Barton Rovers defeated MK Irish 2-1 and qualified for the 2nd Qualifying Round of the FA Cup for the first time in 6 years!
The Rovers ensured their Cup status after 2 first half goals saw the game out! Rovers made four changes from the team that they fielded on bank holiday Monday! Lewis Thomas started ahead of Paul Andrews, whilst captain Kirkpatrick replaced Max Ryan. The final change saw Rider come back into the mix as Moloney was absent! McKenzie and Dutchie were fit and back on the bench!
Starting off the tie, Rovers showed the difference in level as they relentlessly attacked the Irish goal for fifteen minutes. After chances from Rhiney and Adeyileka in the first five minutes, Lucas Kirkpatrick scored the opener as his freekick beat the MK Irish with a splendid strike.
Straight after grabbing the opener, Rovers went in search of a second and had a chance to double their lead in the seventh minute after they were awarded a penalty for a foul in the box. Striker Taylor Rhiney stepped up to take it, but his effort was saved by the Irish keeper!
After missing the penalty, Rovers had a handful of chances again through Rhiney and Hyde. Although Rovers were on top, Irish were easing their way into the tie and had a handful of dangerous counterattacks. These counterattacks paid off as ex-Rovers player Ty Ward equalised in the fourteenth minute.
Following on from Ward's goal, the tempo slowed down as did the action, but twenty minutes later, Joe Rider put Rovers ahead yet again as he capitalised on the MK Irishs' keepers' mistake. After Grant put a ball across the box, the keeper dropped it onto the feet of the forward and he tapped it in.
Rovers went into the second half ahead and made a halftime substitution as Thomas was replaced by McKenzie. The second half saw Rovers have to defend their lead for forty-five long minutes as they were pressed, attacked and forced back by MK Irish. Although Irish came close on a couple of occasions, Rovers learnt from their mistakes against Kempston last week and managed to see the game out, no thanks to an excellent goal-line clearance from Cameron Hyde and some excellent saves from new boy Liam Gauthier!
The win saw Rovers knock out the step-5 side and put their name into the hat that will be drawn on Monday!
Full Time: Rovers 2-1 MK Irish
MOTM: Cam Hyde
Next Match: Heybridge Swifts (A) - FA Trophy