Barrow AFC 1 Furness Select 2

This wasn’t meant to happen. What many thought would be a game in which Barrow AFC would stamp their authority turned into a surprise result, as Furness Select claimed victory at Holker Street.

The team made up of locally-based players, under-21s and AFC reserves produced a superb display in the second half to turn the game on its head as they visibly grew in confidence.

All this after the first half went according to plan for the Bluebirds, as Morgan Penfold gave them an early lead with the hosts going on to control the remainder of the first 45 minutes.

In the end, however it will be Furness coach Craig Rutherford who will have been delighted with what his makeshift team produced while Barrow manager Ian Evatt will have been annoyed with how careless the hosts ended up being in possession.

It took Barrow five minutes to go ahead and it was a nightmare moment for Furness goalkeeper Andy Ireland, who let Penfold’s tame effort through him and the ball trickled agonisingly into the net.

Just as he did last Saturday against Blackburn, Penfold was looking lively on the left wing and he almost quickly added a second, whipping a shot from the corner of the area over.

Ireland went some way to redeeming himself by getting strong hands to push away a powerful long-range effort from Scott Quigley.

A raking cross-field pass by Sam Hird then put Jack Hindle in behind down the right with his low cross running through to Penfold, who probably should have hit the target at the back post.

The chances weren’t quite coming thick and fast for the Bluebirds and the reason for that was some disciplined defending from Furness, who were staying nice and compact and not giving the hosts space to run into.

The Select side’s best effort of the first half came two minutes before half-time when Nathan Reid, who made three first-team appearances for AFC last season, lashed wide from outside the area.

It remained 1-0 to Barrow at half-time, during which trialist Byron Harrison came on for his second appearance during pre-season as he continues his attempts to earn a second spell at Holker Street.

However, Furness drew level on 57 minutes when a superb pass put Elliott Moore in down the left and his cut-back allowed Brad Carroll to bundle the ball into the net despite Josh Granite’s best efforts.

Dior Angus almost restored Barrow’s lead six minutes later when he rose to meet Patrick Brough’s cross but couldn’t quite direct his header under the bar.

Then followed a horrendous miss from Kay, as he somehow directed Angus’ ball across the face wide from a few yards out.

There were more red faces in the 72nd minute when Hubbold, who works for the club’s Performance Centre, sent a stunning free kick from 25 yards sailing into the top corner to give Furness the lead.

It was nearly 3-1 with ten minutes left, as Jordan Rayner, who really was excellent after coming on sent in a low effort that looked destined for the bottom corner, only for Johnny Saltmer to pull off a great save at full stretch.

Barrow AFC: (First half, 4-3-3) Dixon, Barry, Granite, Hird, Trialist, Rooney, Greaves, Trialist, Hindle, Quigley, Penfold.

(Second half 4-3-3): Saltmer, Brown, Elsdon, Granite, Brough, Hardcastle, Waddington, Trialist, Angus, Harrison, Kay.

Furness Select: (First half, 4-3-3) Ireland, O’Brien, Fitch, Williams, Hargreaves, Hubbold, Sloan, Carroll, Pattinson, Reid, Dawson.

(Second half, 4-3-3): Barker, Woods, Allington, Williams, Woodend, Fawcett, Carroll, Rayner, Walker, Reid, Moore.

Attendance: 392