Rovers made to work for points
Following a winless run of four games, all on the road, Rovers were looking to right the ship at Sharpenhoe Road against the visitors St Neots Town under their new Manager Barry Corr.
Town dominated the first half but it was Rovers midfielder Charlie Smith with the first effort at goal after 7 minutes but his shot sailed way over. Town left winger Sam Gomersall worked himself into a decent shooting position on 11 minutes but his shot lacked power and home keeper Niall Cooper held it comfortably. The nearest Town came to scoring came on the 15 minute mark when Lee Watkins’ shot was held at the second attempt by Cooper. Town did have the ball in the net on 41 minutes after Cooper parried brilliantly but the ‘score’ was chalked off by the assistant’s offside flag. Just before half-time Smith saw a shot slide wide of a post before Rovers centre-back Kai Phelan picked up a yellow card for a late challenge. Despite Town’s domination of possession first half it didn’t yield them a lead as a scoreless first half came to an end.
Nothing witnessed in the first half prepared the home support for the sparkling second half start Rovers provided with left-winger Connor Furlong’s first foray into the Town half yielding a corner. Rovers Captain Victor Osobu took the corner and centre-back Lewis Thomas rose magnificently to bullet a header past Town keeper Finley Iron to put the homesters in front. In stark contrast to the first 45 minutes Rovers were looking dangerous going forward and both Osobu and striker Connor Vincent spurned several good scoring opportunities in Rovers best spell of the match midway through the half. Furlong was in the action for the wrong reasons when picking up a caution for time-wasting on 66 minutes before the same player ought to have finished the match as contest when he headed right-back Jay Palmer’s cross straight at the Town keeper. Town attempted to inject momentum into their side with a flurry of substitutions in the final 20 minutes but, with just two minutes remaining, up popped one of the Rovers substitutes Keanu Williams to notch his first goal for the club and double the home lead. The game was far from over though and Osobu put a recent lean scoring spell behind him with a fine lobbed finish in added time to seal the three points for Rovers. Town played a lot of neat possession-based football in this match but lacked a cutting edge up front and Rovers certainly, in the second half, displayed an ability to take their chances when it really mattered. Up next for Rovers is a trip to league leaders Berkhamsted Town in what promises to be another fiercely contested local derby.
Final Score: Barton Rovers 3 (Thomas 46, Williams 88 & Osobu 90+5) St Neots Town 0
Rovers Team: Cooper, Palmer Ward, Smith, Thomas (Andrews 76), Phelan Osobu, Dummett (Boland 80), Vincent (Williams 80), Tshikuna, Furlong.
Rovers MOM: Connor Vincent