Spoils shared by Barton and AFC in thriller

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Southern League Division One Central: AFC Dunstable 3 Barton Rovers 3

Barton Rovers fought back to draw 3-3 with local rivals AFC Dunstable in their midweek clash at Creasey Park.

The OD’s were forced into a change from Saturday’s win over Marlow, Danny Murphy banned after picking up five yellow cards, so Newman Carney dropped into left back and his brother Brandon was recalled.

Rovers made several changes to Saturdays winning side as injury, illness and unavailability forced manager Jimmy Gray to shuffle the pack, with new signings Tommy Smith and Michael Malcolm given full debuts and Jack Keating was restored to the starting line-up.

The game as expected was frantic, played at 100mph from the off as Barton took the lead on 21 minutes when Steve Gentle nodded home.

However, Barton’s determination to grab a second was their undoing as a needless free kick saw Newman Carney pick out Brandon who headed his side level.

AFC then stepped up a gear and moved in front as an unmarked Brandon Carney popped up again to slot into the net.

Rovers went search of the equaliser, Connor Calcutt had a great effort go wide before Keating failed to connect when in a good position.

However, AFC extended their lead when a well worked free kick saw Newman Carney’s delivery converted by former Barton player Jermaine Hall.

In the second period, the visitors hauled themselves back in to the game just before the hour mark as a series of strong challenges resulted in Smith being felled in the box and Calcutt notched from the penalty spot.

AFC keeper Ricky Perks was called into action to keep out a powerful Calcutt shot, with Jimmy Hartley denied too, but new boy Smith capped off a fine display with by making it 3-3 on 67 minutes.

AFC host Uxbridge this afternoon, with Barton travellingn to Fleet Town.