On a bitterly cold February night that saw only two games in the Calor League Central Division manage to beat the weather, SYCOB returned home from Beds with a hard earned point and the praise of the opposition management ringing in their ears as "the best team we've played here all season". The 68 people who braved the elements saw a highly entertaining and competitive game by two footballing sides who, if their is any justice, should find themselves in the Play Off zone come the end of the season.
Both sides traded half chances in the opening twenty minutes with Barton coming close on five minutes and then Brian Haule having a header cleared off the line on 19 minutes. Sixty seconds later and Rams stopper James Reading had to be at his best to deny a decent effort from outside the area but he was powerless to stop a good turn and well placed shot by Jermaine Hall in the 22nd minute as Barton opened the scoring.
The Rams then took charge of the remainder of the first half and could count themselves unfortunate not to equalise when Brian Haule again had an effort scrambled off the line as SYCOB exerted constant pressure on the Barton defence.
Six minutes into the second half Ryan Phillips saw a decent shot just skim past the Barton post whilst at the other end a bad kick out by James reading almost let Barton in for a second. Rovers also had a strong shout for a penalty on 65 minutes but the appeal was waved away by Ref Lee Forester.
The Rams kept on creating half chances, mainly on the break, with Jack Hutchinson having one particularly mazy run end with a shot blazed over the bar. Just as it looked as though it was "going to be one of those nights" up popped Captain Brad Hewitt to prod home an equaliser after a 75th minute corner caused chaos in the otherwise organised home defence.
Sixty seconds later and SYCOB nearly took the lead as a great shot by John Christian bounced back off the Barton post with keeper Kyle Forster well beaten.
Both teams pressed for a winner and some of the football played really was a joy to watch and real credit to the Calor League. A point each was probably about right and come the end of the season both teams are sure to be in contention for a place to play at a higher level next season.
Come On You Rams!
1. James Reading
2. Jordon Ajanlekoko
3. Craig Carby
4. Brad Hewitt (Captain)
5. Reece Yorke
6. John Christian
7. Jon-Jo Bates
8. Nathan Webb
9. Brian Haule (Substitute: Aaron Morgan)
10. Jack Hutchinson
11. Ryan Phillips (Substitute: Kofi Lockhart-Adams)
Substitutes Not Used:
12. Danny McDonnell
14. Shaun Owens
17. Tom McGarry