Bromley 2 Barrow AFC 1

Set-pieces proved to be Barrow AFC’s undoing, as they fell to a frustrating defeat at Bromley, despite dominating for long periods of the second half.

The Bluebirds got away with struggling from corners in their win over Sutton last week, but this time their fallibility cost them dear, as they were unable to make it three wins in a row.

It also meant the Bluebirds Trust’s efforts in bringing so many supporters down to south London weren’t rewarded with three points, with AFC unable to make their possession count.

They did have an astonishing strike from Portuguese debutant Erico Sousa to remember the day by, but unfortunately this proved to be for nothing, as Frankie Raymond’s soft free kick separated the sides.

Sousa was handed his Barrow bow by Ian Evatt, after Monday’s loan move from Accrington, in one of two changes from the Sutton victory, with Connor Brown returning from suspension at right-back.

Goalkeeper Andy Firth prevented his side from falling behind with just four minutes gone when he somehow managed to claw away Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe’s header from Frankie Sutherland’s free kick.

But AFC were punished in the seventh minute when more poor marking from Raymond’s corner led to the untracked Omar Bugiel giving Firth no chance with his downward header.

The visitors had not settled at all and were relieved to see Bugiel’s low effort from just outside the box zip wide after Ogedi-Uzokwe had given Brown some real trouble.

Some quick feet from Sousa won Barrow a free kick in a great position and Lee Molyneux’s effort took a big deflection and landed on the roof of the net, with Bromley ‘keeper David Gregory stranded.

The Bluebirds then suffered another blow when Luke Burgess had to be stretchered off in a neck brace, after a heavy landing 30 yards from his own goal and was replaced by Josh Kay.

Having made such a fast start, Bromley were now sitting back, but AFC’s players were struggling to make the ball stick in the final third, with Tyler Smith seeing little of it up front.

Evatt then made his second sub after 42 minutes, only this time it was through his own volition, as he decided take off his captain, Josh Granite, in a tactical switch.

In Granite’s place came Brian Wilson, who was making his first appearance for two months, following a calf injury.

Dan Jones did have the ball in the net in first-half stoppage time, but unfortunately it came straight from his long throw, so the Bluebirds remained behind at the break.

Apart from Bugiel directing a header from Richard Brindley’s cross straight at Firth, Barrow began the second half on the front foot, with only the final ball lacking, as they started to press the Ravens back.

Their bright start was rewarded in sensational fashion, as the ball was cleared as far as Sousa, who almost without hesitation unleashed a fantastic strike into the ‘postage stamp’ from 25 yards.

Sousa nearly made it two goals in two minutes when his shot on the turn from the edge of the area travelled wide of the far post and AFC thoughts were very much on completing the turnaround.

But Bromley got back into the contest themselves and came close when Ogedi-Uzokwe headed over John Goddard’s hanging cross at the back post.

The Ravens then regained their lead through a goal that will have had Evatt fuming, as Raymond’s free kick out on the right was allowed to drift all the way in, without anyone getting a touch.

Barrow had 16 minutes to save the game, but they couldn’t forge a clear opening and they now haven’t beaten Bromley in seven attempts since both were promoted to the National League.