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Sunday, 28 December 2014

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New boy Rowe strikes as Barrow beat Newport full report with pictures

BARROW AFC bring three points back to South Cumbria after a 2-0 win over Newport County.

NEWPORT County’s ‘Dai-hard’ supporters must be kicking themselves.

Determined not to lose Saturday’s game to the weather, a hardy band of 120 fans grabbed their shovels and cleared the Rodney Parade pitch of snow on a freezing cold morning in South Wales.

Unfortunately for them, a spirited Barrow performance ensured they would not be rewarded for their efforts.

The crucial – and unexpected – 2-0 victory against the title-chasing home side could be the catalyst the Bluebirds need for the relegation dogfight ahead.

It brings a welcome confidence boost, knowing they are not bottom of the league, ahead of tomorrow night’s FA Trophy clash with Gateshead.

After struggling to fill their bench against Luton last week, AFC were boosted by the return of Richie Baker to the starting 11.

Baker partnered James Owen in a new-look central midfield, which saw Garry Hunter and Alex-Ray Harvey dropped to the bench.

New recruit Danny L Rowe was also given a starting berth, alongside Adam Boyes in the Bluebirds’ attack.

In another welcome return, Rowe’s namesake – winger Danny Rowe – was included on the Barrow bench.

With both sides probing away at each other in the opening exchanges, Barrow came closest to breaking the deadlock.

After good work from Boyes to spread the play, winger Paul Rutherford – who was deployed on the left – found overlapping full-back Gavin Skelton in the box, but the left-back’s shot was deflected for a corner.

The game was halted around the half-hour mark as County striker Aaron O’Connor was stretchered off the pitch.

The pacy front-man looked clean through on goal after a ball over the top, but, following a foot race to the by-line with AFC skipper Mike Pearson, O’Connor turned the defender and unleashed a wayward shot, injuring himself in the process.

The break in play did Barrow good as they almost immediately took the lead.

A Sean McConville corner found an unmarked Baker in the box and his deflected shot fell to defender Matt Flynn, who had the easiest of tap-ins on the Newport goal line to give the Bluebirds a deserved 1-0 lead going in to the half-time interval.

With the second half only five minutes old, defender Skelton went close to doubling the advantage, before epitomising the commitment and effort of the whole team by blocking a shot at the other end.

Again combining with Rutherford, the defender had his shot smothered by Alan Julian in the Newport goal, then put his body on the line to block an effort in his own box after a counter-attack by the home side.

Newport should have levelled with the game an hour old. Similar to Barrow’s opener, defender Andrew Hughes found himself in space from a corner, but his shot whistled past the post from yards out.

Instead, it was AFC who increased their lead just minutes later, when imposing front-man Rowe sealed a terrific debut – and the three points – with fine goal.

Exposing Newport’s defensive weakness down the flanks, winger McConville bore down on goal, before dropping his shoulder and finding Rowe in the box.

The big striker had time to coolly side-foot the ball home from 10 yards.

Agitated home fans now began to make their feelings known, with the game looking beyond Newport.

But there was still time for AFC keeper Danny Hurst to pull off a spectacular string of saves to secure a clean sheet and the win.

County’s Lee Evans should have scored after a chipped ball over the top beat the Barrow back line.

But expert shot-stopper Hurst pounced to deny the midfield maestro. He was called in to action again just moments later to block a point-blank effort from a corner.

Barrow AFC team: Hurst, Flynn, Skelton, Hessey, Pearson, Rutherford, Baker, Owen, McConville, Boyes and D L Rowe.

Subs: S Pearson, D Rowe, Harvey and Hunter.

Have your say

'Fortune favours the brave' but one 'Battle does not win a war'.....but keep the faith...
'Onwards and upwards'
Roger
over and out

Posted by Roger the Lodger on 21 January 2013 at 12:48

What a start to the new year. Brilliant.

Posted by George on 20 January 2013 at 09:46

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