FC HALIFAX TOWN 2 (Southwell 43, Brown 85) BARROW AFC 0

BARROW AFC were defeated in their opening away game after a 2-0 loss at FC Halifax Town.

While the Bluebirds created chances, goals from Dayle Southwell and Matty Brown were the difference.

Both teams had enjoyed fine opening-day wins, and that reflected in the sides being unchanged for this game.

It always seemed like the match had the potential to be an end-to-end contest, and while most the chances would not be classed as key ones, both showed their attacking intent.

It was not a great opening for either team, when within the opening five minutes both sides had to make changes; two separate challenges resulted in injuries, with Josh Staunton and Brian Wilson both unable to continue.

Despite the disruption, chances were created early on from the hosts and visitors, with Nathan Clarke being found in the area from a cross, but he was not able to get any real contact on it, while John Rooney had the first opportunity for Barrow with a shot that curled towards the near post and had to be saved.

Rooney, who was really making an impact, had a nice one-two with Rhys Turner, but this time his effort from 25 yards out lacked direction and drifted wide.

A well-worked move nearly gave Halifax the lead when Southwell put in a low pass towards the penalty spot; Jordan Preston on the turn had a shot, but Josh Granite got his body in the way to make a vital block.

With half-time not far off, a corner that had clearly been worked on in training by the Bluebirds saw Dan Jones have a free header, from just inside the area. His effort had the power but went wide.

A goal was coming and one arrived before half-time. but for the hosts.

Three Barrow players closed down Jonathan Edwards, but he got his pass away to Southwell who had a simple finish from 10 yards out.

Halifax were buoyed by the goal and started the second half brightly, with Preston being well placed in the area but two Barrow players got in his way and cleared.

Ian Evatt’s side kept creating chances of their own when Jack Hindle burst into the area, his low driving effort went across the face of goal and out of play.

There was another good chance for the Bluebirds when Rooney picked up a short corner and turned, he aimed towards the near post but Clarke was able to divert the effort wide with a diving header.

It really should have been 2-0 to the hosts soon after when Halifax closed down after Barrow tried to play out from the back. Southwell had players in the box who were unmarked but he shot instead and it went wide of goal.

In the build-up to that chance Matt Elsdon, who had come on early in the first half went down and could not carry on, so another enforced change was made.

Despite another setback injury-wise, the Bluebirds so nearly levelled when Hindle hit a fantastic effort from 25 yards out, that crashed against the crossbar and out.

Hindle would then see another good effort not go in, this time the hosts keeper Sam Johnson got a strong hand on a his shot to push it over.

With time running out for the visitors, players were pushed forward, this inevitably left some space for the home side and substitute Matty Kosylo broke to win a corner.

The cross was swung in and Halifax captain Matty Brown was in the right place to head in and ensure the hosts got the three points, while for all their effort Barrow left empty-handed.


FC Halifax Town: (4-3-3) Sam Johnson 6, Nathan Clarke 6, Niall Maher 7 Matty Brown 7, Michael Duckworth 7, Josh Staunton 5 (Cameron King 5), Ryan Sellers 8 (Jacob Hanson 5 84), Jonathan Edwards 6, Ben Tomlinson 7, Jordan Preston 7 (Matthew Kosylo 6 80), Dayle Southwell 8.

Unused substitutes: Mekhi Leacock-McLeod, Shaun Rowley.

Bookings: Matty Brown (20), Niall Maher (33).

Barrow starting 11 (4-3-3): Andy Firth 6, Connor Brown 7, Dan Jones 7, Josh Granite 6, Brian Wilson 5 (Matthew Elsdon 5, 6), (Jack Barthram 6, 67), Jason Taylor 6, John Rooney 8, Josh Kay 7, Jack Hindle 8, Tyler Smith 6, Rhys Turner 7, (Raul Correia 79, 5).

Unused substitutes: Nathan Waterston, Luke Burgess.

Bookings: Rhys Turner (37), Jack Hindle (49).

Referee: Daniel Middleton (Derby).

Attendance: 1,654 (185 Barrow fans).

Next Game: Leyton Orient v Barrow AFC, Saturday, Matchroom Stadium, 3pm kick-off.


Jack Hindle: Showed some real moments of quality and was unlucky not to score after hiring the crossbar.