Walnut Boys’ play-off hopes suffer a blow after Barton defeat

Ash Fuller nets from the spot to make it 2-2 for Kempston on Monday
Ash Fuller nets from the spot to make it 2-2 for Kempston on Monday

Southern League Division One Central: Barton Rovers 3 Kempston Rovers 2

Kempston Rovers’ Southern League Division One Central play-off hopes took a blow with a 3-2 defeat at Barton Rovers on Easter Monday.

The hosts started the brighter and on eight minutes Carl Knox blocked a one-on-one chance against former Walnut Boys forward Danny Watson.

Two minutes later, Barton did take the lead after a clumsy challenge from Knox gave away a penalty, with Connor Calcutt opening the scoring.

Rovers were level 10 minutes later though as Robbie Goodman’s cross was knocked back by Munashe Sundire for Jake Newman to make it 1-1.

Eight minutes after the break, Barton were ahead again, as Watson squared the ball to Jimmy Hartley, who squeezed his finish past Knox.

Barely a minute later and Kempston were awarded a penalty, Sundire’s shot from outside the area was handled by Howie Hall and Ash Fuller tucked the spot-kick away.

Barton then retook the lead for the third time on the hour mark when Hartley’s free kick hit the post and Calcutt nodded the rebound home.

Kempston pressed for a third equaliser, but were restricted to half chances and long shots by a very well organised Barton defence, led by the superb Tommy Smith.

Barton held on to secure their play-off place, whereas Kempston dropped to seventh in the table.

Rovers now have to beat Histon at home on Saturday and hope Egham and AFC Dunstable both lose if they are to finish in the top five.

Kempston: Knox, Goodman, Sundire, Boland, Stoyles, Simpson, Heneghan, Shepherd, Newman, Ivy, Fuller.

Subs: Fryer, Johnson, Bush.

Attendance: 201.