Barton Rovers made the short trip up the A6 for this local derby and ‘Battle of the Rovers’. Dan Olineran slotted in at left back for Gary Jones and Dylan Gittens started up front for this midweek league encounter. From the start, Barton looked solid at the back, combative in midfield and carried a threat going forward and, after an early spell of cat and mouse, midfielder Dean Dummett continued his good scoring form when he fired home a sweet left-footed shot from the edge of the box in the 8th minute to give Barton an early lead. Dummett was in the action again after 18 minutes with a shot that crept wide of the post. Kempston’s Goodman shot wide and a Brennan shot was saved by Kyle Forster whilst, sandwiched between those efforts, Nathan Tshikuna fired in a teasing cross that Gittens just failed to reach. Gittens almost opened his scoring account after 28 minutes when Kempston keeper Knox tipped his shot over the bar at full stretch. Kempston’s Harry Stratton then fired wide with possibly their best scoring chance of the half having been put in by a clever Izale McLeod pass. There was still time for both McLeod of Kempston and Barton’s Forster to pick up yellow cards after a bout of shenanigans prior to a Kempston corner-kick. Half time came with Barton a goal to the good.
Kempston made an immediate second half change when Jake Newman replaced Harry Stratton and just minutes later Ben Shepherd also left the bench as the home side attempted to get back into this match. Newman made an impression with a shot that was well saved by Forster after 51 minutes but it was Barton who doubled their lead on 52 minutes when a low left-wing Victor Osubu cross was turned into his own goal by Kempston’s Brennan. A Gittens injury after 61 minutes forced a Barton reshuffle with Jemal McKenzie-Lowe moving up front and Lewis Thomas coming off the bench to slot in at centre-back.
Sam Gibson and Nathan Tshikuna were dominant for Barton in controlling the midfield area and this paid off once more when Tony Williams Jr was flattened in the Kempston box after 67 minutes and, from the resultant penalty-kick, Tshikuna sent keeper Knox the wrong way to score Barton’s third. In the dying minutes, Barton further emphasised their superiority in this match when McKenzie-Lowe slotted a fourth goal in the 89th minute for Barton after some slick teamwork down the left side. There was still time though for the referee to award a somewhat contentious penalty-kick to Kempston which Mcleod slotted home as a small consolation for Kempston on the night. An excellent away win then for Barton accompanied by a cohesive team performance with good performances all over the pitch.
Barton Rovers: Forster, Griffiths, Olineran, McKenzie-Lowe, Sonuga, Gibson, Dummett (Didik 77), Tshikuna, Osubu (Jibodu 86), Gittens (Thomas 61), Williams Jr.
Barton Rovers MOM: Sam Gibson