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Tuesday, 21 October 2014

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Flynn the unlikely hero as Barrow salvage Hyde draw

UNLIKELY hero Matt Flynn rescued Barrow AFC an FA Trophy replay with a stunning last-gasp goal at Hyde.

The defender struck in the fifth and final minute of stoppage-time to earn the Bluebirds a 1-1 draw in Greater Manchester.

Flynn’s 25-yard cracker means the first-round tie will be decided by a replay, to be played at Holker Street tomorrow night (kick-off 7.45pm).

Describing his second goal in two games, 23-year-old right-back Flynn said: “I gambled by staying up the pitch and when the ball came to me I chested it down.

“I saw Richie Baker wanting it. He had taken one off me in the first half so I thought ‘I’m just going to hit this one’.

“I did so as sweetly as I could and thankfully it went in the bottom corner of the net.

“It was very late in the game, but a goal is a goal and we’ll take them whenever. We struggled in the first half but battled well in the second half and eventually got our reward.”

Barrow, FA Trophy winners in 1990 and 2010, fell behind to their Blue Square Bet Premier relegation rivals after just 11 minutes at Ewen Fields when, after some poor defending and a scramble inside the six-yard box, Tigers’ midfielder Alex Brown headed in from close range.

Hyde went on to dominate the rest of the first half and missed chances to extend their lead.

The Bluebirds improved after the break and, in a frantic stoppage-time finale, hit the woodwork twice before Flynn’s heroics.

Barrow manager Dave Bayliss, whose side are now unbeaten in their last three games, said: “On the balance of play in the second half we never deserved to lose the game, but I’m still really disappointed in the overall performance.

“I thought, especially in the first half, we were lacklustre, weak at the back and the goal we conceded was a poor one.

“In the second half we changed the shape and created a number of good chances. It shows good character from the players to battle back.”

He added: “We never got to grips with Hyde in the first half and (Tigers’ striker) Matt Blinkhorn bullied our two centre-halves, something which has not happened for a while.

“In midfield we were poor and gave the ball away too many times, whereas in the second half we kept it better. By playing it to feet and down the channels, instead of high and long like in the first half, we caused Hyde no end of problems.”

The introduction of attacking wide midfielder Sean McConville on the hour-mark, combined with Louis Almond switching from the right into a free role behind central striker Adam Boyes, proved crucial, with the Bluebirds going on to dominate the final half-hour.

Bayliss said: “We put Louis in his best position, coming off the striker and running at people, and brought on Sean McConville on the right.

“Both did really well. Louis got on the ball more and caused problems in that role. Sean also got on the ball, was brave, picked up good areas and chose good options.

“We also had (winger) Paul Rutherford on the bench as an option, but he had a back spasm in the dugout and we were not able to use him. It was disappointing not to have that option, but Sean came on and did really well.”

He added: “In the end we got a deserved equaliser but we have got to stop making things hard for ourselves.”

l The draw for the FA Trophy second round was set to be made today. Find out whom the winners of tomorrow’s replay will face by visiting www.nwemail.co.uk

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