A local derby against the 'Eagles' - what better than to pick up last week's improved team performance than to put one over Rovers' near neighbours? Rovers showing several changes also had new faces Brandon Carney and Jamie Nicholls on the bench for this one. Opponents Bedford Town fielded ex-Rovers Ashton Grant and Kyle Forster so an added incentive for the Rovers to shine against former colleagues. Bedford Town brought a large support to Sharpenhoe Road and there was a lively atmosphere in the ground by kick-off time.The opening half was dominated, in possession terms, by Bedford Town and both David Manu and Brad Woods-Garness were lively and direct up front for Bedford but the Rovers back four were not being unduly stretched. Woods-Harness shot wide after 5 minutes and Dean Dummett, the Bedford centre-half headed just over from a corner after 8 minutes as Bedford made the brighter start. Danny Watson came close for Rovers on 17 minutes but failed to get the contact he needed on the final shot to trouble Forster in the Bedford goal. Woods-Garness continued to shine for Bedford and was ably backed up by his strike partner Manu but the Rovers defence held firm and Adam Harper in the Rovers goal was rarely called into any serious action. Rovers midfield and front line players completely failed to shine and Manager Tony Fontanelle would have been tearing his hair out (if he had any!!) by half-time during which he no doubt handed this Rovers team an ear-bashing!! Half-time came and scoreless at 0-0.
If anything, Bedford upped the tempo immediately the second half began and were camped in the Rovers half but again, despite their domination of possession, clear-cut scoring opportunities were scarce. Rovers made an early change when Claudio Dias, who failed to make any impression whilst on the pitch, was replaced by Tom Peverall. On 53 minutes Bedford's Manu got in behind the Rovers defence and was felled in the box by the combined might of Paul Andrews and George Quarrington-Carter - penalty!! Woods-Harness stepped up and blasted past Harper to open the scoring from the spot. This 'wake-up call' did nothing for the Rovers level of endeavour and, other than a regular diet of 'up and unders' which the grateful Bedford defenders gobbled up with glee Rovers seemed entirely devoid of any creative play and singularly unable to retain any level of concerted possession. Both Jamie Nicholls and Brandon Carney were introduced as substitutes for the final 20 minutes and, at least, both put themselves about but Rovers failed throughout this match to force Forster in the Bedford goal into any meaningful action. The game ended in a 0-1 away victory for BedfordTown.
On this performance, yet another home defeat, there are many in this Barton squad who really need to look at themselves and ask if they warrant a place in this team given the lack of application and effort obvious to all in the home support.
Manager Tony Fontenelle commented after “I was disappointed with the reaction from the lads after going a goal down. We seem to have a hoodoo on us at home at the moment as we cannot score and are not creating clear cut chances. I will be making new signings and bring in lads that want to give 100% in a Barton Rovers shirt and not ones that are happy to just go through the motions.