Report by Stuart Fairbridge
After totally dominating the first forty five minutes, Boro produced a woeful second half performance, going down to a confidence sapping defeat against Barton Town Old Boys at a freezing cold Euronics Ground.
Boro made three changes to the team that drew at home to Liversedge the previous week, Denny Ingram replaced the injured Tony Hackworth, Luke Fletcher came in for Gary Hepples, the team also included last minute signing Afolabi Obafemi, a youth player from Leyton Orient who partnered Ryan Blott in attack instead of Dean Windass.
Boro were on the front foot from the kick off and created numerous opportunities, Obafemi was straight in the action when he picked out Bill Law but his cross-shot went over the crossbar.
Then Joe Naylor sent in a cross to Paddy Miller, but his well struck effort was straight at former Boro keeper Dave Bramley, then Law again sent over a cross that was headed over by Naylor as Boro pressed.
Then the front two combined but Blott was crowded out after a neat flick from Obafemi, Boro were now well on top and some fantastic play from the visitors ended with a stinging effort from Blott that was turned away by Bramley.
Six minutes later Boro produced some lovely passing in midfield that eventually released Law, his cross found Obafemi, but his shot was deflected onto the post by Chris Garth.
Barton finally created a chance after thirty-two minutes but Gareth Barlow’s effort was easily saved by Kevin Martin, up the other end a free kick by Blott was easily saved by Bramley.
Boro had an injury scare when Martin went down with what looked like a thigh strain, he was able to carry on after treatment, but was in pain every time he kicked the ball, fortunately the pain eased when Boro after all their pressure took the lead with a beauty from Naylor, after a bout of pressure the ball eventually fell to Miller who headed back across goal for Boro’s inform midfielder to volley past Bramley for his tenth goal of the season.
Just as the large Boro following were heading for a half time cuppa, their side gifted their hosts an equaliser, Matt Draper, who was under no pressure, decided to play a back pass to Martin, unfortunately it went straight to former Boro favourite Scott Phillips, who easily rounded Martin to score.
Barton made two changes at half time bringing on Tom Lee and Danny Buttle, Boro looked like they had made eleven, as the produced probably the worst performance their fans have witnessed all season.
The home side boosted by Boro’s inability to string two passes together sensed victory and Phillips was given the freedom of the city, only Martin denied him his second.
Ultimately Boro didn’t heed that warning and fell behind five minutes later, the defence which had more holes in it than a Swiss cheese allowed Lee time to carry the ball twenty yards before firing past Martin giving him no chance.
Boro made a succession of substitutions in an attempt to get back in the game, but in reality never looked like making any inroads, they did have a spell ten minutes from time but Obafemi was crowded out, and Blott’s effort was well over.
Miller then produced Boro's best effort of the half when he powered in a free kick that was punched away by Bramley, Naylor's effort from the rebound was deflected for a corner, from it Draper headed well over.
That was that, and the referee brought to an end a bad day at the office for Boro, who must pick themselves up for the return game next Saturday, all is not lost but we can’t afford many more days like today
Boro: Martin, Ingram, Kemp (McNamara 75), Winters, Draper (c), Naylor, Law (Ghaichem 66), Fletcher (Hepples 69), Blott, Obafemi, Miller, Unused Subs: Jenkinson, Windass,
Goal: Naylor 40,
Barton Town Old Boys: Bramley, Radley, Garth (Buttle 46), Gibson, Dexter (c), R Cooper (Lee 46), Marshall, Bowsley, Barlow (Medcalf 63), Phillips, Lattimore Unused Subs: M Cooper, Atkinson,
Goals: Phillips 43, Lee 60,
Referee: A. Smith