FA Cup second qualifying round: Barton Rovers 0 Hastings United 1
Barton Rovers bowed out of the FA Cup on Saturday with a narrow 1-0 loss to Ryman League Division One South side Hastings United but not before putting up a spirited fight.
The hosts had made the brighter start, putting pressure on their opponents as Connor Calcutt shot just wide.
Hastings found their feet and home keeper Lewis Todd was called into action pushing a shot on to the post before having to tip another one behind a minute later.
Barton’s Jimmy Hartley blazed a fierce shot over the bar before Calcutt had the best chance of the half as Hastings scrambled back to clear his shot off the line.
The second period produced the same fighting performance from both sides but a rash challenge in the Rovers box saw Hastings awarded a penalty on 58 minutes.
However, Frannie Collin wasted the opportunity, sending his spot kick wide of Todd’s post from 12 yards as Rovers stayed in the game.
Jimmy Gray’s side then produced a wonderful move as a ball into the box found the unmarked Rod Young who let fire with a marvellous volley, only to see United keeper, ex-Chelsea stopper Lenny Pidgeley make an excellent stop and also react well to deny Elliot Bailey’s follow up too.
However, the only goal of the game came in the 73rd minute in somewhat fortunate circumstances, as Todd tipped a shot on to the bar but the rebound fell straight into the path of Simon Johnson to slot home from close range.
Rovers weren’t finished just yet and moments later a square ball from Young found an unmarked Jason Blackett in the box but he sidefooted over from six yards out.
Manager Gray said: “Our final third play let us down again, we created some good openings, the keeper made some good saves but ultimately I felt our finishing prevented us from progressing.
“I’d be more upset if we weren’t creating chances but we must improve in the finishing department if we want to be successful.”
Captain Steve Gentle added: “It was a pleasure to skipper the side, I can’t fault the effort again, fine margins in close games decide results, we must keep grafting though.”
Barton are back in action with a massive game against League Two Luton Town in the Beds FA Premier Cup final tomorrow night, kick-off 7.45pm.
Barton: Todd, Hall, Smith, Close, Gentle (cpt), Bola, O’Brien, Calcutt, Hartley, Young, Adcock.
Subs: Bailey, Blackett, Keating, Mazeoo-Kelly, Andrews, Hutchins, Fulton.