Manager Ian Evatt was left cursing Barrow AFC’s luck after they were cruelly knocked out of the FA Trophy, thanks to a 2-1 home defeat against FC Halifax Town.

The Bluebirds absolutely dominated the second half at a stormy Holker Street and looked odds-on to snatch a winner after finally equalising through Matty Brown’s own goal.

They had already struck the woodwork twice by that point, and they were to do so again on another two occasions before succumbing to Ben Tomlinson’s 88th-minute goal for Halifax on the counter.

It means that, with Christmas around the corner, AFC are left to ‘concentrate on the league’ after their second early cup exit of the season, but the manner of their performance against the Shaymen was completely different to the one at Chorley in the FA Cup.

Evatt said: “I think they should go and buy some lottery tickets tonight, their players, because of the amount of times that we’ve hit the post and hit the bar.

“We dominated the game in the second half in as bad a conditions as I’ve seen a football match played.

“Some of my boys are borderline hypothermic in the changing room, they’re really struggling, so to play in them conditions was difficult, but some of the stuff we played in the second half was outstanding.

“On another day, we could have won by four or five.

“It’s just one of them days where it just didn’t go in for us – I feel so sorry for Jacob [Blyth] because he does so much and he’s doing brilliantly for the team. He just needs a goal.

“He’s hit the post twice today, their ‘keeper’s made an outstanding save, that will come, but I’m pleased with our performance.

“We’ve made seven changes, but they all showed me that they’re ready to play, which is important.”

One of the players brought in was centre-back Matt Elsdon, who was making his first appearance for four months after recovering from the knee injury he sustained on his competitive debut, against Halifax.

Evatt said: “I’m really pleased. He did the basics of defending well and also something that people don’t really give him credit for, that he can play with his feet as well.

“He made some good, positive passing moves, playing forwards or between the lines, he hits the front man well.

“I was really pleased with him considering it was his first game since August.”