Southern League Division One Central: Barton Rovers 2 Marlow 1
Barton Rovers moved up to fourth place in the Southern League Division One Central on Saturday after a battling 2-1 win against Marlow at Sharpenhoe Road.
In atrocious conditions on a sodden pitch, the game was never going to be one for quality football, but it didn’t disappoint the 101 hardy souls who braved the torrential rain to watch Rovers extend their unbeaten run to six games.
The first half ebbed and flowed with neither side getting a foothold into the game or the surface for that matter as wayward passes and interceptions littered theopening 45 minutes.
The only noticeable effort fell to Connor Calcutt whose shot was turned round the post by keeper Sam House.
The second half got under way with conditions worse but in comparison the standard of football picked up.
Michael Malcolm had a good effort go wide for Rovers before Chris Ovenden shot off target for Marlow.
The breakthrough came just after the hour as a loose ball in the area was latched on to by Malcolm and he poked home from close range.
Barton doubled the lead a few minutes later in similar fashion as Calcutt notched his 13 league goal of the season.
Marlow pulled one back from the spot through Ovenden as Dan Hutchins was adjudged to have committed an offence in the box before he was shown a red card.
Rovers saw the game out with 10 men and should have had not one but two late goals but shot stopper House saved one-on-one from both Calcutt and Malcolm in time added on.
Manager Jimmy Gray said: “We deserved the three points just for our pure grit and determination.
“We could not break Marlow down and had to wait until late on by which time the pitch had cut up really bad in the rain.
“All credit to the lads though as they they put in a real shift.”
Rovers have re-signed midfielder Luke Knight from near neigbours Bedford Town where he was captain.
The Blues have also seen Darren Locke leave the club and head to Hayes & Yeading.
Barton were in action last night when they entertained Potters Bar Town.
They are then on the road at the weekend, visiting Northwood.