28th January. AFC Dunstable 3 Barton Rovers 3 (Barton won 4-1 on pens) (Bedfordshire Senior Cup)
A strange decision to award Barton a free kick by their goal line, robbed AFC of pulling off a shock by putting out the Southern League Central outfit. With 94 minutes gone, Leon Simpson was running down the clock deep into Barton's territory. As he shielded the ball, the match official deemed he had used too much force and awarded the visitors a free kick. They launched the ball forward, which caught out the AFC defence and Ben Sawyer slotted home.
In a very entertaining game of which both sides contributed too, Barton progressed to the next round. Both teams made changes to their usual line ups. AFC were without Leon Cashman, Grant Fryer and Chris Francis.
The visitors took the lead on 26 minutes when James Bishop was caught in possession and Jevanj Brown finished well. Within a minute, Bishop made up for that and more as he rifled home a 25 yarder. The game was end to end, as both teams played some slick football.
Half time: AFC Dunstable 1 Barton Rovers 1
The 2nd half started where the 1st half left off as both teams pushed forward at every occasion. AFC took the lead on the hour with another typical Newman Carney free kick. He whipped in the ball which eluded everyone and settled in the net. Back came Barton and when George Biggadike brought down Ben Sawyer in the box, Mahmut Caglar struck home the penalty.
Again AFC took the lead when ex Rovers Jermaine Hall outpaced their defence and toe poked the ball home on 75 minutes. It was looking like AFC would hold out but then came that decision. So onto penalties and the less said about them the better.
AFC manager Steve Heath was pleased with the performance " I was so proud of the team tonight. We matched a team that is one place off the play off's in the Southern League and thought we could have edged it. I thought both teams played in the game in the right spirit and for a local derby to produce no cautions, is a great advert for local football"