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Monday, 06 July 2015

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Barrow stage comeback to advance in FA Trophy


GATESHEAD 2 (Clark, 34; Magnay, 60) BARROW AFC 3 (Baker, 29pen; Flynn, 75; Magnay 87og)

ALL that’s been good and bad about Barrow AFC this season was there for everyone to see as the Bluebirds came from behind to reach the FA Trophy quarter-finals.

For much of the first half they dominated without creating chances, for much of the second they were under the cosh and looked leaky in defence.

Yet it was the second 45 minutes where Barrow, following the introduction of the brilliant Danny Rowe, scored their two goals and advanced at the fifth time of asking in this four-times postponed tie.

While Rowe’s name does not appear on the scoresheet, it was his efforts, his impetus, which pushed the Bluebirds on and allowed them to put two awful defensive lapses that gifted the visitors the lead behind them.

Adam Boyes had an early effort from the edge of the area that went wide of the near post as he failed to create enough space or an angle for himself, before Sean McConville wasted a chance after Boyes played him in on the same piece of turf.

Paul Rutherford went as close as anyone had six minutes in, when he was first to react to a half-cleared Gavin Skelton corner and fired in an effort from 20 yards that went just wide of goal.

Rutherford’s radar was slightly off again as he then hit a shot over the bar from a similar distance, before Barrow’s early dominance gave way to stalemate, neither side creating opportunities and dreariness the order of the day.

The deadlock was finally broken from the spot.

Rutherford withstood a strong challenge and swung in a left-footed cross from the right to the far post, where Boyes was eagerly awaiting the ball.

Instead, he received a push in the back from Carl Magnay and referee Ben Toner did not hesitate in giving the penalty.

Richie Baker was the man charged with taking it and he stroked it down the middle of the goal as Adam Bartlett dived to his left.

The lead did not last, though it might have been wiped out earlier as a cross from the right fell to Jamie Chandler in acres of space just five yards from goal.

The Barrow defence stood dumbstruck as the Heed man was granted as much time as he liked to take the ball under control and fire at goal, only for Danny Hurst to race from his line and produce a superb block with his right leg, sending the effort over the bar.

But the corner cleared everyone in the box and fell right at the feet of Ben Clark, who wasted neither time nor effort, stroking it home at the far post.

Barrow resumed their slight territorial dominance and came close to an unlikely second minutes before the break as Skelton collected the ball 30 yards out and controlled with his chest before sending a dipping effort towards the top corner that Bartlett had to claw behind for a corner.

Gateshead – technically the home side after the tie had to be switched due to the poor state of the International Stadium pitch of late – started the brighter after the interval. They came within inches of pulling ahead as a Josh Gillies free-kick from the right floated into the area, where Micky Cummins saw his effort take a slight deflection and pass both Hurst’s outstretched right hand and the post.

Chandler made ground and shot straight at Hurst and Ryan Donaldson hit a powerful swerving effort right down the keeper’s throat, the Barrow goalie parrying the shot away.

Something had to give as Liam Hatch fired wide before unforgivable defending gifted Heed the lead. The Bluebirds defence were too busy arguing over the awarding of a corner to the visitors, and Gillies took advantage by taking a short one to Phil Turnbull.

He floated a perfect ball in to Magnay, who stood alone on the penalty spot, much as Chandler had in the first half, with the AFC men nowhere to be seen, chested the ball down and fired into the roof of the goal.

It was so nearly a quickfire double for Gateshead as Hurst had to tip a rasper over the bar from Hatch, and the momentum was fully in favour of the men from the North East.

This was no time for Barrow to be shot-shy, but Rutherford declined a great chance and saw a soft pass towards Boyes easily put behind, while their corners never seemed to get any further than the first defender.

Still, when they were only a goal behind there was always a chance, and – with Rowe now on the field and causing problems – the Bluebirds gladly took it as Boyes ran to the byline on the left of the area and crossed to the far post, where Matt Flynn bundled the ball past Bartlett.

Now it was Barrow on top and Skelton came agonisingly close to putting them ahead again as Boyes played him into space and his dipping, swerving effort from 15 yards was pushed on to the post by the Gateshead keeper. Bartlett denied Alex-Ray Harvey with another superb stop soon after, diving low down to his right to turn a fierce daisy-cutter round the foot of the post.

AFC were on the front foot and looked the most likely, their efforts rewarded when Baker cut to the byline and put in a great low cross destined for Rowe at the far post before Magnay put into his own net trying to avert the danger.

Now Barrow had to hang on, but instead they kept attacking – Rutherford forcing a save with a shot from distance and Owen curling an effort past the far post after running through the defence into the area.

The clock ticked down and they held on for a victory that summed up all that has been good and bad about the Bluebirds this season.

Gateshead Starting XI: Adam Bartlett, Carl Magnay, Paddy Boyle, Jamie Chandler, James Curtis, Ben Clark, Josh Gillies, Phil Turnbull, Micky Cummins (James Marwood 66), Ryan Donaldson (Nathan Fisher 77), Liam Henderson (Liam Hatch 59).
Substitutes Not Used: James Brown, Jordan Nixon.

Barrow AFC Starting XI: Danny Hurst, Matt Flynn, Gavin Skelton, Sean Hessey, Mike Perason, Sean McConville (Danny Rowe 67), James Owen, Alex-Ray Harvey, Richie Baker, Adam Boyes, Paul Rutherford.
Substitutes Not Used: Shaun Pearson, Garry Hunter.
Booked: Owen (69).

Referee: Ben Toner (Darwen).

Attendance: 728.

Have your say

Scruffy you're pathetic,I think you're truly simple.Do you truly think Rutherford or anyone at all listens to you?If you do you're dafter than EVERYONE thinks you are.As for me my comments are my business,I wasn't talking to you,so mind your own funny business.Only speak to the captain when I address you.You can call me SIR. Oh Wally the wally is at it again, what a pair,dear me,what are you on about little man,threats,how when,where,who to? Please be specific,then we can go to court,okay?I'm so worried about you and you little chum.Be good.you can call me Sir Who the heck is Jeremy Kyle.

Posted by captain bluebirdseye on 31 January 2013 at 21:04

Who are we playing in the next round, and is it at home?? if it is i might go to that game. I haven't been since the wembley win the other year. I'll have to dig out my scarf. come on you blueboys!!

Posted by george g on 31 January 2013 at 10:41

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