Weather and points for the Ducks
Rovers were at home for the first time in a few weeks and entertained high-flying Aylesbury United at Sharpenhoe Road for this latest league fixture. The Rovers line-up, for the first time in a few weeks was missing free-scoring midfielder Dean Dummett and Sam Gibson slotted into his place in midfield. Rovers created an early opportunity but Connor Vincent was robbed in the act of sorting his feet out for a shot at goal. Aylesbury’s centre-forward Ken Feyi, who was to prove pivotal in this match, then blasted well wide from good position at the edge of the Rovers box. Victor Osobu ought to have headed Rovers ahead from a Garry Jones cross after 10 minutes but headed weakly wide of a post. Rovers paid dearly for this miss when Aylesbury took the lead a minute later through a fine Ollie Hogg shot from the edge of the box. Rovers keeper Kyle Forster was in action getting down to a low cross from Aylebury right winger Jamie Rudd after 17 minutes. Then Rovers midfielder Nathan Tshikuna had a free-kick opportunity two minutes later but his weak effort was comfortably held by Aylesbury keeper Jack Hopwood. The game was an end to end affair but the visitors were shading possession and looking more menacing in front of goal. However, Rovers were showing some resilience and were dangerous on the counter attack and this produced dividends when a fine Jerome Jibodu right-wing cross was converted by Connor Furlong, his first goal for Rovers, at the back post to level the scores. On 40 minutes a mazy Osobu run ended with a fine cross into the box but there were no Rovers attackers on hand to finish a superb move. Then, right on half-time the stand side assistant had a mad moment when he allowed Aylesbury centre-forward Ken Feyi to run onto a through ball, from what was a blatant offside position, and lob the visitors ahead at the break.
To rub salt in the Rovers wounds, just 2 minutes into the second half, the other assistant failed to again pick up Feyi in an offside position and, from a couple of yards out he gave his side a two goal cushion. A mountain to climb now for Rovers but chances came and went at regular intervals, first a Charlie Smith free-kick cleared for a corner which came to nothing, then a wild Furlong effort at goal which flirted with the corner flag and an admittedly off-balance Osobu effort which failed to trouble the away keeper. Rovers all-out attacking policy backfired after 57 minutes when midfielder Sonny French increased the Aylesbury advantage with another accurate and powerful finish from the edge of the Rovers penalty area. Rovers centre-back Lewis Thomas was perhaps fortunate only to see a yellow card on 64 minutes for what looked like a desperately late challenge. Jibodu then denied Feyi a hat-trick by clearing off the line with 68 minutes gone before Rovers substitute Tony Williams Jr headed in what proved to be a mere consolation after 73 minutes. Rovers pressed for more goals and Williams Jr headed against a post on 76 minutes. The visitors almost went nap on 80 minutes when, from a corner, their centre-back Mark Riddick headed against a post. Aylesbury played out the last few minutes comfortably and returned home with another three league points in the bag. Rovers will be cursing their luck as, once more, officialdom played a crucial part in the outcome of a match at Sharpenhoe Road this season.
Final Score: Barton Rovers 2 ( Furlong 34, Williams Jr 73) Aylesbury United 4 ( Hogg 11, Feyi 44 & 47, French 57)
Rovers Team: Forster, Jibodu (Griffiths 74), Jones, Gibson (Williams Jr 61), Sonuga, Thomas, Osobu, Smith, Vincent (Okuboyejo 85), Tshikuna, Furlong.
Rovers MOM: Lewis Thomas