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Tuesday, 23 December 2014

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Heads and fails - Barrow AFC rue late Forest Green goal

GUTTED Barrow AFC players were left to rue yet more defensive mistakes as they slipped deeper into the relegation mire.

EM Barrow AFC v Forest Green Rovers/50041228B003.jpg_002.jpg
The inquest begins as Barrow AFC concede a second headed goal from a Forest Green free-kick, this time in the 88th minute

The Bluebirds outplayed high-flying Forest Green Rovers at Holker Street and should have claimed a first league win in five Blue Square Bet Premier games.

However, two unmarked headed goals conceded from set-pieces – the second of which came just two minutes from the end – cost Barrow all three points and resulted in a 2-2 draw.

Right-back Matt Flynn, who scored his first goal for the club to put the Bluebirds 2-1 ahead after Adam Boyes had cancelled out James Norwood’s opener, said: “It’s disappointing, especially when you are 2-1 up. We battered them and Hursty (Barrow keeper Danny Hurst) didn’t have a save to make, so we’re gutted. It feels like a loss because we conceded so late to a terrible goal. I think there was confusion with the marking for the second free-kick. We keep conceding from set-pieces and it’s killing us, really. We need to sort it out.”

Other Barrow players took to social networking site Twitter, with Boyes writing: “Feels like a loss. That’s the best we’ve played all season and we only got a point. We need to stop conceding goals from set-plays.”

On-loan Colchester United centre-half Tom Aldred, for whom it was a penultimate appearance for the Bluebirds, posted: “Feels like a defeat. We should have won. Disappointed with a point in the end”.

Midfielder Alex-Ray Harvey added: “Gutted we only got a point, definitely deserved three points.”

Following a 3-1 win at title-contenders Newport County for Hyde – who Barrow visit next weekend in the FA Trophy first round – the Bluebirds have fallen one place in the table and now sit second from bottom and two points from safety

“If we keep defending like that from set-plays, being sloppy and not showing enough desire, then it will be a long, hard season and we will get cut adrift at the bottom,” said Barrow boss Dave Bayliss, whose team were watched by a crowd of just 853.

“We were the better team. I can’t remember Danny Hurst having to make a save and we’ve had chances at the other end too.

“Again though, look at the goals we have conceded, they were really schoolboy.

“Performance-wise and effort-wise it was all there but we gave away two silly free-kicks and then didn’t mark their players properly from those set-pieces.

“We have let a very good Forest Green side off the hook. We outplayed and out-battled them but not won the game.

“Our players have to take more responsibility when we are defending set-pieces.

“There is a board up in the dressing room which shows who is marking who but players have not shown enough desire in doing their marking jobs out on the pitch and that has cost us.

“It takes guts and determination to stop your man scoring and we haven’t shown that. It’s worrying.

“We defend set-pieces in training most days and have worked really hard on them in the past few weeks but the lads have to take responsibility when they cross the white line.

“It is so, so frustrating because we were terrific and showed great hunger in open play. We should have won the game.”

Forest Green manager Dave Hockaday, whose side remain third in the table, added: “I’m delighted with a point. A draw was fair and we have to be happy.”

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