Rovers climb to fourth after defeating Ducks

Connor Calcutt climbs highest against Aylesbury United - pic: Greg Childs
Connor Calcutt climbs highest against Aylesbury United - pic: Greg Childs
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Southern League Division One Central: Barton Rovers 3 Aylesbury United 2

Barton Rovers maintained their play-off ambitions on Saturday with a hard-fought win over Aylesbury United at Sharpenhoe Road.

Aylesbury United's keeper is powerless to prevent Charlie Smith's free kick from flying in - pic: Greg Childs

Aylesbury United's keeper is powerless to prevent Charlie Smith's free kick from flying in - pic: Greg Childs

On a heavy pitch Rovers made the brighter start playing up the slope, creating early chances for Connor Calcutt, Charlie Smith and Elliott Bailey.

Smith and Luke Knight had further efforts saved by the industrious Zaki Oualah in the Aylesbury before in-form Calcutt opened the scoring on 24 minutes with an unstoppable shot into the top corner.

Rovers should have made it 2-0 just after the half hour mark as Tommy Smith climbed highest, only to head wide.

After the interval, the Ducks were on level terms when Josh Baines tapped home after some poor defending.

However, Barton retook the lead on the hour as Charlie Smith curled a superb free kick into the top corner.

Again the visitors would not roll over and came back to equalise again, this time from the penalty spot as Tre Mitford beat Tom Coulton from 12 yards.

Barton were not to be denied though and with eight minutes to go, Calcutt bundled in his 20th of the season from close range after a corner wasn’t cleared.

Rovers then hung on for the victory to climb to fourth in the table, leapfrogging Marlow as boss Jimmy Gray said: “We were good value for the win today as it wasn’t the prettiest of games but the lads just kept fighting.

“Connor and Charlie had arguably goals of the season, both top corners and unstoppable.

“To be fair to Aylesbury they kept at us but I thought we were worth the three points and now need to regroup and go again on Tuesday.”

Barton are at home to Northwood on Tuesday, before visiting Bedford Town at the weekend.

Rovers: Coulton, Hall, Hutchins, T Smith, Gentle, C Smith, Close, Knight, Hartley, Bailey, Calcutt.

Subs: Andrews, Malcolm, Bubb, Keating, Warner-Eley.

Attendance: 93.