BARROW AFC showed another positive display away from home, but yet again were left empty-handed as they were beaten 3-1 by Salford at the Peninsula Stadium – despite taking an early lead through Jason Taylor.

It took until the 13th minute for the first notable effort of the game to happen, as Lee Molyneux went on a marauding run down the left wing, and played the ball inside to Josh Kay, who teed up midfielder Taylor on his weaker left foot from the edge of the box, which was held well by Chris Neal in the Salford goal.

It was that man Taylor, however, who scored the opening goal of the game after 18 minutes.

It followed some excellent play between Connor Brown and Nathan Waterston down the right wing, which saw the latter tee the ball up to Taylor from around 20-yards out who firmly side footed his effort into the bottom right hand corner.

Around the half-hour mark, the Ammies drew level as Adam Rooney was slotted in a channel between Dan Jones and Molyneux and drilled his effort across goal in the bottom left-hand corner, giving Barrow stopper Andy Firth no chance.

In the 36th minute, Salford nearly took the lead as a lapse in concentration by Jones saw the centre-back take a loose touch, which Rooney latched onto with a first-time effort.

Thankfully for the Bluebirds, the former Aberdeen striker flashed his shot past Firth’s right-hand post.

AFC controlled a lot of the first half, but created fewer chances than they would have initially desired to. Indeed, 1-1 at half time was probably a fair scoreline on the balance of play.

The second half started with a heated exchange which saw AFC manager Evatt get booked by referee Rebecca Welch for debating a free kick given against his side.

Neither team really managed to gain control of the game in the second half, as it became a much more physical contest.

Yet Salford took the lead around the hour mark as Nathan Pond scored a header from a corner, beating marker Jones in the air.

Less than five minutes later, the hosts were awarded a controversial penalty as the ball was crossed in from the left wing, evaded the crowded penalty area and hit Hindle on the arm despite having had little sight of the ball.

The referee looked initially as though she was not going to give it, as did her assistant, but much to the surprise of AFC’s players the spot-kick was awarded. Danny Lloyd took it and fired it into the top right-hand corner.

The closing stages of the game saw Barrow in control as the home side looked to have taken their foot off the gas, but the closest they came to scoring again was around the 90th minute mark when Bluebirds full-back Molyneux had a free kick from the edge of the penalty area well-saved by Neal.

Salford City (4-4-2): Chris Neal, Scott Wiseman (Liam Hogan, 70), Nathan Pond, Carl Piergianni, Ibou Touray, Danny Lloyd, Danny Whitehead, Gus Mafuta, Tom Walker, Rory Gaffney (Devante Rodney, 90+2), Adam Rooney.

Substitutes not used: Max Crocombe, Lois Maynard, Nick Haughton.

Barrow (4-3-3): Andy Firth, Connor Brown, Josh Granite, Dan Jones, Lee Molyneux, Jason Taylor, Josh Kay (Luke Burgess, 74), John Rooney, Jack Hindle (Jack Barthram, 71), Tyler Smith, Nathan Waterston.

Substitutes not used: Steven Jennings, Kyle Jameson, Raul Correia.

Referee: Rebecca Welch.

Yellow cards: Salford City – Wiseman; Barrow AFC – Jones.

Attendance: 3,012 (512 from Barrow).

AFC Star man: Connor Brown – The right-back put in a solid defensive shift throughout the game and it was his work which initially created the chance for the opening goal.