Barton Town Old Boys triumph 2-1 at Liversedge
Barton Town Old Boys FC won 2-1 at Liversedge on Saturday - Ashley Lattimore scoring after 47 minutes and Richard Medcalf from the penalty spot 10 minutes from full time.
Two games played, six points in the bag was the best possible response by Barton following the FA Vase disappointment of a week ago.
Town followed up the closely-run midweek win over Arnold Town with an identical score-line (and scorers) at Liversedge, to maintain an unbeaten league start to the season.
The Arnold game was not without casualties, Town Manager, Dave Anderson losing centre back Mike Gibson with ankle ligament damage for 6 to 8 weeks and Richard Medcalf (knee) only fit enough for the bench for the Liversedge trip.
On the plus side, Ash Lattimore (back) was passed fit to start, as was Ryan Cooper who missed the Arnold game following an ankle injury sustained in the Vase defeat at Glossop. Gareth Barlow dropped back to partner skipper Ash Dexter in the absence of Gibson.
In perfect cricketing weather, both sides began relatively cautiously, understandable enough in the energy-sapping heat, ‘Sedge skipper Darryl Leach firing well over and Gareth Owen seeing his snap-shot comfortably gathered by home keeper, Paul Hargreen in the early exchanges.
Liversedge’s Kieran Corley then saw a deep corner reach him at the far post, the ball hitting him and bouncing over Dave Bramley’s bar before good work by Ray Ford and Owen won Town a corner at the other end. Lattimore’s cross eventually found Dexter lurking on the edge of the area but the left-footed volley, though well-struck, flew harmlessly wide.
Both keepers were looking largely untroubled until the 35th minute when Tate Williams brought out the best in Bramley, the Town keeper doing superbly well to go down at Williams’ feet to push the ball away as the ‘Sedge wide-man made dangerous inroads into the area.
Town saw out the rest of the half without any further palpitations and the Swans began the second half in perfect fashion, LATTIMORE’s free-kick from the right-hand edge of the area looked to going over only to dip at the last second and nestle in the top corner, with Hargreen rooted to the spot. It was just the fillip Town wanted and it could, indeed should have got better for the visitors just minutes later. Good work by Ryan Cooper and Ford allowed Lattimore to pick out the unmarked Owen, but his header was too close to Hargreen who managed to block the effort.
But Town were now on top and went close again in the 57th minute. Great patient build-up play involving the majority of Barton’s outfield players eventually saw Tom Bennett lay the ball off on the edge of the ‘Sedge box but Joe Cooper’s low drive flew just the wrong side of Hargreen’s right-hand post.
The game was made safe in the 80th minute, MEDCALF rifling home from the penalty spot after Owen had been unceremoniously upended as he shaped to shoot.
There was still time for Bramley to pull off a superb triple save at his near-post as the hosts looked for an unlikely route back into the game and even though substitute, Matthew Bugg pulled one back in the dying minutes after a mix-up in the Town defence, it proved nothing more than a consolation as Barton saw out time without further ado. Indeed, it was Hargreen who came to ‘Sedge’s rescue, blocking Medcalf’s effort following unselfish work by Bennett, just seconds before the final whistle.
With other results going their way, Town are the “ last team standing “ as the only remaining unbeaten side in the Premier Division, an indication of both how far the Old Boys have come this season, certainly compared to this time last year and the competitiveness of the league this time round.
But that unbeaten record will tested to the fullest next Saturday when promoted high-scoring Worksop Parramore make their first ever visit to The Euronics Ground. Kick off is at 3pm for a game well worth taking in.
Barton: Bramley; Sherwood, Barlow, Dexter, Brunton; Owen, J.Cooper ( Marshall ), R.Cooper, Lattimore; Bennett; Ford ( Medcalf ). Subs ( not used ) Branford, Birch, White.