Rovers winless run was extended to three matches following a comeback win in this one for the visitors. The first half was a very open affair with both sides intent on all-out attack though, in terms of possession and controlled football, Yaxley marginally outplayed Rovers. However, the half-time score did not reflect the visitors first-half performance, as Rovers proved more clinical in the finishing department. Striker Goldy Capela was in the early action for Rovers but, unlike his chance-taking in the previous match at Bedworth, Capela shot straight into the arms of visiting keeper Aaron Butcher when it looked easier to score in the first minute. Rovers centre-back Lewis Thomas came to his team’s rescue with a fantastic goal-line clearance in the 7th minute with Yaxley’s Dan Cotton shaking his head in disbelief. The away side paid for this miss in the 10th minute when a clever Victor Osobu flick from a Garry Jones free-kick allowed midfielder Dean Dummett a free run in on goal and he slotted the ball home to put Rovers in front. The match should have been level on 18 minutes though when Yaxley right-winger blasted over the bar from almost on the goal-line – what a let-off for Rovers. Yet again, after 27 minutes, Rovers replied in doubling their lead when Nathan Tshikuna was put through on a Jones pass and showed his ability with another classy finish. Capela was next in the action just a minute later but his shot lacked control and sailed way over the visitors bar. Yaxley’s Cotton was foiled by a fine Niall Cooper save on 33 minutes and his team-mate Frazer Garner fired just wide of a post just a minute later as the visitors, who were far from out of this match, showed their attacking intent. Yaxley centre-back Kyle Nolan was next to try his luck but shot high over the bar after 36 minutes and just a minute later found himself in the referee’s notebook for a late tackle on Tshikuna. Half-time arrived with Rovers two goals to the good.
Disaster struck the home side, who seemed at sixes and sevens as the second half commenced, as early as the 47th minute as some woeful backpost defending, saw Yaxley cut the deficit in half when centre-forward Joel Earps headed home unchallenged. On top of that goal Yaxley had a shot strike the bar and go over but the equaliser was only delayed until the 51st minute when Rovers old boy Dan Jarvis was given acres of room at the back-post to volley home a cross but where oh where was the Rovers defence? Rovers did reply with a Charlie Smith effort that never troubled the away keeper on 53 minutes and a mazy run by Osobu which lacked a decisive finish and was cleared for a fruitless corner. Yaxley’s Bennet then missed a sitter when he allowed Cooper to smother the ball at his feet when clean through on goal with 65 minutes gone. Rovers were living dangerously with all-out attack in an effort to get back in front and Yaxley looking like scoring every time they broke out of defence. Cooper was forced into a finger-tip save to keep out a goal-bound shot after 70 minutes but this only delayed Yaxley going in front until 72 minutes when Bennett was given the freedom of Barton to waltz through the Rovers defence and fire his side in front. Rovers did rally and Osobu and Dummett had efforts deflected for corners before, with seven minutes remaining, Dummett again had a shot cleared off the line. The remaining few minutes was played out with Rovers on the front foot and pressing but unable to conjure up an equaliser. So, much food for thought for Manager Tony Fontanelle with the attacking side of the Rovers game looking sharp but, defensively, both in the midfield and defence areas, much improvement required.
Final Score: Barton Rovers 2 ( Dummett 10, Tshikuna 27) Yaxley FC 3 (Earps 47, Jarvis 51, Bennett 72)
Rovers Team: Copper, Jibodu, Jones (Palmer 75), Smith, Thomas, Sonuga, Capela , Dummett, Vincent, Tshikuna (Griffiths 75), Osobu.
Rovers MOM: Charlie Smith