a Robbie Goodman header that sailed over the bar from a corner on 49 minutes the home side continued to create and waste scoring opportunities at an alarming rate. Dummett and Bell had a couple of long-range but misdirected efforts at goal before the deadlock was broken in the 62nd minute when Barton’s superiority finally told with Bell making up for some earlier misses with a fine shot across Denton and into the far corner and opening his personal scoring account for the club. Barton’s Vincent shot well wide on 67 minutes from a good position but immediately made up for this when he crashed Rovers second goal of the night after something of a goalmouth melee. Briefly, Kempston’s Ben Baker looked a threat cutting in from the right and Barton centre-back Lewis Thomas received a yellow card for pulling him back and was fortunate a fellow defender was between him and the goal or more serious sanctions would inevitably have followed. There was no doubt that the home side’s play deserved to see them in front and the icing on the cake came with a third goal from substitute Christopher Regis in added time. Barton’s steady start to the season continues and next up in the League is a trip to Daventry Town on Saturday.
Final Score: Barton Rovers 3 (Bell 62, Vincent 68 & Regis 90+1) Kempston Rovers 0
Barton Rovers Team: Cooper, Jibodu, Ward, Smith (Powell 84), Phelan, Thomas, Osobu (Burnett 64), Dummett (Regis 79), Vincent, Tshikuna, Bell.
Kempston Rovers Team: Denton, Green, Magagada, Amu, Bailey, Powell (Joyce 75), Baker, Goodman, Hunte, Stratton (Nkrumah 75), Akinbobola.
Cautions: Phelan 45 & Thomas 70 (both Barton Rovers)