Barrow 2

Harrogate Town 2

Football is a game of two halves, and so it proved at the Furness Building Society Stadium on Saturday as Ian Evatt’s side saw their 2-0 half time lead wiped out by visitors Harrogate Town, to deny them what would have been a deserved three points.

As they continue to deal with a sizeable injury list, Evatt made one change from last week’s starting line-up at Eastleigh with Jamie Philpot, who only signed for the Bluebirds on Friday, replacing the injured Jacob Blyth. There was, however, some good news on the injury front as Sam Hird returned to the bench.

The home side were backed by a superb crowd of 1,934, including plenty of younger supporters thanks to an Under 16’s go free ticket offer, but it was the visitors who started brightly.

With just a couple of minutes played Jack Muldoon got in a good area for Town, but he flashed his shot wide of Joel Dixon’s post and five minutes later the Bluebirds had a chance of their own.

Kyle Jameson found Rhys Norrington-Davies with a cross-field ball; the young fullback played it across goal towards John Rooney who could only fire wide under pressure from a Harrogate defender.

The visitors then went close with 12 minutes on the clock when George Thomson’s corner was headed wide by Kelvin Langmead before the Bluebirds turned on the style and scored twice in three minutes to take control of the half.

The opening goal came on the back of a superb last ditch tackle from Dan Jones who dispossessed Muldoon and sparked an attack which saw them take the lead. Intricate passing between Norrington-Davies and Philpot eventually found Lewis Hardcastle in the middle of the pitch.

The Blackburn loanee played a neat one-two with Jack Hindle to get in behind the Town defence before taking the ball around Belshaw and rolling it into the empty net.

Three minutes later, Barrow were awarded a penalty. Fallowfield brought Hindle down as he burst into the area, the referee pointing to the spot allowing Rooney to blast his spot kick past the keeper to double the Bluebirds advantage.

Harrogate then had a good chance to pull a goal back on 25 minutes, Mark Beck controlling a cross from Warren Burrell six yards out, but he fired wide of the far post.

The Bluebirds remained in control for the rest of the half, Philpot firing over from the edge of the area before Rooney found the side netting with an effort, the half time whistle going seconds later after a fantastic first half for the home side.

The visitors made two changes at the break with Jack Senior and Joe Leesley replacing Fallowfield and Jack Emmett, the subs having an almost instant impact as Harrogate pulled a goal back just two minutes into the second half.

In truth the goal was of the Bluebirds own making as Jason Taylor left a long ball run through the Dixon. The Bluebirds keeper had to rush a clearance and couldn’t get his kick past the onrushing Muldoon, the ball cannoning off him and into the Barrow net.

The soft goal sparked Harrogate into life but the Bluebirds defence dealt with everything thrown at them and the home side could have gone further ahead 15 minutes into the second half.

Town defender Warren Burrell cleared Jameson’s effort off the line before Dan Jones headed over from close range.

The visitors equalised with 20 minutes to go and it was another poor goal to concede from Barrow’s point of view. A sliced clearance led to a Harrogate corner and the ball to the back post was met by Callum Howe, who had a free header to nod home and bring his side level.

Barrow pushed for a winner, Josh Kay finding plenty of space down the right hand side on a number of occasions before being replaced by Lee Molyneux with three minutes to go.

Ultimately, the Bluebirds couldn’t find that one chance they needed to seal their fourth successive win and it ended with both sides taking a point.

A respectable result for Ian Evatt and his side against a play-off chasing side, but they will feel that they deserved more after another strong performance.