Single goal downs The Rovers
Rovers made the short trip to Bedford for this A6 derby match looking to both continue a good away record and to atone for a rather heavy defeat in the earlier corresponding home fixture. Clearly, with Bedford Town in and around the play-off spots, Rovers were certain of a fight if anything was to be taken from this match. Rovers were in the action immediately when Connor Vincent shot narrowly wide from a good position in the first minute. Gary Malone, the Rovers keeper, was called into action after 4 minutes when Town's winger James Hall fired in a low shot that was saved low to the keeper's left. Town were retaining possession and recycling the ball well and, with 8 minutes gone, Hall once again in on the action, fired over a left-wing cross which found Dan Walker's head as he beat Dan Olineran in the air to head Town in front. For Rovers, both Tony Williams and Stef Bailey had efforts at goal after 16 and 18 minutes but they lacked the accuracy to test Town keeper Ashlee Jones.Then a blow for Rovers when the midweek hat-trick hero Vincent hobbled off to be replaced by Charlie Clayton after just 23 minutes played. Throughout this first half Town though were bossing this match in terms of possession and, for the most part, Rovers were confined to sporadic and often long-range efforts that never troubled the Town defence.
There was more of the same second half with Town remaining solid at the back and with by far the greatest share of possession. Town's star man Dan Walker was their focal point in attack and a real handful for Robbie Goodman on the right side of Rovers defence all game but, as in the first half, despite creating a number of goalscoring opportunities Town continued to huff and puff in front of goal. Town's best scoring chances came through Walker and Lucas Kirkpatrick after 52 and 78 minutes but Malone was in position both times to prevent Town adding to their lead. Rovers were lacklustre in attack for the most part but could and should have secured a point from this match when, with just 3 minutes remaining, Victor Osubu found space down the inside right channel to force himself a one-on-one with Town keeper Jones who came out on top by blocking Osubu's goal bound effort. So Rovers unable to add to their harvest of away points but, being realistic, Town were the better team on the day and fully deserving of the three points on this occasion.
Next up for Rovers is a home match with Thame United next Saturday.
Final Score: Bedford Town 1 (Walker 8) Barton Rovers 0