Barton Rovers march on at Didcot thanks to Tshikuna double

Football
Football

Barton Rovers kept their good run going with a convincing win at Didcot Town in Southern League Central Division One.

Rovers played with the wind at their backs in the first half, with Reece Weekes and Dan Olineran sending in inviting early crosses.

With 15 minutes gone, Connor Vincent’s neat backheel from an Ibby Lukulay cross almost fooled Leigh Bedwell, but the keeper smothered the danger.

Rovers were on top, but almost conceded when right-back Jerome Jibodu had to clear off the line following a goalmouth scramble.

Didcot again went close on the half-hour when George Reid sent his effort marginally wide from Oliver’s pinpoint cross.

The game burst into life just moments later as two long-range strikes in five minutes from Nathan Tshikuna, both contenders for goal of the season, put Barton in control.

Rovers almost made it three just before half-time when Vincent poked Tshikuna’s cross just wide, before Didcot’s Joe Green headed a good chance narrowly off-target.

With the elements now in their favour, Didcot started the second half on the front foot, and Reid should have tested Rovers keeper Forster but fired high and wide.

Didcot bolstered their attack amid a flurry of substitutions midway through the half, but it was a Barton change that would pay dividends with 11 minutes left.

New signing Charlie Smith collected man-of-the-match Tshikuna’s through ball to fire a superb shot high and left of Didcot keeper Bedwell.

Forster’s fine save in added time denied Green a consolation goal and preserved Rovers’ clean sheet.

Rovers make the long trip to Sholing in the FA Trophy on Saturday.

Rovers: Forster, Jibodu, Olineran, Thomas, Sonuga, Gibson, Lukulay, Dummett (Williams Jr 83), Vincent (McKenzie-Lowe 70), Tshikuna, Weekes (Smith 65).