TOWN had a real off-day in North Lincolnshire, suffering their heaviest defeat of the season, conceding two goals in the first minute of the second half, a hammer blow they never recovered from.
Ironically, they made a great start, dominating the opening 15 minutes but not turning their dominance into goals.
Town started building mainly down the right with James Sutcliffe pushing forward from right back and playing an excellent ball into the feet of Shane Hamilton who mishit as he turned.
Danny Facey also on the right whipped in a couple of good early crosses which were well defended by Barton.
Alex O’Keefe was coming into the game on the left hand side and he tried his luck with a shot from outside the box after seven minutes that went wide.
Danny Naidole looked to break through the home defence but was tripped on the edge of the box.
He took the free kick himself but fired straight at keeper David Bramley.
Debutant Miles Smith then let fly and was not far off target from 25 yards out.
It took 15 minutes before Barton made their first real foray into the Town half but it was worrying that they were able to create a clear cut chance from it as Gareth Barlow fired over the crossbar after a cross from Danny Buttle.
Town hit straight back with Facey turning smartly in the box but having his shot blocked.
Barton then broke on the left, Barlow switched the ball to right winger Ashley Lattimore in space and he fired past Town keeper Ben Imeson to give Barton the lead on 16 minutes.
This affected Town more than it should have done.
Play became scrappy and Town’s passing became laboured.
On 26 minutes Barlow nearly extended Barton’s lead with a shot that came back off the post and only an excellent challenge by Steve Hollingworth prevented Medcalf knocking in the rebound.
From the resulting corner Imeson tipped a header from Mike Gibson over the bar.
Town were struggling to create clear-cut chances but Naidole had a long range effort fizz just over, O’Keefe had a header from Tom Brown’s cross blocked on the six-yard line and on the stroke of half-time Sutcliffe was inches away from finding the top corner with a powerful drive from 25 yards out.
Town made a substitution during the break, Craig Thompson replacing Facey but within 45 seconds of the restart Barton had extended their lead with a stunning strike from Barlow.
Worse was to come when straight from the restart Barton scored again when Medcalf shot home the rebound after Imeson had saved Barlow’s header.
Shell-shocked Town conceded a fourth goal on 53 minutes when Buttle volleyed home from a corner.
Town made a couple of substitutions to try and shake things up a bit, Danny Hull and Ryan Brook replacing Sutcliffe and Smith.
Naidole provided Town’s only real threat with a couple of long range efforts, but his enthusiasm to get back and help out in defence saw him give away a penalty, which was put away by Medcalf on 74 minutes to wrap the game up for Barton.
Hollingworth had a header from a corner cleared off the line as Town tried in vain to get back some pride, but Barton never really looked troubled and should be credited with an excellent performance in a game superbly controlled by the match officials.