Chichester City were the visitors to Sharpenhoe Road for this FA Trophy tie. Rovers captain Garry Jones was missing through injury and Dan Olineran replaced him in the starting line-up with Victor Osobu, back from suspension, taking the captain’s armband. Rovers made a sparkling start and, as early as the 2nd minute, were a goal up through a spectacular 25-yard strike from Nathan Tshikuna. City hit back straightaway and Rovers keeper Kyle Forster had to look lively saving a James Horncastle effort just two minutes later. The visitors were patient in possession and building attacks from the back and their centre forward Scott Jones had both a header and then a shot saved by Forster in the space of two minutes. City left winger Kaleem Haitham was a handful for Rovers right back Jerome Jobodu and he was cautioned in the 14th minute for a second late challenge. City went close to equalising in the 17th minute when a Horncastle effort was deflected onto a post and was bundled to safety by the Rovers defence. Victor Osobu ended a mazy run with a rather weak effort blocked by City keeper Steve Mowthorpe before Tshikuna had a thunderbolt of a shot tipped over. Osobu ought to doubled Rovers lead on 27 minutes when, with just Mowthorpe to beat, he delayed his shot and the keeper blocked his rather weak effort. City had another shot at goal headed off the line by Jiboduafter 33 minutes and, on balance, were unfortunate not to be on terms with their finishing to blame. The visitors were punished for their missed chances when, from an Osobu corner, Rovers centre-back Lewis Thomas rose at the back post to head home Rovers second and his first goal for the club on 39 minutes. City’s Haitham had a good chance on 44 minutes to reduce the deficit but rather rushed his shot and hit the side netting. Half-time came with Rovers two-goal lead intact.
Osobu was straight into second half action when his cross-cum-shot hit the bar with Mowthorpe a spectator but it went over for a goal-kick. The visitors were continuing to boss possession but Rovers were constantly looking dangerous and quick on the counter attack. Tony Williams Jr for Rovers might have done better than hit the side netting after 51 minutes but Rovers third goal was only delayed until 54 minutes when Connor Vincent pounced on a Mowthorpe mishandle and blasted home from inside the box. City’s Haitham almost pulled one back for the visitors after 57 minutes but Forster was alert to the danger. On 64 minutes another mazy Osobu run and cross found Rovers midfielder Dean Dummett who made no mistake in firing the home side into a 4-goal lead and seemingly game over. However, the visitors had other ideas and finally found their shooting boots with 73 minutes gone, right-winger Josh Clack cut in from the right and fired an unsaveable shot across Forster and into the far corner. From the restart Rovers gave the ball away and, in the ensuing City counter-attack, Clack found himself unmarked to produce an identical finish and two goals in a minute to reduce the arrears for the visitors thanks to some rather sloppy Rovers defending. Despite the late scare, Rovers held out to secure passage into the draw for the next round in which they’ll face either Ashford United or Witham Town away on Saturday 26th October.
This Saturday Rovers entertain undefeated table-topping Berkhamsted FC in a league match.
Final Score: Barton Rovers 4 (Tshikuna 2, Thomas 39,Vincent 55, Dummett64) Chichester City 2 (Clack 73,74)
Rovers Team: Forster, Jibodu, Olineran, Thomas, Sonuga, Gibson, Osobu (Gittens 82), Dummett, Vincent (McKenzie-Lowe 69), Tshikuna, Williams Jr (Lukulay 72).
Rovers MOM: Lewis Thomas