|Cleethorpes Town||2-1||Barton Town|
Barton Town returned to action last night in a behind closed doors friendly with Cleethorpes Town at the MyEnergi Stadium.
It was the Swans’ first outing since the season was suspended in November, and with all but two players missing, Barton gave a good account of themselves. The Swans took the lead midway through the first half through Scott Phillips before the hosts equalized on the stroke of half time. Cleethorpes took the lead early in the second half and despite having chances to level, the Swans couldn’t get back on level terms.
Swans boss Rob Watson was only missing Luke Anderson and Nathan Peat through work commitments, with Noel Burdett making his return from injury after 3 months out. The Swans started well, Burdett and Josh Baker working well together in the middle of the park.
The first big chance fell to Cleethorpes as Curtis Bateson was played in on the left hand side. His curling shot was saved well by Charlie Dixon and cleared. After a half chance by Josh Batty the Swans took the lead on 23 minutes. Matt Plummer drove into the area and took a shot, with it seemingly going in. Scott Phillips nicked a touch on it to make sure it went in, and Barton were ahead.
Cleethorpes won a free kick on the half hour mark and Harry Middleton’s curling strike was saved well by Dixon in the Swans goal. Ben Hinchliffe was next to have a chance as he sprung the offside trap and was in on goal, but his shot was well saved by Theo Richardson and cleared.
However, the Owls weren’t to be denied, on the stroke of half time the ball fell to Brody Robertson in the area and he struck it past Dixon to bring the home side level at the break.
Ten minutes after the restart and Cleethorpes took the lead. Bateson took a speculative shot from out wide and it looped over Dixon and into the back of the net.
It was an end to end game in the second half, with rain adding to the already freezing temperatures. On the hour mark Robertson was in on goal, but his shot was tipped over by Dixon, who had another good game. With Barton’s next attack Scott Phillips ran in on goal, however he tried too hard by taking on two defenders before shooting. The second defender won the ball and cleared, an opportunity gone begging for the Swans.
With 15 minutes to go Harry Hudson ran in and rounded Dixon, but his touch was too heavy and the ball went out, a great opportunity for Cleethorpes to extend their lead. The Swans were then the next to have a chance as a flurry in the Cleethorpes area saw Hinchliffe bring the ball and lay it off to Jack Varley, but his shot hit a Swans player who was offside and a good chance to level went begging.
Hinchliffe then had another chance as the ball was crossed in, and his diving header went just over the bar, before Cleethorpes had a penalty appeal waved away as Rieves Boocock was brought down by Dixon.
The game ended 2-1 to Cleethorpes but the Swans played well in their first game in over a month and in freezing conditions.
Barton Town Squad: Dixon, Plummer, Matthews, Lacey, Hare, Fisher, Baker, Burdett, Phillips, Batty, Hinchliffe, Disley, Tait, Start, Eccles, Varley, Siddall.