Hatters into final after defeating Rovers on penalties

Luke TrotmanLuke Trotman
Luke Trotman
Luton Town reached the final of the Bedfordshire Senior Cup thanks to a penalty shootout win over Barton Rovers this evening, writes Mike Simmonds.

With the scores goalless at full time, the game went straight to spotkicks, with Elliott Justham saving from both Keshi Anderson and Liam McDevitt, as young full back Luke Trotman converted the decisive attempt.

Hatters had picked a strong side for the clash with their Calor Southern League Division One Central opponents as Jon Shaw, Mark Cullen, Kane Ferdinand, Anthony Charles, Andy Parry and Alex Lacey all started.

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The visitors started brightly too with David Viana fashioning an chance, but it was straight at keeper Kyle Forster, while the Rovers stopper did even better to save Ferdinand’s low drive on 10 minutes.

Barton’s number one was kept busy as he had to tip Shaw’s header from a David Martin cross over and then showed superb reflexes to grab hold of Charles’ close range volley.

Cullen’s ambitious 20-yard drive bounced up uncomfortably for Forster. who saved at the second attempt, and he then got down smartly to stop another low drive from Ferdinand.

After Town bossed the opening forays, Rovers started to mount some attacks of their own as Rob Hastings sliced wide from a decent position, while Justham turned a looping header over.

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The rest of the half petered out into a scrappy affair with a bobbly pitch and strong wind making it hard for either side to get the ball down and play.

In the second period, Rovers had a great chance early on when McDevitt was left completely unmarked from a free kick, but Justham palmed his header over.

Cullen had a real opportunity from Martin’s excellent set-piece delivery, only to direct his effort disappointingly wide, while Shaw whacked over from the edge of the box.

The Town forward was inches away from Cullen’s low cross, before the provider showed lovely technique to bring the ball out of the night sky and arrow narrowly wide from 20 yards.

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Both sides could have won it late on as Shaw beat Forster to Charles’ ball in, but Peter Gatti cleared off the line and half time sub Daril Ngwala thumped the rebound miles over.

Ricky Case then produced a great low drive from outside the box, but if flew past the post with Justham rooted to the spot.

With no extra time the game went straight to penalties as Bobby Dance and Case made no mistake for Rovers, as did Martin and Cullen.

Justham then saved from Anderson, as Charles coolly found the top corner.

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Joe Reynolds made it 3-3, with Forster turning away Shaw’s weak effort and Luke Knight putting Barton back in front.

Ngwala just about kept his side in the tie, find the net off the keeper and post, while when Justham blocked McDevitt’s shot, Trotman coolly converted the winner as Town will meet holders Biggleswade Town in the final at Kenilworth Road.

Rovers: Kyle Forster, Rhys Hoenes (Kyle Lincoln 90), Liam McDevitt, Peter Gatti, Paul Andrews (C), Kevin Kilroy, Luke Knight, Joe Reynolds, Jermaine Hall, Ricky Case (Keshi Anderson 80) Rob Hastings (Bobby Dance 85).

Subs not used: Niran Vaughan, Bilal Hassan.

Hatters: Elliot Justham, Luke Trotman, Anthony Charles, Tinashe Chabata, Andy Parry, Alex Lacey, David Viana (Daril Ngwala 46), Kane Ferdinand, Jon Shaw, David Martin, Mark Cullen.

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Subs not used: Craig King, Jemale McKenzie-Lowe, Lucas Perry, Jernade Meade.

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