FA Trophy: Forster stars as Barton Rovers through at Ashford
Barton Rovers held out to reach the FA Trophy second qualifying round against Sholing and Marlow thanks to a fine defensive display at Ashford on Saturday.
Captain Garry Jones and key striker Victor Osobu were missing, while Reece Weekes made his full debut wide on the left.
United were immediately on the attack, forcing keeper Kyle Forster into an early double save from David Smith, and then two shots from left-winger Aaron Condon.
Forster made another fantastic stop from Hassan Ibrahiym’s piledriver, and the home support might have thought it was only a matter of time.
But Barton hit the front against the run of play through Nathan Tshikuna’s firmly-struck free-kick from the edge of the box.
Just two minutes later Olineran’s clumsy challenge on Ibrahyim conceded a penalty, but May blasted the kick straight at Forster and the rebound was spooned over the bar.
United were back on the attack after half-time, but within two minutes, Connor Vincent side-footed home Rovers’ second after keeper Wharton dropped a cross right at his feet.
Man-of-the-match Forster thwarted Josh Wisson’s header, but Rovers looked dangerous on the break, Sam Gibson shooting straight at Wharton.
But United’s pressure finally told with eight minutes left when Condon fired in a long-range beauty.
Barton worked overtime to stem the attacks, and spurned a golden chance three minutes into stoppage-time when sub Jemale McKenzie-Lowe hit the post after another break.
Next up is a trip to Didcot Town in the league on Saturday.
Rovers: Forster, Jibodu, Olineran, Thomas (Andrews 77), Sonuga, Gibson, Lukulay, Dummett, Vincent (McKenzie-Lowe 64), Tshikuna, Weekes (Griffiths 74).