Watson strikes late on to earn Rovers a point
Southern League Division One Central: Barton Rovers 1 Ashford Town 1
A late goal from recent signing Danny Watson saw Barton Rovers pick up a point against Ashford Town on Saturday.
It was the visitors who the best of the play early on, with Mark Bitmead and Dan Fleming creating problems for Rovers’ defence.
Fleming popped up at the back post after 13 minutes to tap home after shaking off his marker, as Barton had to defend wave after wave of attack from their opponents.
Eventually the hosts established a foothold to create a few half chances, with Luke Knight well wide, before Watson scuffed a shot off target too.
After the break, Rovers produced a far more spirited performance, although their opponents remained dogged with a batting display of their own.
Charlie Smith’s free kick sailed over the bar before some good inter link play between Michael Malcolm and Elliot Bailey saw another chance go begging.
The breakthrough finally did arrive on 88 minutes as Hartley flicked a long ball on for Watson who slotted home from an acute angle to give Rovers a very hard-fought point.
Afterwards, manager Jimmy Gray said: “Ashford were great and made us work for every ball.
“They had a gameplan and played it well as we didn’t get into the game in the first half but certainly put in a shift in during the second.
“It wasn’t a great performance from us but we will take the point and move on.”
Next up for the Rovers is the visit of league leaders and champions elect Royston Town on Tuesday, before they travel to Histon on Saturday.
Rovers: Coulton, Hall, Hutchins, Gentle, Andrews, Calcutt, Close, Knight, Smith, Malcolm, Watson.
Subs: Bailey, Warner-Ely, Hartley, Keating, Sinclair.
>> Barton Rovers welcomed former Luton Town youngster Scott Sinclair to the club last week.
He joined from St Ives Town and has also had spells at Aylesbury United amongst others during his career.