Rovers lack of success in cup competitions continued on Tuesday at Welwyn Garden City FC. This first round Southern League Challenge Cup tie was dominated by the home side throughout with only a tremendous performance from Dan Gould the Rovers keeper between Rovers and a drubbing. Ironically, the match opened in a positive vein for Rovers when, despite being under the cosh from the start by a Welwyn side completely dominant in midfield, a break down the right by Dan Jarvis followed by a pin-point cross onto the head of the unmarked Jimmy Hartley put Rovers ahead as early as the 8th minute. The Rovers lead didn't last long though as Welwyn's dominance produced an equaliser when Nick Elliot fired home after 15 minutes. The remainder of the first half from the Rovers perspective was notable only for the single-handed brilliance of keeper Dan Gould who found a way, with all parts of his body, to keep the game level 1-1 at half-time.
Rovers midfield four continued to misfire in the second half and, with strikers Connor Vincent and Drew Phillips completely starved of the ball and the Rovers back four and Gould hanging on grimly for the draw and the prospect of a penalty shoot-out this, was not good viewing for Rovers fans. Inevitably, Welwyn eventually took the lead as late as the 72nd minute when Josh Bronti ran onto a rightwing cross and blasted home. This did lead to somewhat of a revival by Rovers in the final ten minutes but the quality of the final pass and the lack of a decisive finish left Welwyn as the deserved winners and they go into the draw of the next round. Rovers Manager Tony Fontanelle clearly has work to do in terms of getting his side to play with much more fluency and with more of a will to win attitude.
Final Score: Welwyn Garden FC 2 (Nick Elliott 15, Josh Bronti 72) Barton Rovers FC 1 (Jimmy Hartley 8)