Battling point ensures survival
A midweek local derby scheduled as part of the catch-up process following various postponements and cancellations threw both the local Rovers sides together under the lights at Sharpenhoe Road. Following a disappointing team performance just three days ago at Thame Barton and their support were anticipating and hoping for a much improved effort against a Kempston side placed comfortably in mid-table but not threatening a play-off spot. Initially, it was Kempston, playing with the Barton 'slope' first half, who got off on the front foot with early efforts from their front two Jake Newman and Munashe Sundire but these failed to trouble Matt Finlay the Barton keeper. Barton striker Drew Phillips wriggled free after 13 minutes but could only find the side-netting with his strike at goal. Straight from the resultant goal-kick Kempston's top scorer this season Jake Newman found himself completely free of Barton's defensive attentions and cracked home a lovely left-footer to put Kempston ahead - some suspicion of off-side about this one but I gave him the benefit of the doubt. Kempston had their tails up and a free-kick from Ben Shepherd forced Finlay into a decent save. Barton clawed their way into this match when Michael Gyasi, becoming renowned for the quality of his striking from distance, cut inside from his left-wing berth, beat a couple of Kempston defenders and hammered home leaving Martin Conway, the Kempston keeper, grasping thin air and levelling the match. Barton's Phillips had another effort that went wide and Darryl Harrison found himself in the book before the half-time whistle went and the sides trooped off for half-time.
Barton came out with all guns blazing and were by far the better side second half and Romaine Walker emphasised that superiority by firing Barton Ahead when he cut in from the left and the shot so well placed that Conway could only watch it nestle in the far corner 2-1 Barton. With games coming thick and fast, both managers committed their full allocation of substitutes and Kempston, chasing the game, forced to play a more open style which gave Barton some breakaway opportunities. Kempston's pressing proved fruitful when, on 73 minutes, when substitute Josh Crawley was afforded a little too much room and fired a low right-footer past Finlay to square the game up at 2-2. There were chances at both ends before the final whistle came with honours even and an entertaining evening's football came to a conclusion.
A much improved display by Barton and, taking the evening's other results into the equation, Barton secure another season in the east Division.