Southern League Division One Central: Barton Rovers 1 AFC Rushden & Diamonds 3
Barton Rovers suffered defeat at the weekend as AFC Rushden & Diamonds produced a performance that showed just why they are favourites to win the league this season.
With a season high 306 in attendance at Sharpenhoe Road, Barton started promisingly Connor Vincent’s volley produced a superb save from visiting keeper Matt Finlay.
However, Diamonds took the lead on 20 minutes when the lively Claudio Hoban was given too much time on the edge of the box and slotted past Kyle Forster.
Boosted by the goal, Rushden upped the tempo and piled the pressure on Rovers who to their credit, did well to soak it all up.
With Ashton Grant forced off injured for the hosts, Tom Peverall came on after the break and he almost levelled immediately, shooting agonisingly wide.
Rushden then extended their lead on 54 minutes when Liam Dolman beat a stationary defence to glance a header past Forster.
Jason Blackett’s deft finish quickly reduced the arrears a minute later as Barton pressed for an equaliser.
Rovers attacked in numbers but the killer blow came on 90 minutes when Dan Quigley sealed victory for the visitors.
This weekend, Barton host high-flying St Ives.
Barton: Forster, Keating, Perry, Kilroy, Andrews, Plowright, Davis, Grant (Peverall 46), Blackett, Vincent, Morgan.
Subs not used: Tayali, Salmin, Wreh, Bishop.