Blues up into mid-table position
ARLESEY Town moved up to 12th – their highest league position since the opening day victory over Rothwell – with a 2-1 derby win at Barton Rovers on Tuesday night. And the win at Sharpenhoe Road was their second consecutive away victory. With Martin Peat
ARLESEY Town moved up to 12th - their highest league position since the opening day victory over Rothwell - with a 2-1 derby win at Barton Rovers on Tuesday night.
And the win at Sharpenhoe Road was their second consecutive away victory.
With Martin Peat still injured, they paraded Tom Blackman in goal, and they suffered another scare in the warm-up.
Paul Bloss failed to shake off an injury, and Ricky Case was introduced on the left of defence and produced his best performance since joining in the close season.
Rovers paraded two former Arlesey stalwarts - Stuart Beevor who left the fray midway through the first half with a cut to the head and goalkeeper Martyn Patching.
The home side almost took the lead in the third minute following a corner by Hanley as a powerful header by Andrews was scrambled off the line.
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Arlesey were gradually being seen more in attack and Patching was forced to make smart saves from Richard Pringle and Arin Fehmi.
The visitors took the lead in the 22nd minute as Pringle played the ball to Jamie Osborne who burst by two defenders to crash the ball home.
Tom Moran nearly added a second with a header from a corner. Then, in the 35th minute, Osborne played an intelligent ball to Fehmi who picked his spot to beat Patching, the ball being helped into his own net by Buss.
Rovers took the game to Arlesey on the restart and they were lucky not to concede when a fierce shot from Hayes hit the post to rebound to safety.
The visitors suffered a major blow when the commanding Shane Brown left the play injured to introduce Ryan Francis and shuffle the pack with James Dillnutt eventually taking a defensive role.
Dillnutt should have increased the lead when he headed wide at the near post from a cross from Matthew Kimani.
Barton were in desperate mode but their threat was on the wane until the 85th minute when a cross from the left enabled Hayes to loop a header over Blackman to reduce the arrears.
The visitors held out without further alarm to gain the three points with a performance that was more effective than pretty.
Blues: Blackman, Case, Waldron, Moran, Brown, Dillnutt, Allen, Fehmi, Pringle, Osborne, Kimani.
Subs: Facey, Francis, Beaumont, Hemandez.
* Pacesetters Atherstone visited The Chateau Roux for the first ever time on Saturday and won 1-0.
They were intent on improving their league position and closing the gap on leaders Leamington.
Earlier in the season the sides had fought out a 3-3 draw at Sheppy Lane in a game that saw the Blues surrender a 3-1 lead and end the contest with nine men.
Despite difficult conditions, the sides produced a contest that held its interest to the final whistle and for Arlesey, no points, but much to admire.
The fixture did not get off to the best possible start for the Blues with goalkeeper Peat failing a late fitness test and Dillnutt forced to take over between the sticks.
Unbeaten Atherstone started with confidence and in the seventh minute, an Everitt shot was blocked by Dillnutt on the line following a corner that they failed to clear.
The visitors peppered stand-in Dillnutt with shots but he was more than equal to the task.
Matthew Clarke won the ball in midfield to find Pringle whose attempted lob went over the keeper and drifted agonisingly wide of the upright.
Atherstone were producing most of the attacking play and it was Brown to the rescue at the expense of a corner.
But in the 36th minute the visitors had a major let-off as some excellent play down the left saw the ball find Osborne whose shot was blocked by Adders keeper Williams. The rebound fell to Pringle whose fierce close-range effort produced an extraordinary save from the keeper.
The second half again saw the visitors carrying the greater threat and after Danny Gaunt had got behind the home defence, his cross fell to Barlone who scooped the ball over the bar.
Arlesey then attacked down the right and Pringle played the ball low into the box for Osborne to let it continue on its path to Fehmi who drove over the bar.
The winner came in the 59th minute when Gaunt burst between two defenders for his cross-shot to just about carry enough power to elude Dillnutt and nestle in the corner of the net.
Arlesey introduced Francis to play with a three-man attack, and as well as a missed header from Pringle, they failed to convert several half chances.
Blues: Dillnutt, Bloss, Waldron, Moran, Brown, Allen, Fehmi, Clarke, Pringle, Osborne, Kimani.
Subs: Facey, Case, Francis, Beaumont.