BARROW AFC 3 (Trialist 30, Hindle 46, 85) CARLISLE UNITED 1 (Bennett 79)

THERE was a lot for Barrow AFC manager Ian Evatt to take from a positive pre-season display against Carlisle at Holker Street.

The 3-1 win reflected a strong display from 20-plus players who wore the Bluebirds shirts, with seven contracted men joined by a whole host of trialists.

None of the AFC men let the team down, all contributed something to the cause, and it was a good way for the Barrow boss to judge who he wants to have further looks at going forward.

After the aborted weekend venture against the Furness Select side, this was the first chance for Evatt to have a proper look at his squad.

He started with six of the contracted players who had featured for half-an-hour against the amateurs, with Steve Arnold, Connor Brown, Josh Granite, Josh Kay, John Rooney and Nathan Waterston featuring.

Among the five trialists was former Rotherham United, Cheltenham Town and Northampton Town man Jason Taylor in the heart of the Bluebirds defence, while Carlisle featured former AFC loanee Lewis Walters.

Barrow looked the better of the two sides for the first half, with Rooney putting himself forward as the main man for set-pieces this season, delivering a number of menacing balls from free-kicks and corners.

Granite was again a vocal presence at the back alongside Taylor, while Brown looked strong in defence and was able to deliver some good balls forward from full-back.

The Bluebirds put together a string of attacks – with the trialist striker, identified as Raul Correia, having a number of chances that were saved by Joe Fryer or missed the target.

Another of the trialists had a header blocked wide from a free-kick swung into the area, while a Rooney free-kick from 20 yards was saved by Fryer as it headed for the top corner.

Correia should have scored when Waterston found space and put the ball on a plate for him a yard out only for him to blaze over.

Fryer stopped another Rooney set-piece and then stopped a fine shot from one of the trialists after he was played through by a long ball from Brown.

AFC took the lead on the half-hour as a Rooney corner was met by the head of Waterston. His effort hit the bar and the follow-up was blocked, but the trialist who moments earlier had seen Fryer stop him would not be denied as he put in an overhead kick.

Carlisle came more into the game and Cole Stockton forced a save from Arnold before Walters hit a weak curling effort at the keeper.

There were mass changes at half-time – Steven Rigg among the AFC men to come on – as both managers chose to make changes.

It made no difference to the flow for the hosts as Jack Hindle showed great control before firing into the bottom corner from 20 yards to make it 2-0.

The Bluebirds looked the more dynamic and continued to carve openings, with a new trialist – one whose youthful looks suggested his parents could call him in at any minute and tell him to stop playing with his mates – hitting a shot on the turn that cleared the bar.

Former Welsh international Dean Saunders was among those with an interest in the second half, as son Callum – a former Notts County and Crewe player – came on. Saunders was in charge for a spell at Chesterfield when Evatt was there.

Macaulay Gillesphey headed over from a Mike Jones cross on a rare real chance for AFC, before Hindle ballooned an effort over the bar as the hosts looked dangerous whenever they attacked.

Jack Egan tested the AFC trialist keeper with a low effort he had to get down to at full stretch to stop, but it was an easier save from a following Hallam Hope shot.

Changes kept being made by the home side, and they started to become more vulnerable, with Carlisle pulling a goal back when former Bluebird Richie Bennett headed home from a yard out after the keeper had saved a good shot from Hope.

If it seemed as though United were the more likely, former Carlisle man Rigg – a man certainly worth another look after this – had other ideas as he beat the defence to the byline and served up a second for Hindle, who blasted home.

Barrow AFC: Steve Arnold, Connor Brown, Josh Granite, Trialist, Trialist, Trialist, Josh Kay, Nathan Waterston, John Rooney, Trialist, Trialist.

Substitutes: Jack Hindle, plus trialists.

Carlisle United First Half: Joe Fryer, Trailist, Gary Liddle, Tom Parkes, Kieron Olsen, Sam Adewusi, Jordan Holt, Danny Grainger, Lewis Walters, Max Brown, Cole Stockton.

Second Half: Adam Collin, Trialist, Tom Parkes, Macaulay Gillesphey, Kieron Olsen, Mike Jones, Jack Egan, Kelvin Etuhu, George Glendon, Hallam Hope, Richie Bennett.

Attendance: 321.