Barton Town suffer 3-0 defeat at Arnold Town
Barton Town Old Boys went down 3-0 to Arnold Town at a bitterly cold Eagle Valley on Saturday.
With both keepers, Dave Bramley and Ben White unavailable, Barton manager Dave Anderson brought in former Scunthorpe United youngster Peter Crook to fill the gap between the sticks. With Mike Gibson ruled out, Gareth Barlow resumed his nascent partnership with skipper Ash Dexter at the heart of the Swans’ defence, leaving Gareth Owen to pair up with Steve Norton in attack.
Despite being without a league win in two months, it was Arnold who started the brighter with Crook being called upon to make a superb block as the Town defence appealed in vain for offside.
The Swans then began to impose themselves as Norton found himself clear on goal in the inside right channel, only to fire wastefully over when he should have tested Martin Dewberry in the Arnold goal.
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Undeterred, Norton almost proved provider minutes later after his break down the right led to a well-struck, goal-bound volley from Owen which deflected off the foot of an unwitting Arnold defender and a few inches the wrong side of Dewberry’s left-hand post.
That was as about as good as it got for Town in the first half, but with Arnold equally uninspired, it left both sides with everything to play for in the second period.
A few minutes after the break, Matt Hopewell scored for Arnold, somewhat against the run of play, when he volleyed home after the dangerous Henry Sibenge had been thwarted by a superb recovering block by Dexter.
The hosts, sensing a long-overdue upturn in fortune, grew in stature as much as Town appeared to shrink.
Dexter, getting on the end of another pin-point Lattimore corner, headed a good chance over as the Town skipper looked to haul his side back into the game before Crook did well to turn a Sibenge effort round his near-post.
However, two Arnold goals in the space of four minutes by Tony Law and Danny O’Donnell put an emphatic end to any hopes Town may have harboured over a belated comeback.
To their credit, the Swans tried to the end to salvage something from a game which turned with the first Arnold goal, but despite a lot of huffing and puffing, the hosts were able to run down the clock without being seriously troubled.
Manager Dave Anderson will be looking for a huge response next Saturday when the Old Boys entertain Armthorpe Welfare at The Euronics Ground (Kick off 3pm).
TEAM: Crook; Sherwood, Dexter, Barlow, Brunton; Marshall ( Anderson ), G.Cooper, R.Cooper, Lattimore; Owen ( Bennett ), Norton. Sub ( not used ) J.Cooper.