Having overcome Cambridge City to advance to the 1st Qualifying Round of the 2019/20 Emirates FA Cup Rovers welcomed Romford FC to Sharpenhoe Road for this tie. Rovers were much changed following their resounding midweek victory at Kempston with Lewis Thomas, Lucas Didik, Ibby Lukulay and Connor Vincent all starting the match. Immediately, Rovers were on the front foot and Victor Osubu got in behind the Romford defence but shot weakly at keeper Harry Aldridge who saved comfortably within the first minute. Romford’s Malaki Toussaint threatened after 8 minutes but his attempt at goal ballooned high over the bar. Just a minute later Osubu just failed to put Rovers ahead with a shot that hit the upright and rebounded with no Rovers attacker able to gobble up the available tap-in. Nathan Tshikuna had a scoring opportunity
after 21 minutes but shot into the arms of the away keeper. Shots at goal by Romford’s Jimmy Cox and Philip Brown were comfortably dealt with by Rovers keeper Kyle Forster after 28 and 32 minutes before Connor Vincent headed over from a fine free-kick delivery by Osubu on 34 minutes. Just a minute later Forster was at full stretch to ensure a deflected Romford shot that looked goalbound out. Then, with the match looking to be heading for stalemate at half-time, up popped Rovers danger man Osubu on the left and his pinpoint low cross was met by midfielder Dean Dummett who enhanced his already impressive scoring record to give Rovers a half-time lead on 44 minutes.
Forster was immediately in second half action saving a fine effort from Romford’s Jonathan Nzengo after 46 minutes. However, despite playing up the infamous slope, Rovers were asserting themselves and their superiority told with 57 minutes gone when Nathan Tshikuna cut in from the left side and curled a superb right-foot shot that nestled in the left-hand corner of Aldridge’s goal and doubled Rovers lead. Both Osubu who fired over from good position and Connor Vincent with a header had chances to add to Rovers lead after 58 and 61 minutes. The third goal for Rovers was not delayed long though when, on 62 minutes, Dummett grabbed his second of the match from a clever Osubu flick and put this tie beyond Romford’s reach. There was still time for Romford to threaten when Lewis Thomas, who otherwise had a fine match at centre-back, lost his marker but the post came to Rovers rescue when it looked certain Romford would open their account after 70 minutes. Tshikuna had further goal attempts on 72 and 78 minutes before Osubu hit the Romford bar from a free-kick on 86 minutes. Osubu wasn’t finished though and deservedly got himself on the scoresheet with a fine individual finish in added time to seal a comprehensive win and a place in the next round for the Rovers.
Final Score: Barton Rovers 4 (Dummett 44 & 62, Tshikuna 57, Osubu 90+2)
Rovers Team: Forster, Griffiths (Jibodu 87), Jones(C), Dummett, Sonuga, Thomas, Osubu, Didik (Bailey 83), Vincent (Ingham 79), Tshikuna, Lukulay.
Rovers MOM: Nathan Tshikuna