A break from league action and a home FA Cup Preliminary Round tie against United Counties League side Deeping Rangers and an opportunity for Barton to get some home form under their belts.
The match kicked off in sunny but windy conditions and Barton were into their stride immediately with some neat passing and possession football with Claudio Dias and Salam Amoaki prominent in midfield roles. Josh Olukanmi was posing problems for Deeping on the left wing and in the 6th minute he provided an inviting cross allowing Oyinsan to open the scoring for Rovers. During the opening 20 minutes Rovers were on top and playing some great man to man football and defensively very solid - quite a turnaround from their midweek display. Oyinsan and Ebby Nelson-Addy spurned further chances to score but credit the Deeping keeper with a couple of saving blocks to keep his team in this match. With half an hour gone, and Deeping struggling to get a foothold in this game, their frustration surfaced when Charlie Ward was cautioned for a late tackle. More good interplay from Rovers but a chance created was blasted over the bar by Nathan Olukanmi. Incredibly, following the Rovers domination of the half, Deeping hit Rovers with a 1-2 sucker punch in the 41st and 43rd minutes scoring two goals in three minutes through Scott Mooney and Luke Avis with the initial problems emanating from the left side of the Rovers midfield and defence. Half-time arrived and, instead of making their opportunities tell in this first half, Rovers went in 2-1 down.
Playing into a strong breeze in the 2nd half Rovers, and in a complete reversal of the first half performance, Rovers seemed incapable of stringing any sustained passing sequences together and, instead, resorted to high ball tactics which seemed to play into the strong suit of this Deeping side. Rovers frustration at their inability to impose themselves on this game second half surfaced with both Amoako and Oyinsan being cautioned within a few minutes of each other in the 67th and 70th minutes respectively. Rovers subbed Amoako for Charlie Payne and then Adam Moussi replaced Nelson-Addy after 76 minutes but the change did little to alter the shape of the match as Rovers efforts to create any pressure in the Deeping ranks were comfortably dealt with and, in truth, Deeping came closest in the closing minutes to extending their lead and finishing the match as a contest.
Two home games into the new season and we
are still to see the best of this newly-assembled Rovers side - final score Barton Rovers 1 Deeping Rangers 2