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Barrow v Bolton Wanderers ends in stalemate

PRE-SEASON FRIENDLY: Barrow AFC 1 Bolton Wanderers XI 1

BARROW AFC and a young Bolton Wanderers XI saved the best till last in a 1-1 draw at Holker Street last night.

Both goals came in the final six minutes of what was the Bluebirds’ last of 10 games this pre-season.

Next time Barrow are in action it will be for real – in their 2012/13 Blue Square Bet Premier opener against AFC Telford United in seven days’ time.

Bluebirds boss Dave Bayliss, who named a squad of just 14, picked two triallists in his starting XI, with 19 year-old Aaron Cole – a former Derby County player who had loan spells at Eastwood Town at Stockport last season – in the middle of a front three, flanked by 20-year-old Danny Rowe – who left Stockport at the end of last season – and Paul Rutherford.

Rowe is not to be confused with Fleetwood’s Danny Rowe, whom Barrow tried sign this summer before he chose Stockport as his loan destination of choice, or Dominic Rowe, the winger the Bluebirds had on loan from Bradford City last term and who played in the friendly victory at Lancaster City four days ago.

At the back, the defensive four likely to start the Blue Square Bet Premier opener next weekend of Matt Flynn, Gavin Skelton, Sean Hessey and Mike Pearson lined up ahead of goalkeeper Danny Hurst.

James Owen, Garry Hunter and Richie Baker made up the midfield three.

Bayliss was without striking duo Adam Boyes, who has an ankle problem, and Obi Anoruo, who was missing through family commitments, as well as central midfielder Alex-Ray Harvey, who has a knee injury.

He named number-two goalkeeper Shaun Pearson and two further triallists, former Burnley defender Ben Hoskin and
ex-Kendal Town midfielder Ashley Dunn, on the bench.

Bolton – watched by the Championship club’s head of academy and coaching, and former Liverpool assistant boss, Sammy Lee – fielded a young, yet physically strong, side.

The Bluebirds, however, started the better and almost took the lead on nine minutes when, following a flick-on by Pearson at the near post, Rutherford smuggled the ball past goalkeeper Jay Lynch only to see a Bolton man clear it off the line.

At the other end, Hurst watched a free-kick from Joe McKee go over his crossbar.

For the next 20 minutes the play remained largely in the midfield area. Both sides knocked it about neatly enough, but offered little upon reaching the final third.

Then, just after the half-hour mark, Bolton’s Jack Sampson burst through from midfield and, under pressure from Skelton, sent his shot wide of the post.

Five minutes later, Flynn got his head to a cross from Rowe and nodded the ball back to Baker, whose acrobatic 10-yard volley forced Bolton to clear the ball off the line for a second time in the match.

The first half ended with a round of applause from a crowd of over 300 for Pearson, whose superbly-timed sliding tackle denied powerful Wanderers striker Tom Eaves a clear shot on goal.

Solid at the back – where Pearson was excellent – and in midfield – where former Morecambe man Hunter’s influence on proceedings grew throughout – Barrow will have gone into the half-time break content with their showing.

Up front, Cole looked lively and neat in possession without getting a sniff at goal, while Rowe, like fellow winger Rutherford, had a quiet opening 45 minutes.

Barrow, again looking solid at the back and in midfield, dominated the early exchanges in the second half but struggled to break down the visitors’ rearguard. Hunter went closest with a shot he dragged wide just before the hour mark.

The Bluebirds eventually sliced their way through the Bolton defence on 68 minutes when Rowe played Cole clear. The number nine went one-on-one with Lynch but his attempted cheeky chip was saved by the keeper, who caught the ball over his head.

The goals, however, were saved for the closing stages, with Bolton taking the lead on 86 minutes when a cross by substitute Sanmi Odelusi was turned into his own net by Pearson.

The Bluebirds equalised within 60 seconds when triallist winger Rowe lashed the ball into the bottom corner from 16 yards out.

Barrow AFC: Danny Hurst, Matt Flynn, Gavin Skelton, Sean Hessey, Mike Pearson, James Owen, Richie Baker, Garry Hunter, Paul Rutherford, Danny Rowe, Aaron Cole.

Subs used: Ben Hoskin, Ashley Dunn. Not used: Shaun Pearson.

Bolton Wanderers XI: Jay Lynch, Nathan Battersby, Alex McQuade, Ben Dennis, Oscar Threlkeld, Adam Blakeman, Jack Sampson, Mark Roberts, Tom Eaves, Joe McKee, Georgi Lliev.

Subs used: Luke Woodward, Sanmi Odelusi, Ben Hampson, Andy Kellett. Not used: Lewis Fielding.

Have your say

These just could be the signings we needed.

Posted by Barrovian Zigger on 6 August 2012 at 14:47

I believe a car broke down at Meathop so we only had 3 players on the bench and no strikers? Surely they could have got a taxi or someone gone out and got them?
Anyway, I like the look of Aaron Cole, he played up front even though he's a winger. Danny Rowe looked good too. Sean Hessey, Matt Flynn and Garry Hunter are quality signings. Things look good for the coming season.

Posted by Rupert Spearmaster on 4 August 2012 at 09:35

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