Barton Rovers fight back to beat Potton in Charity Cup

A much-changed Barton Rovers fought back from 2-0 down to beat Potton United and move into round two of the North Bedfordshire Charity Cup on Tuesday evening.

Wednesday, 5th February 2020, 3:35 pm
Connor Vincent (left) added two more goals for the season against Potton EMN-200502-153049002

Manager Tony Fontanelle involved new signings in Keanu Williams, Ty Ward and Jamie Carey-Morrell in the starting line-up, and Rovers took time to settle.

Ex-Rover Tony Williams Jr found himself in on goal early on, but his finish sailed harmlessly wide, while Vincent also failed to hit the target at the other end.

Potton struck first after five minutes when Williams Jr made up for his earlier miss with a cross-shot from 18 yards.

Connor Furlong had a chance to level after a carving run through the United defence, but his ineffective finish found the arms of United keeper Sam Irish.

And just 18 minutes in, the visitors doubled their lead when some statuesque defending allowed Rafe Goodman to cross from the left for Sam Dowridge to head home.

Rovers spurned opportunities when centre-back Kai Phelan headed a corner straight at Irish after 27 minutes, and striker Keanu Williams then headed wide from a free-kick.

However, their pressure paid dividends when Vincent lobbed Irish from well outside the box to get Rovers back into this match after 34 minutes.

Ty Ward had to leave the pitch with injury and was replaced by Charlie Smith just before the break, with Rovers reverting to three at the back.

Williams Jr ought to have restored United’s two-goal lead when he fired over from almost under the bar.

And the miss was punished when Rovers stalwart Paul Andrews popped up with an equaliser four minutes before half-time after a goalmouth scramble.

Smith began to pull the strings in midfield and the hosts looked more assured after the break, with Furlong looking sharp on the left.

And Barton hit the front for the first time, six minutes in, when Leon Okuboyejo’s piercing run down the right and superb pass found man-of-the-match Vincent in acres of space to double his tally.

Midfielder George Boland was unlucky not to score his first Rovers goal when denied by a wonderful finger-tip from Irish.

The dangerous Dowridge almost levelled the tie midway through the half when his shot drifted narrowly wide.

And with 73 minutes gone Boland looked to have been denied by a linesman’s flag, but the referee intervened and, correctly, awarded the goal to give Rovers a two-goal cushion.

Mark McCormack was called into action to keep out a Williams Jr shot, and Rovers’ Williams ought to have put a seal on the match in stoppage-time, but somehow, with the goal gaping, screwed his shot wide.

Rovers: McCormack, Ward (Smith 38), Palmer, Carey-Morrell, Andrews, Phelan, Okuboyejo (Ingham 77), Boland, Vincent (Tshikuna 6), Williams, Furlong.