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Thursday, 18 December 2014

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Too little, too late from Barrow AFC as they return to relegation zone - updated

EM Barrow AFC V Lincoln City/50040879B014.jpg
Louis Almond in action for Barrow AFC in their 2-1 home defeat against Lincoln City

Blue Square Bet Premier: Barrow AFC 1 Lincoln City 2

Goals: Barrow: Richie Baker (85 pen)  Lincoln: Alan Power (40), Vadaine Oliver (64)

Attendance: 987

Online video highlights (from Barrow AFC official club website): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JkWFf3BNAVk

DAVE Bayliss may believe the manager-of-the-month award curse is just pants, but the fact remains that since the end of a successful October the Bluebirds have failed to win in three.

A fortunate 2-2 draw at Guiseley in the FA Cup first round – the replay will be played at Holker Street tomorrow night – has been followed by league defeats against Stockport County (3-1) and Lincoln City (2-1).

In all three matches, Barrow’s defensive frailties, especially from set-pieces, and lack of potency at the other end of the pitch have been clear for all to see.

And yet in the previous calendar month the Bluebirds went five games unbeaten, recording three wins and two draws.

It appears that Bayliss’s side have slipped back into the bad habits that plagued their opening two months of the season and, as a result, are again where they were before October started – in the dreaded relegation zone.

On Saturday the AFC boss changed to a 4-4-2 formation and made three personnel changes to the starting XI. Striker Adam Boyes dropped to the bench to be replaced by Joe Jackson, while centre-half Tom Aldred and winger Danny Rowe came in for the suspended Tom Anderson and substitute Alex-Ray Harvey.

Bang-in-form Lincoln arrived at Holker Street on the back of a seven-game unbeaten run. Imps manager David Holdsworth named the same side that started the 3-0 home victory over Braintree Town in midweek.

The visitors dominated possession in the opening stages but, like Barrow, struggled on a greasy surface that cut up throughout, with passes misplaced and the ball spending plenty of time in the rain-filled air.

It took 19 minutes for a corner to be won when, after a sublime 40-yard pass by Aldred, team-mate Rowe saw his cross blocked at the near post, with Jackson lurking. The set-piece, delivered by Richie Baker, came to nothing.

And still no chances had been created by either team when, on 24 minutes, Lincoln’s Adam Smith took a dive in the box and was shown a yellow card by referee Peter Bankes.

The half-hour mark finally heralded the game’s first shot at goal, courtesy of Jackson, who, after excellent work down the left by Rowe, spun sharply and fired an effort across goal that Imps keeper Paul Farman touched past the post.

Less than a minute later, Lincoln striker Jamie Taylor brought a comfortable save from Barrow keeper Danny Hurst with a low shot from a tight angle.

An evenly-contested, scrappy affair continued to provide little in the way of quality until five minutes before half-time, when an incisive passing move involving Jake Sheridan, Taylor and Alan Power that started on the right wing culminated in the latter tucking a neat eight-yard shot past Hurst.

As what now seems the norm, Barrow improved after falling behind and, but for two spectacular saves from Farman, would have grabbed an equaliser before the interval.

First, on 43 minutes, the Lincoln keeper tipped over a rasping 16-yard half-volley from Rowe before, from the resulting corner, flinging himself across goal to keep out a near-post header by Aldred.

Barrow started the second-half strongly, with Rowe causing the opposition problems down the left. And it was from a run and cross by Rowe that an 18-yard chance was created for former Lincoln loan man Louis Almond.  The striker, however, wanted too long on the ball and was closed down. Moments later, Jackson failed to get a shot away when in possession inside the box.

The creative but limping Rowe then made way for substitute Boyes on 52 minutes, with Almond moving into a left-wing role.

The Bluebirds continued to apply the pressure and Jackson headed wide from six yards out when he should have done better, following a cross by Baker.

Lincoln then snatched a second goal against the run of play on 64 minutes. For the umpteenth time this season Barrow failed to deal with a corner-kick – Lincoln’s first of the game – and determined substitute Vadaine Oliver, who had been on the pitch just a matter of moments, powered a downward header in off the underside of the crossbar.

Sheridan went close to making it 3-0 with a curling shot that flew narrowly wide before the hosts made two more changes, introducing Harvey and Sean McConville and going all-out in attack with just three players at the back.

With nothing to lose, Barrow, as they have done in other recent matches when two goals in arrears, mounted a comeback.

Aldred found himself just inches away from getting on the end of a Hessey free-kick before, on 85 minutes, Almond was tripped inside the box by Peter Gilbert.
Baker sent Farman the wrong way from the resulting spot-kick to net his seventh goal of the season and set up a grandstand finish.

Throwing as many men forward as possible, the Bluebirds almost snatched an equaliser through first Almond, whose shot went wide, and then McConville, who put his header off target.

It was, however, a case of too little, too late from Barrow and Lincoln hung on to take all three points back across the country.

Barrow AFC (4-4-2): Danny Hurst; Matt Flynn (Sean McConville 79), Sean Hessey, Tom Aldred, Mike Pearson (captain); Garry Hunter (Alex-Ray Harvey 71), Richie Baker, Paul Rutherford, Danny Rowe (Adam Boyes 52); Louis Almond, Joe Jackson.
Subs not used: Shaun Pearson, Gavin Skelton.

Lincoln City (4-2-3-1): Paul Farman; Daniel Gray, Peter Gilbert, Andrew Boyce, Tom Miller; Gary Mills (captain), Mo Fofana; Alan Power (Scott Garner 90+4), Jake Sheridan, Adam Smith (Vadaine Oliver 62); Jamie Taylor (Colin Larkin 86) 
Subs not used: Jake Turner, David Morgan.

Have your say

cant believe the wave of negativity on here, lets hope the rumours are true and we do sign Dave Johnson, Jordan Hughes and Stu Metcalfe this will keep the doom mongers at bay

Posted by Lee "bommie night" Richards on 13 November 2012 at 12:20

@ Old John, read back your comment, you should be embarrased, Its the managers fault, simple

Posted by T Krul on 13 November 2012 at 11:38

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