Barton Rovers edge Thame to stoke play-off hopes

Barton Rovers fought back to beat play-off rivals Thame United on Saturday to make it four straight wins and ignite promotion hopes.
Nathan Tshikuna proved depenadable from the spot once more to hit the winner against Thame EMN-200903-183151002Nathan Tshikuna proved depenadable from the spot once more to hit the winner against Thame EMN-200903-183151002
Nathan Tshikuna proved depenadable from the spot once more to hit the winner against Thame EMN-200903-183151002

Goldy Capela’s shot drifted wide and captain Victor Osobu almost reached Ty Ward’s cross as the hosts started well.

But Thame grew into the game and went ahead on 12 minutes when dangerman Dan West pounced on hesitant defending to finish low past keeper Niall Cooper.

United provided the more cultured football, but Rovers were breaking fast, and Osobu had a golden chance from midfielder Charlie Smith’s pass, but blazed over.

Further chances fell to Dean Dummett and when his effort was pushed out, team-mate Keanu Williams tested United keeper Chris Rackley, but the visitors held on to their slender lead at half-time.

Rovers were on the front foot as the second half unfolded and six minutes in Williams levelled with a smart turn and low finish from Osobu’s pass.

United then came to life with efforts from Greg Hackett and Jack Stevens, but Rovers had a penalty when Osobu’s brilliant shot crashed off the bar and in the ensuing melee the referee spotted a handball by United right-back Jordy Ngathe.

The dependable Nathan Tshikuna once more sent the keeper the wrong way to fire Rovers ahead after 66 minutes.

Both sides exchanged half-chances before Furlong almost finished the contest in stoppage-time when clean through, but his shot was blocked by the diving keeper’s legs.

On Saturday, Rovers head to Aylesbury United who sit immediately above them in the league.

Rovers: Cooper, Jibodu, Ward, Smith, Thomas, Andrews, Osobu (Palmer 89), Dummett, Capela (Williams 14), Tshikuna, Furlong. Man-of-the-match: Lewis Thomas.

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