Barton Rovers picked up an excellent 3-1 win at local rivals Kempston Rovers in their Evo-Stik South Division One Central clash on Tuesday night.
The visitors were forced, through several injuries, to reshuffle the pack as in came Jack Keating, Jonny Butler and James Verney to the starting line-up.
Rovers began well, as they were good in possession, combative in midfield and solid at the back throughout the first half.
Verney, Drew Phillips and Jimmy Hartley were looking lively up front supplied with some good service from both Sam Gibson and Stef Bailey.
Martin Conway in the Kempston goal dealt comfortably with everything Barton threw at him but could no nothing when, after 29 minutes, winger Hartley met a pinpoint cross from Phillips on the right to volley home via a post and open Rovers’ account.
Some frustration on both sides crept into proceedings as both Gibson for Barton and Ben Shepherd of Kempston were recipients of yellow cards just prior to half-time.
The visitors made a sluggish start to the second period allowing the Walnut Boys to dominate and they made Barton pay on 51 minutes when Josh Crawley fired home an equaliser.
There was an element of controversy though as Kempston’s Nathan Tshikuna looked offside in the build-up.
Barton were under pressure at the back and with some good defending and several slices of luck survived intact though some wasteful finishing by Kempston’s centre forward Crawley assisted.
On 69 minutes, Kempston substitute Jermaine Hall ought to have put them ahead but contrived to head wide of the target.
Just three minutes later though, Barton’s Hartley broke clear on the left, drove in on goal and smashed a shot off the near post but the ever-alert Phillips was on hand to pick off the rebound and fire the visitors ahead somewhat against the run of play it must be said.
Rovers were not done though and, on 90 minutes, Phillips broke free of the Kempston back-line and shot past Conway to seal the win and three points for Barton.
Tony Fontanelle’s side return to Sharpenhoe Road on Saturday to host AFC Dunstable.