Southern League Division One Central: Barton Rovers 0 AFC Dunstable 2
AFC Dunstable climbed up to second in the table after beating local rivals Barton Rovers 2-0 at Sharpenhoe Road on Saturday.
The visitors were forced into making two changes from the superb performance on Bank Holiday Monday, as Nathan Frater and Newman Carney were out, meaning Adiel Mannion and Danny Murphy came in.
The OD’s, kicking down the slope, got off to the perfect start after only 11 minutes, when Lee Close, who was a Barton player last term, flicked the ball for ace marksman Jermaine Hall to coolly slot home his eighth goal of the season.
Three minutes later, Hall had the chance to double AFC’s advantage but his effort was blocked.
Back came Rovers, as speedy winger Nathan Olokami set up Josh Oyinson, whose attempt was easily fielded by keeper Jamie Head.
Ryan Haugh also went close on 35 minutes, his powerful shot crashing against the post.
In the second half, AFC’s were shooting up the slope, as Barton, with Sam Amoaki and Charlie Payne looking prominent in midfield, forced a number of corners, Oyinsan bringing out a fine tip over from Head to keep the visitors in front.
Haugh remained the biggest threat and sent over a number of telling crosses that were just beyond Oyinsan.
Jordan Odofin had an effort saved by Head, as Rovers were going all out to find a leveller only to be caught out in the final moments, Hall releasing sub Marcus Campbell, who outpaced the Barton defenders and crossed for Tom Silford to make it 2-0.
AFC boss Steve Heath said: “That was not the prettiest out there today but in the end the three points is the most important factor.
“Our games with Barton are always very close and sometimes are decided on small points.
“We had to dig in second half, as they threw everything at us and it is so pleasing to see my players up for the challenge.
“We were slightly down to the bare bones today squad wise having five players out, but the 13 involved put in a right shift.”
AFC host Marlow this weekend, with Barton away to Moneyfields United.
Barton: Todd, Whorms, Haugh, Amoako, Longe-King, Odofin, Payne, Dias, Oyinsan, Nelson-Addy, Olukanmi.
Subs: Keating, Verney, Beesley, Esso, Nicholls.
AFC: Head, Massay, Murphy, R Frater, Morgan, Bishop, Mannion (Campbell 66), Olaleye, Hall, Close, Bircham (Silford 82).
Subs not used: Ajayi, Blackman, Carney.