UNDER-STRENGTH Barton had their East Midlands Premier lead cut to just three points after a narrow defeat at nearest rivals Wellingborough.
Barton were still without captain Jamie Foster and also missed key midfielder Adam Foster but did welcome back forwards Ash Parr and Will Rawbon.
The visitors set out with a solid defensive formation but had to field several players out of position.
Barton defended from the outset against Wellingborough attacks which came in waves with only the odd counter-attack from the visitors.
The home side continued to plug away and eventually took a deserved lead. The goal sparked Barton into life and the game became a close battle with both sides sharing possession and opportunities in front of goal.
But defences stood firm while a series of contentious umpiring decisions left players from both sides frustrated as the half came to a close.
In the second half both teams continued to show a great work ethic.
Barton’s hopes suffered a further blow when they were caught out at the back and Mike Parr was beaten for a second time.
The visitors still offered a goal threat and hit back when Jacob Foster produced a neat finish, flicking over the oncoming keeper.
Barton continued to push for an equaliser and came close with a short corner right at the death – but the effort flew inches wide.
Barton face a double header this weekend with Corby on Saturday before a crucial fixture against North Notts a day later as they look to cement their position at the top of the league.