FA Cup first round qualifying: Dunstable Town 2 Barton Rovers 1
Dunstable Town edged out local rivals Barton Rovers in the FA Cup on Saturday, although there was a huge amount of controversy surrounding the victory.
Leading 2-1, Rovers thought the had forced a replay when Jack Keating scored in stoppage time, but it was ruled out for offside, despite a home defender stationed on the goal-line.
After that, Barton couldn’t find a leveller as Dunstable got through to the next round which is to be drawn this afternoon, also pocketing £3,000 in prize money too.
The hosts had enforced changes with new signing Victor Osobu cup-tied, Christopher Marsh out with an ankle injury and Adam Watkins in Dubai.
Barton included former Blues players Elliot Bailey and Claudio Das, plus one time Dunstable youngster Joe Reynolds.
Dunstable were the first to go close as Jemale McKenzie-Lowe fired wide, before Rovers winger Jordan Davis saw his shot tipped over by Paul Bastock.
With Danny Talbot given a free role, the midfielder was influential throughout, as his accuracy in passing, positional awareness and reading of the game was superb.
He came close to an opener when James Kaloczi and Lorenzo Ferrari combined, with Talbot just failing to connect.
However, on 21 minutes, he made no mistake as Steven Gregory found McKenzie-Lowe who beat the offside trap to tee up Talbot.
McKenzie-Lowe tried again from range and then had another effort saved by Kyle Forster, with the keeper also holding David Keenleyside’s free kick.
Barton had a spell of pressure too, with opportunities for Joe Reynolds and Lucas Perry but nothing to seriously trouble Bastock.
Dunstable had a let-off just before half time when Jason Blackett was brought down by Luke Pennell, but referee Andrew Humphries waved away appeals for a penalty and red card.
In the second period, Dunstable increased their advantage with seven minutes gone as good work from McKenzie-Lowe and Talbot saw Keenleyside finish with aplomb.
Rovers then had Alex Condon stretchered off as Keating came on, as the visitors had a lifeline on the hour mark when Davis reduced the arrears.
Both sides created chances as Talbot’s free kick was saved, while the midfielder then fired against the woodwork, as Barton sub Connor Vincent came close with a header too.
With the game entering stoppage time, then came the talking point as Keating found the net, only for the goal to be wrongly chalked off.
Barton are back in action when they host Langford in North Beds Charity Cup first round on Tuesday, while Dunstable entertain Frome Town in the league on Saturday.
Dunstable Town: Paul Bastock, Zack Reynolds, Ryan Plowright, Danny Talbot, James Kaloczi, Luke Pennell, Steven Gregory, David Keenleyside, Jamale McKenzie-Lowe (Charlie Smith 90+4), Gary Wharton (Curtess Shaw 88), Lorenzo Ferrari, (Matt Nolan 65).
Subs not used: Anthony Leslie, Tony Fontenelle.
Barton Rovers: Kyle Forster, James Bishop, Lucas Perry, Alex Condon, Paul Andrews, Joe Reynolds, Jordan Davis, Kev Kilroy, Jason Blackett, Claudio Dias, Elliot Bailey.
Subs used: Jack Keating, Ryan Dasilva, Connor Vincent. Subs not used- Sam Holmes, Ashton Grant, Mahmot Caglar, Ethan Wallbank.