Barrow gained a hard-earned point in a goalless away draw at Hartlepool United, but ultimately could have had more in last night’s Vanarama National League clash had Jack Hindle not missed a late penalty.

The second half was one which displayed Barrow’s defensive capabilities, but the Bluebirds may feel as though they should have won the game having been awarded the spot-kick which Hindle missed with just 15 minutes to go.

However, it is another point earned on the road against a promotion-chasing Hartlepool side.

Manager Ian Evatt made one change to the starting line-up from Saturday’s 2-1 home defeat against Solihull Moors, as Josh Kay came in for Nathan Waterston.

Meanwhile, Jacob Blyth made the bench for Barrow, and former Bluebirds players Luke James and Myles Anderson lined up for Hartlepool.

AFC missed a golden opportunity to go ahead just three minutes into the game when a surging run by Kay down the left wing saw the former Chesterfield man cross towards Tyler Smith, who sliced his effort wide of the goal from point-blank range.

It took the home side until the 16th minute to have an effort at goal, as a low cross from the left-hand side by Mark Kitching was met by Michael Woods just inside the penalty area. But the midfielder’s effort went harmlessly wide of Andy Firth’s right-hand post.

Firth was called into action for the first time on 24 minutes as Ryan Donaldson weaved his way through Barrow’s defence with some excellent ball control. Fortunately for Evatt’s men, his effort went straight at the former Chester goalkeeper.

Following a stoppage in play due to Mark Kitching receiving some treatment just after the half hour mark, Barrow looked rejuvenated and went close in the 41st minute when John Rooney took a speculative effort from around 25-yards out, which Hartlepool goalkeeper Scott Loach found too hot to handle and needed two attempts to hold.

There was a similar pattern at the start of the second half to the first, with AFC looking to counter attack. The Bluebirds created a three on two situation following a quick release by Firth, which Kay knocked onto Hindle, but the former Colwyn Bay man produced a heavy touch.

In the 72nd minute, following a lengthy period of defensive work by Barrow where the likes of Connor Brown and Josh Granite proved to be rock solid at the back, it was Donaldson again who would provide the AFC defence a scare. His low cross from the right was met by Niko Muir but from the edge of the area the Pools striker blazed his effort over the crossbar.

Following periods of resolute defending, Barrow broke on the home side and won a penalty through Hindle in the 76th minute, but he put the spot kick straight down the middle of the goal and crashed his effort against the crossbar, much to Victoria Park’s joy.

Hartlepool United (3-5-2): Scott Loach, Peter Kioso, Carl Magnay, Myles Anderson, Ryan Donaldson, Nicky Featherstone, Michael Woods (Paddy McLaughlin, 62), Liam Noble, Mark Kitching, Luke James, Niko Muir.

Subs not used: Josh Hawkes, Kenton Richardson, Conor Newton, Marcus Dinanga.

Barrow (4-3-3): Andrew Firth, Connor Brown, Josh Granite, Dan Jones, Lee Molyneux, Jason Taylor, John Rooney, Josh Kay, Luke Burgess, Tyler Smith (Jacob Blyth, 87), Jack Hindle.

Subs not used: Raul Correia, Jack Barthram, Kyle Jameson, Steve Jennings.

Referee: D Bourne.

Attendance: 3,361.

Barrow AFC star man: Josh Granite – The captain displayed his leadership skills, as neither Luke James or Niko Muir could win anything against the former Ashton United centre-back.