FA Cup woe for Barton Rovers

UNDER-PRESSURE boss Dan Kennoy saw his Barton Rovers side beaten 2-1 at Hatfield Town in their FA Cup first round qualifying replay on Tuesday night as they missed out on a trip to near neighbours Leighton Town in the next round.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 22nd September 2011, 2:52 pm

Kennoy said: “It was again another disappointing result but Hatfield simply wanted to cause an upset more than us wanting to fulfil our potential.

“We now seriously need to look at making some changes to the team and bring in fresh faces because we’re 11 games into the season and we aren’t seeing any progression.

“Two wins and one draw just isn’t good enough. As the manager I have to take responsibility and should have maybe come to this conclusion two weeks ago.

“I’ll learn from that though. I still have faith in my ability. I came into this same situation last season and managed to rebuild a team in October that went on to finish mid-table.

“If that needs to happen again then that’s what we need to do.”

On Saturday, Barton had come from a goal down to draw 1-1 at Sharpenhoe Road thanks to Liam McDevitt’s 66th-minute strike.

Played in the vast expanse of an athletics stadium plus a velodrome, the visitors started brightly on Tuesday night and Ricky Case hit the post after just four minutes.

However, Rovers started to play long balls into a high wind as they invited trouble on themselves.

Hatfield’s first duly arrived in the 14th minute when centre-back Grant McCree headed them in front.

Three minutes later it took a great save by Richard Wilmot to deny Mark Arnott and stop the home side from increasing their lead.

The rest of the half saw a lot of effort from Barton but absolutely no cutting edge, as they never looked like pulling a goal back before the break.

A complete transformation after the restart saw Rovers level within seconds when a flowing move culminated in a clinical finish from full-back Phil Smeaton.

However, Barton’s strike pairing were simply not firing on all cylinders and the hoped for pressure never materialised.

Instead sloppy defending allowed Hatfield to win the tie through Jason Caswell’s 78th-minute strike.

Rovers used all their substitutes but to no avail.

Barton, who sit rock-bottom of Evo-Stik Southern League Division One Central, travel to Chalfont St Peter on Saturday.