7:45pm, Tuesday 1st March 2022
The Memorial Stadium
What a cold, wet, frustrating evening that was! Very, very relieved to come away with a win and a critical three points, taking us to within two points of the playoffs and five points away from the last automatic promotion position. Crazy!
Barrow started the game strongly and kept us pushed back deep in our own half for the first ten minutes. They certainly did not look like a team at the bottom of the table initially.
Once we got a hold of the game, Barrow reverted to a defensive game plan and played for the next 70 minutes for a 0-0 draw. They defended resolutely throughout the game and gave us all a lesson in time wasting. It was like watching the Italian national team of old. Players fell over, kicked the ball away, carried the ball around like that spoilt kid at the park who brought the ball and refused to play when his side was losing….
Their game plan very nearly worked to perfection. It was only a wonder goal from Anthony Evans after 81 minutes that change the game and kicked Barrow to life. From that point on, Barrow played like a team possessed. I could hardly believe that this terrible time wasting negative outfit had the ability to attack at pace.
For the final ten minutes plus an eternity of added time, Barrow battered our goal. How on earth they failed to score is beyond me. Belshaw made a save whilst led on the ground, I think they hit the post. It was a crazy last 15 minutes..
Apart from the start and end of the game, we completely dominated the game and laid siege to the Barrow goal. We tried and tried to work down their right side and threw cross after cross into the box to very little effect. We also seemed to want to pass our way into the goal.
We fully deserved to win the game tonight, although I felt it was slipping away from us after so many missed chances.
Good to see Leon Clarke get some decent minutes tonight. He had a couple of golden chances, which I am sure he would have scored had he been match sharp. Him being in the right place at the right time is encouraging though. We need some goals from him before the season is done.
Fair play to the small number that travelled from Barrow. They were loud for their numbers, although their one song was getting a bit annoying by the end.
We are very much still on course for the playoffs, we just need to keep this run going.