Steve Norton brace helps Barton Town Old Boys FC to win at Parkgate
Barton Town Old Boys FC won 3-1 at Parkgate on Saturday.
A Steve Norton brace and another Ash Lattimore strike saw Town return from Parkgate - a tough place to get anything as the Swans know only all too well - with all three points.
On another perfect afternoon for football and on a marvellous playing surface, Town, having made a solid, if unspectacular start, went in front in the seventh minute.
From just inside the host’s half, NORTON's turn and pace proving too much for the Parkgate defence and he ran on before finishing neatly, left-footed, beyond Jamie Bailey in the home goal.
It was just the fillip Town were hoping for, although they almost threw it away three minutes later, sloppy passing allowing Jacob Walters-Lang clear sight of goal, only to be denied by the massed ranks of Barton defenders on Dave Bramley’s goal-line.
Danny Brunton then did well to deny Walters-Lang before Town responded, Lattimore’s great first-time volley dipping inches over before typical terrier-like closing down by Ryan Cooper on the edge of the Parkgate area saw the ball eventually fall at the feet of namesake, Joe, whose well-struck effort was blocked, somewhat desperately, the ball ballooning over for another Barton corner.
That served to wake up Parkgate as the hosts got up a head of steam in the final 10 minutes of the half. Keir Hannity saw his low, powerful and swerving strike from distance blocked by the legs of Bramley before Jamie Smith, sliding in, managed to poke the ball wide from a few feet out, colliding heavily with the far post for his troubles.
And within seconds of the re-start, Town had to be grateful to skipper, Ash Dexter, blocking, at full-stretch, a dangerous near-post cross from Parkgate’s top scorer, Nathan Forbes-Swindells as the Steelmen looked to pick up where they had left off at the end of the first half.
But that was as close as it got for the hosts for some time as Town began to take control. After Josh Schofield, rising highest to get on the end of a Lattimore corner, had seen his downward header blocked on the line, Barton’s cause was helped no end by the dismissal of Parkgate centre half and captain, Brian Cusworth. Just moments after getting a yellow card for going through Norton from behind, Cusworth brought down the same player as he looked to turn and home-in on Bailey’s goal. A second yellow card inevitably ensued and off he went.
That was in the 53rd minute and three minutes later, Town went two up. Lattimore cut in from the left, shaped to shoot with his right before teeing up NORTON to finish neatly beyond the exposed Bailey.
Tom Bennett, getting on the end of a Schofield through ball then brought out a good block by Bailey before LATTIMORE made the game safe for Town in the 62nd minute, drilling home, low and hard, across Bailey, into the bottom corner after being well picked out by Bennett.
Bramley then had to be alert to turn a Forbes-Swindells free-kick round the post before Richard Medcalf was denied by Bailey’s legs and although, to their credit, 10 man Parkgate pulled one back in the 77th minute, through Ryan Johnson’s back-header, Town, one or two scares notwithstanding, saw out time to record a memorable victory.
What a difference a year makes! Just over 13 months ago, newly-promoted Town had come away from Parkgate, tails between their legs, on the wrong end of an 8-1 blitzing. It was a wake-up call that served as the catalyst for some serious soul-searching by manager, Dave Anderson. Of the team that started on that fateful day, just two, Ash Dexter and Gareth Barlow, remain. Although still somewhat “ off the radar “ as far as promotion talk is concerned, it is a measure of how far the side has come since then, and huge credit to all involved, that Town lie fifth in the table and within striking distance of top spot.
Whatever else happens this season, and there will be the inevitable ups and downs, at least last season’s humiliation has been laid to rest.
The difficult trick for the Old Boys now is to use this result as the springboard for further improvement, starting this Wednesday when Pickering Town make the trip to the Euronics Ground for what has all the hallmarks of being a closely-contested affair (kick off 7.45pm). And it promises to get no easier on Saturday when Town entertain another very useful side, Tadcaster Albion (kick off 3pm). For supporters and neutrals alike, both games are well worth taking in!
Barton Town OB: Bramley; Sherwood, Barlow, Dexter, Brunton; J.Cooper (Marshall), R.Cooper (Taylor), Bennett; Schofield, Norton (Medcalf), Lattimore. Subs (not used) Owen, White.