Steve Norton hat-trick as Barton Town Old Boys FC win 6-1 against Armthorpe Welfare
Barton Town Old Boys FC manager Dave Anderson was looking for a response following last Saturday’s dismal performance at Arnold Town and he got it as Town, led by a Steve Norton hat-trick, put six past an Armthorpe Welfare side which had been well in it until two game-changing minutes on the stroke of half-time.
Keeper Peter Crook kept his place in the Town starting line-up, the returning Ben White having to be satisfied with a place on the bench as the hosts looked to put an end to a three game winless run.
On a pitch passed fit in the morning, but which began heavy and not surprisingly, got heavier as the game went on, Town had Gareth Barlow, playing at the back alongside skipper Ash Dexter once more, to thank in the opening minutes, his well-timed tackle stopping Jay Rollins in his tracks as the Welfare striker homed-in on Crook.
Tom Bennett, playing in the hole behind Norton, then released Ash Lattimore to fire dangerously across the six yard box as Town responded before Lattimore, heavily involved throughout, combined well with Gavin Cooper and Danny Brunton to feed Alex Sherwood, playing much further forward than in previous games, whose turn and shot crept just the wrong side of William Biggs’ goal.
Armthorpe’s Stuart Gibbard, blazing over after some good approach work down the visitor’s left flank, was left to rue what was a good opportunity when Town opened their account in the 19th minute, NORTON breaking in the inside right slot to fire powerfully through Biggs.
The advantage lasted all of two minutes, confusion and hesitancy between Barlow and Crook, still getting to know each other, saw the former judged to have impeded a Welfare player in the area and James Walker made no mistake, slamming home from the penalty spot.
Crook then did well to turn over a powerfully-struck Walker free-kick as the visitors, buoyed by the goal, struck a little purple patch of their own, before two Town goals in as many minutes on the cusp of half-time, changed the complexion of the game.
Lattimore had already gone close in the 43rd minute, his right-foot volley missing the target after Declan Marshall had made inroads down the right, before combining well with Brunton just seconds later, arching a cross into the box for Tim TAYLOR, timing his late run very well, to guide his header beyond the outstretched arms of the despairing Biggs.
And with the referee seconds from blowing for half-time, a typically mazy run saw Bennett upended in the area to give NORTON the chance to extend Town’s lead from the penalty spot, which he duly did.
And so the visitors, instead of going in at the break all-square and with everything to play for found themselves two goals adrift and chasing the game.
And it showed as Barton added three further goals without reply in the second period. NORTON completed his hat-trick on the hour, rifling home from the edge of the area before SHERWOOD opened his account three minutes later, stabbing home after Bennett’s free-kick had come back off the bar.
By the time SHERWOOD had added his second, and Town’s sixth, in the 71st minute, drilling home after excellent approach play by substitute, Joe Cooper, it was well-beyond clear that it wasn’t going to be Armthorpe’s day.
Town’s biggest league win of the season will come as a well-timed and huge boost to everybody as the Old Boys look to build on what has been a very promising first half of the season, one in which Barton have rarely fallen out of the table’s top six. The Swans will now be looking to take that into Wednesday night when Retford United visit The Euronics Ground ( kick off 7.45pm ).
Barton Town: Crook; Marshall, Dexter, Barlow, Brunton; Sherwood, Taylor, G.Cooper (Branford), Lattimore; Bennett (J.Cooper); Norton (Anderson). Sub (not used) White.