Heart break in the final minute for battling Barton
Hope the boss has a tan.....
Middle Barton went into the game confident after last weeks thrashing of Hanborough Reserves but knew that Tower Hill would provide much tougher opposition than the week before. Barton were also lucky enough to play on the West Witney pitch during the early part of the season when it actually resembles a football pitch and not a venue used for 2 naked ladies in bikinis to wrestle each other.
Barton were also without their inspirational leader Ash Stevens due to a scouting mission in the Dominican Republic, we are all hopeful that the time has been spent wisely and not in swimming pools, night clubs and casinos......
Barton were without Jack Eley this week due to a family vacation in Cornwall - worst excuse i have ever heard, but were buoyed by the return of Tony Bott in midfield from his holiday. There was a risk of the game being postponed before it had started after Tony showed his team mates his 'white bits' causing a number of the Barton players to complain of blindness due to the bright light. However after some time in a dark room to recover, the game managed to get under way.
Barton were immediately under pressure from the first minute, with Tower Hills forward line proving a handful due to their directness and their pace. And it took some excellent defending by the back 3 to ensure that Barton didnt go behind early doors. Barton were further effected when Paul Kay had to substituted after 10 minutes after pulling his calf - Paul seemed impressed when he had to pay subs after the game, where the game cost him about £1 per minute. This was a big loss for the team as Paul had impressed last week down the left hand side, but it did give debutant Ben Godfrey the opportunity after replacing him.
Nearly immediately Ben was to make an impression and after good work down the left hand side, Ben beat his man and delivered a left foot cross inch perfect onto the incoming John Umney's head - the connection was sweet and the bullet header could only be parried by the Tower Hill goalkeeper into the back of the net.
Tower Hill could well have felt hard done by by the score line and it very nearly became even worse for them when John Umney again turned his defender before unleashing a powerful left foot strike that was heading into the top of the Tower Hill net - however this time the keeper was equal to the effort and managed to tip the ball over the bar to keep the score and 1-0 to Barton.
Tower kept pressing however and it wasnt too long before they were on equal terms - and after their forward who was a striking resemblance to former Barton legend Matty Haynes got the wrong side of Dave Stevens in defence, he curled a fine finish past the despairing Danny Phillips in the Barton goal. Tower pressed the Barton defence throughout the remainder of the first half, but were unable to break through again and teams went in level at half time.
Tower Hill 1 - 1 Middle Barton
The next goal was always going to prove vital and after a truly inspirational half time team talk, it was only going to be a matter of minutes before the next goal was scored - however it was Tower Hill that scored it when the ball broke kindly for their centre forward to curl an effort from just outside the box into the bottom corner.
Barton werent finished though and kept fighting for every ball and trying to push forward at every opportunity but were thwarted by either the final ball or some resolute defending by Tower Hill. Barton also were not helped by some dubious decisions by the young referee and after a few choice words to him, bookings were dished out to John Umney, Jake Freeman and Lee Haynes. Im not sure how telling the truth is a yellow card offence. He was a '£uc%ing useless c^nt' - honesty should not be reprimanded in this day and age.
With a few moments to go it looked like the game would be heading towards a Barton defeat - but when Nick Higgs picked the ball up just inside the Tower Hill half he picked out the run of John Umney who found himself one on one with the goalkeeper - one touch to control and the next touch found the bottom corner and Barton were level at 2-2. Barton celebrated like it was 1999 and tremors were felt in Minster Lovell after the goal.
The celebrations should probably have been muted though and nearly immediately after Barton equalised, a long punt down the pitch from the Tower goalkeeper and a defensive mix up by Barton meant the ball fell kindly at the feet of the Tower Hill striker who calmly finished past a helpless Danny Phillips to win the game in the last minute. A point would of been a great result for Barton after chasing the game for long periods, but to lose it in the last minute was heartbreaking.
Final Score - Tower Hill 3 - 2 Middle Barton
Next week we are at home to Hailey Reserves, and back on home soil the team will be determined to get back on to winning ways.