Malcolm and Calcutt net to send Barton up to third

Action from Barton's 2-0 win at Kempston on Saturday
Action from Barton's 2-0 win at Kempston on Saturday

Southern League Division One Central: Kempston Rovers 0 Barton Rovers 2

Barton Rovers climbed into third place in the Southern League Division One Central with a clinical 2-0 win at neighbours Kempston Rovers on Monday.

Barton ran out 2-0 winners over the Walnut Boys

Barton ran out 2-0 winners over the Walnut Boys

The visitors made an impressive beginning to proceedings as they had a golden chance to take then lead when Steve Gentle’s effort hit the post and the rebound saw Elliott Bailey fire against the legs of stranded keeper Martin Conway.

Jimmy Hartley had another good effort well saved by Conway as Barton looked for an opening goal.

At the other end some resolute defending from Howie Hall and Dan Hutchins limited Kempston to a couple of half chances and a comfortable day for shot stopper Tom Coulton.

In the second period, Barton continued to force the play as Hartley went through one-on-one with Conway who did well to keep the ball out of Kempston’s net.

A minute later Connor Calcutt was also denied by Conway, who saved his goalbound effort with his feet.

It looked like Rovers were going to be left frustrated until the 80th minute as a lively Michael Malcolm beat his man on the edge of the area to precisely slot home.

The points were sewn up moments later as Calcutt doubled the lead to put the game out of Kempston’s reach with a fine finish from the 18 yard box after good build up play by Hutchins.

Manager Jimmy Gray said: “We trained over Christmas and looked sharp.

“The lads were professional all over the pitch and did a cracking job.

“Our hard work has paid off and to start 2017 in third place is a fantastic reward for the lads.”

Rovers had also tasted success last Tuesday as they saw off Chalfont St Peter 2-1 at Sharpenhoe Road.

Tom Smith gave Rovers a 36th minute lead that they held until the break.

In the second period, Elliot Bailey doubled the home side’s advantage eight minutes into the half as Barton should have been out of sight by the hour mark but squandered a sackful of chances.

Chalfont’s Tyrone Pink reduced the deficit in the 67th minute but Rovers’ resolute defence held firm to take the spoils.

Barton host Aylesbury in the league this weekend and then visit the same opponents in the League Challenge Cup third round just three days later on Tuesday night.