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Monday, 06 July 2015

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Hunter revels in Barrow AFC golden moment

LAST-GASP goal hero Garry Hunter enjoyed his proudest moment in a Barrow AFC shirt by firing the Bluebirds into the FA Cup second round.

The 27-year-old’s stoppage-time screamer into the top corner earned his side a dramatic 1-0 victory over Guiseley in their first round replay at Holker Street last night.

Hunter, who joined Barrow in the summer following his release from hometown club Morecambe, said: “I think it took a bobble and I just hit it from about 20 yards out.

“I don’t usually hit them from that sort of distance but I knew time was almost up and extra-time was on the cards so I just thought ‘why not?’

“Luckily enough for me it went in. It’s the best of the three goals I’ve scored for Barrow and I’m so happy because it puts us into the next round.

“Everyone, including the manager, got involved in the celebrations after the goal. I didn’t know if I would ever get out of the mass huddle!

“It was also nice to score it past (Guiseley keeper) Steven Drench, who I was with for a few years at Morecambe. If you’re going to beat a former team-mate I don’t think you can do it better than that.

“To get into the next round means a lot to the club financially and to the lads, who have been a bit down after losing the last two league games.

“It wasn’t a magical performance but we ground it out and got a deserved win.”

Barrow will now play Blue Square Bet Premier rivals Macclesfield Town at Holker Street in the second round on Saturday December 1, with a possible tie against a Premier League big gun awaiting the winners.

Last night’s victory over a Guiseley side who sit five places below Barrow in the English football ladder also bagged the club £18,000 in prize money to add to the £12,500 they got for beating Tamworth in the fourth qualifying round.

Bluebirds manager Dave Bayliss, whose side last made the second round three seasons ago, said: “It was a really hard game.

“It was a bit scrappy at times and the pitch was really bobbly but it wasn’t about the performance, it was about winning.

“I thought Garry (Hunter) was the best player on the pitch and as soon as he hit that shot it looked like going in. Coming as late as it did it was the perfect time to win a game.

“We also got a bit of luck when Guiseley hit the bar with a free header before Garry’s goal but we deserved that because we worked hard tonight and did the ugly side of things well.”

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