Barton up and running thanks to Bailey’s late lob

Jason Blackett celebrates his goal against Arlesey Town on Saturday
Jason Blackett celebrates his goal against Arlesey Town on Saturday
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Southern League Division One Central: Arlesey Town 1 Barton Rovers 2

Barton Rovers snatched their first Southern League Division One Central victory of the season with a late goal at local rivals Arlesey Town on Saturday.

Lewis Wilson levels the score for Arlesey against Barton

Lewis Wilson levels the score for Arlesey against Barton

The visitors boss Jimmy Gray once again shuffled the pack, as Barton were ahead within four minutes when Dan Hutchins’ corner was met with a stylish header from Jason Blackett to make it 1-0.

Gray’s changes looked to have paid off as Barton took the game by the scruff of the neck and forced Arlesey back into their own half for much of the first period, but couldn’t find the second goal.

With both sides cancelling each other out after the break, Arlesey looked to have snatched a draw in the second minute of injury time when Lewis Wilson chipped the on-rushing Rovers keeper Aaron Fulton from 20 yards to seemingly earn his side a point.

However, Rovers had other ideas and threw the proverbial kitchen sink at the hosts, with the pressure paying off in the fifth minutes of time added on, when Elliot Bailey lobbed Nick Thompson from 25 yards to ensure Rovers were victorious.

On the result, Barton boss Gray said: “ I was pleased with the character shown from the lads to respond to the set back of Arlesey getting back on level terms in injury time.

“I thought on the overall showing we were value for our three points although Arlesey certainly didn’t make it easy for us.

“A tremendous goal from Eliot Bailey salvaged the victory for but I thought if we’d have actually taken our chances better and got the vital second goal earlier we would have made things a lot more comfortable for ourselves.”

Barton are at home to AFC Dunstable in the league this evening, before travelling to Edgware for the FA Cup preliminary round this weekend.