Rovers let a two-goal lead slip as they are held by Aylesbury

Jimmy Hartley scored for Barton against Aylesbury on Saturday
Jimmy Hartley scored for Barton against Aylesbury on Saturday

Southern League Division One Central: Barton Rovers 3 Aylesbury 3

Barton Rovers let a 3-1 lead slip as they were held to a 3-3 draw against struggling Aylesbury on Saturday.

With the two teams at opposite ends of the table, Rovers must view this game as two points dropped, although Aylesbury deserved something for efforts, rather than solely Barton putting in a poor performance.

The game started brightly for the Blues as Connor Calcutt put the home side ahead after only four minutes with a well placed header that sailed into the top corner.

The advantage was short lived though as only 46 seconds later the scores were level. A mistake by Barton from the kick-off allowed former player Josh Bamford a free run through the middle to slot beyond on-rushing keeper Tom Coulton.

Numerous chances then came and went for Barton, the best falling to Elliot Bailey who scuffed a shot wide on the half hour mark.

With the clay surface cutting up badly at Sharpenhoe Road, any passage of play was broken up with misplaced passes as both sides struggled to get any forward momentum going.

In the second period, Barton made the better start to proceedings, Calcutt having a golden chance saved, before Jimmy Hartley saw his effort repelled and the follow up was put well wide by Luke Knight.

Rovers took the lead again on 55 minutes when a powerful Hartley shot found the back of the net giving visiting keeper Ashley Jenkins no chance.

Calcutt extended Rovers lead on the hour mark with a blistering strike, but despite their two goal advantage, the Moles wouldn’t lay down.

Ben Bateman pulled one back after 62 minutes before Bamford popped up again to level things up five minutes later after some more poor Rovers defending.

The game could have gone either way at that point but the spoils were shared, with boss Jimmy Gray saying: “We didn’t do a lot wrong and despite Aylesbury’s lowly league position they played excellently and matched us all over the park.

“I couldn’t fault the lads for their effort on a difficult pitch after all the rain but we must learn to hang on to a lead.

“It was two points dropped but other results have gone our way and we stay third.”

Barton meet Aylesbury again in the League Cup tonight.