Barton were shown a master class in football from Luton Town last night for the 2nd time in a month as they bowed out of the Beds Senior cup with a 3-0 loss. On the 1st bitterly cold evening of the winter 357 spectators braved the elements to see The Hatters who dominated from the off pegging Rovers into their own half. The dead lock was broken after 17 mins as some poor Rovers defending allowed Jack Snelus to fire home past stranded keeper Aaron Fulton. Rovers should have equalised just before the half hour mark as a good run down the flank by Rod Orlando-Young resulted in a ball delivered with pin point accuracy to the waiting Josh Bamford who put it over from close range. Controversy at the other end as Luton were awarded a penalty for hand ball after a pile drive cross hit the hand of Darren Locke who was just a yard away, Zane Banton stepped up and converted for a 2-0 half time lead
Bamford again wasted a great chance to get Rovers back into the game as his shot went wide of the mark just after the break before Luton re-found their footing and took control. The Hatters added a third on 66 mins as Freddie Hinds escaped the attention of his man to slot home from inside the box. Connor Calcutt had a late chance well saved by The Hatters keeper and to add insult to injury Orlando-Young was sent for an early bath for a poor challenge on Harry Bean who in all credit got straight up and remonstrated to the referee not to send Bartons winger off! A good display from the full time side 4 levels above the Rovers in the league structure and a cracking game of football to watch with the only downside being the 7 yellow cards and a red dished out by the over zealous official.
Rovers manager Jimmy Gray commented after the game “We struggled to keep the ball against a very good Luton side. We did create 3 or 4 good chances but wasted them but its also pleasing to see us limit them in front of goal. Our individual errors cost us the game which is disappointing but on a positive note we gave opportunities to some of the fringe lads to get competitive minutes. We wont come up against sides of that quality at our level so it was a great learning curve. We now move on to our bread and butter which is an away league game at Ashford where we aim to keep our outstanding league form going”.
Rovers Line up