A BECKY Hickman penalty flick gave Barton Ladies the narrowest of victories over bottom-of-the-league Kettering.
Kettering came out in determined mood but Barton managed to control most of the play without managing to find the net.
At the other end superb and robust defending from centre-backs Helen Bloxham and Amanda Kirkland ensured that Barton went into the second half on level terms.
Kettering threatened on a number of occasions after the break. But top class goal-keeping from Connie Wain kept Barton in the game.
Kirkland and Michelle Kinnear also made goal-line saves.
Barton thought they had bagged the opener when a reverse stick shot found the side of the net.
However, the umpires chalked off the ‘goal’ after deciding that the ball had not entered the net.
Tempers then flared but justice was done when a shot hit a Kettering defender’s foot following a goalmouth scramble and Hickman held her nerve to convert the penalty flick.