10 men Barton lose battle of the Rovers
Rovers made the short trip up the A6 to take on the 'other' Rovers - Kempston in another local derby league fixture. David Longe-King came in at right back for Barton and with Drew Phillips playing through the middle and flanked by Robbie Parsons and Dan Jarvis, the frontline had a youthful look about it. Barton made a good start to the opening half and looked solid in all departments and were moving the ball well and finding their men with good passing. With Barton on top, Parsons had a couple of good early chances in both 7th and 11th minutes but fired both wide of Martin Conway in the Kempston goal's right-hand post with the one hitting the outside of it. Ironically, and football always does it to you, in the 30th minute Kempston's Sam Johnson who gave Charlie Payne a hard time in this match, wriggled free of the Barton defence and from an acute angle opened the scoring to put Kempston in front - against the run of play it has to be said. Barton didn't let their heads drop though and, in the 35th minute, after a Hugh Alban-Jones free-kick was initially won in the air by Longe-King, Barton's Drew Phillips snaffled up a resulting half-chance with a deft over head kick to force an equaliser. The Barton equaliser seemed to galvanise Kempston and they had the better of the remaining ten minutes especially when some statuesque Barton defending allowed Kempston centre-forward Jake Newman to put the home side ahead just 2 minutes from half-time.
This game however was killed off as a contest when, in the 52nd minute Barton skipper Paul Andrews was shown a second yellow card by the inconsistent referee leaving Barton trailing score-wise and down to 10 men. Kempston put their foot on the gas and Newman scored his second to put Kempston further ahead on 61 minutes - this one a long ball through the middle from Conway to which Newman reacted quickest and finished with aplomb. The scoring was completed in the 81st minute when Kempston sub Josh Crawley fired home to make the final score 4-1 but perhaps not a true reflection of the effort and commitment this young Barton side put into this match.