Barrow AFC 1 Blackburn Rovers 2

Pre-season friendlies can often be disjointed affairs, as players look to shake off the ring rust after over two months away, but for 45 minutes Barrow AFC's 'clash' with Blackburn Rovers was very watchable.

Not least because the Bluebirds more than held their own with the Championship side, as they produced a very good response to falling behind to an unfortunate own goal from one of the three trialists they had in action over the course of the game.

There were times when they clicked very impressively in the first half, with midfielder Lewis Hardcastle taking the chance to impress against his old club with some probing through balls.

On the wings, things looked very promising as Josh Kay had a great battle with Blackburn's marauding young right-back Joe Rankin-Costello.

You can't always judge things from friendlies, but hopefully Dior Angus' performance of the right was a sign of things to come from the man signed permanently during the summer after his loan from Port Vale last season.

The 25-year-old didn't really get the chance to show his best form during his initial spell, as an ankle injury sustained at Wrexham in March proved hard to shake off for the rest of the campaign.

His pace was already well-known to the Holker Street faithful, but there was plenty of end product from Angus, who forced a couple of saves from Rovers 'keeper Andrew Fisher and also created several other chances.

There was some ill fortune when Blackburn went ahead after 15 minutes when Ben Brereton's cut-back was turned into his own net by the trialist who was playing alongside captain Josh Granite in the centre of defence.

There's no blame on the young man. It was just one of those things - he had to go for the cross otherwise Danny Graham would have had a tap-in.

By the time Barrow equalised after 38 minutes, it was fully merited, as Hardcastle's free kick was tipped on to the bar by Fisher, only for the loitering Scott Quigley to head in from a yard out.

Evatt has shown Quigley plenty of faith in signing him on a three-year contract and while this was only a friendly, it can only help him to get his first goal out of the way quickly.

After the inevitable raft of changes, Blackburn did take control of the second half with trialist Charlie Adam - a former Blackpool teammate and good friend of Evatt's - often pulling the strings.

The game was eventually won by a clinical finish into the bottom corner by Rovers' striker Joe Nuttall, although sub 'keeper Johnny Saltmer gave another positive with a good performance between the posts thereafter.

Back to the subject of trialists, there was a very familiar face for Bluebirds fans, as striker Byron Harrison, who played for the club for two seasons up to 2018, was fielded after the break, with Evatt sounding like he was open to the idea of bringing him back to Cumbria should he impress.

A very different test awaits when AFC face a Furness Select XI tomorrow. That may also be a friendly, but this time a result will be expected from them.

Barrow AFC: (First half, 4-3-3) Dixon, Brown, Granite, Trialist, Brough, Waddington, Rooney, Hardcastle, Angus, Quigley, Kay.

(Second half) Saltmer, Wilson, Hird, Elsdon, Trialist, Sloan, Taylor, Greaves, Hindle, Harrison, Penfold

Blackburn Rovers: (First half, 4-2-3-1) Fisher, Rankin-Costello, Lenihan, Grayson, Hart, Travis, Davenport, Rothwell, Dack, Brereton, Graham.

(Second half, 4-3-3) Fisher, Bennett, Magloire, Wharton, Thompson, Adam, Smallwood, Buckley, Butterworth, Nuttall, Armstrong.

Referee: Jeremy Simpson

Attendance: 1,105