Rovers progress to Cup Final
A break from league action and an opportunity for both sides to reach their County Cup Final in this semi-final tie at Sharpenhoe Road. A pleasant evening weather-wise and a pitch looking good despite the advanced stage of this football season - no excuses then for either side and a competitive match anticipated with United flying high in their league at present.
The opening few minutes comprised of both sides probing for an opening but it wasn't long before the game burst into life when the home side's Sam Gibson sent Victor Osubu free on the right and his pinpoint cross was met by an alert Jimmy Hartley who came up with a composed finish to open the scoring after just 8 minutes. Rovers were on top and, just three minutes later, Connor Vincent ought to have doubled Rovers lead but failed to get enough contact on another Osubu cross. United burst into action and from a corner their Joe Guage headed just over the Rovers bar. Shots quickly followed by both Kane Farrell and Sam Holmes of United but they were comfortably held by Gary Malone the Rovers keeper. Rovers increased their lead after 29 minutes when a good run and cross from Hartley on the right found Drew Phillips free in the box and he pounced on the cross to fire home with a cool finish. United's Joe Hankins was next to try his luck and his shot just cleared the Rovers bar with Malone scrambling to cover and the teams went in at half-time with Rovers two goals up.
United started the second half well and, with 50 minutes gone, their skipper Ieaun Lewis popped up with a goal of the season contender that beat Malone all ends up to half United's deficit. This setback sparked Rovers into action and just two minutes later Connor Vincent produced his own goal of the season contender with a pile-driver of a shot from outside the box to restore Rovers two goal advantage. A Hartley header from a Mason Spence cross went wide of goal for Rovers after 60 minutes and just a minute later Hartley again pulled a finger-tip save from Ollie Leslie the `United keeper. Rovers were on top and looking as if they might extend their lead and Vincent had two successive efforts first with a header then, when clean through on goal, failed to hit the target with just twenty minutes remaining. United's Hankins had another effort when he found an opening in the Rovers box but his finish sailed over the bar. Rovers substitute Jay Palmer had the last say in the action with a shot on target that United keeper Leslie tipped over the bar in fine style.
So Rovers go through and have a Cup Final to look forward to and this Saturday head to Kidlington FC for more league action.
FinalScore: Barton Rovers 3 (Hartley 8, Phillips 29 & Vincent 52) Biggleswade United 1(Lewis 50)