Barrow AFC 2 Bromley 0

Barrow AFC’s match against Bromley was a chance for them to show a wider audience what they are capable of and just why they’ve been top of the National League for over two months.

They didn’t quite hit the heights against the Ravens in front of the BT Sport cameras in what was a tight affair between two promotion contenders, but they still demonstrated why they are going to to take some shifting from their perch in what remains of the season.

There can be no doubt that the Bluebirds have that winning mentality to go into these crunch clashes and hold their nerve, while they’ve surely dispelled the notion from outside of Barrow that they’re merely placeholders at the top.

What is also not in question is that the town is buying into what is happening at Holker Street - it’s certainly the first time this reporter has seen hundreds still queuing to get in after the match has kicked off.

The fact that this wasn’t even AFC’s biggest crowd of the season tells a story; Ian Evatt’s side have become a must-see attraction, with their remarkable run of form seemingly having no end.

That’s not to say they breezed past Bromley, however. On the contrary, that they had to battle past the visitors to claim another three points makes this result arguably a bigger statement than either of the 7-0 thrashings dished out to Ebbsfleet and FC United in recent weeks.

There were some nervy moments at the back at the beginning of both halves, but they regained their composure in defence, with a major reason for that being the outstanding Sam Hird, who gave arguably his best performance for the Bluebirds, a year on from his debut.

His wasn’t the only stand-out performance, with Scott Quigley earning the broadcasters’ man of the match after leading the line superbly and never giving the Bromley defence a moment’s piece. Dior Angus was also a constant threat, while John Rooney was the sponsors’ star man after growing in influence throughout and becoming AFC’s outright top scorer for the season to boot.

Those two players combined for Barrow’s opening goal after 34 minutes, but it was Josh Kay who instigated it by rushing on to a loose ball before playing a superbly-weighted pass out right to Rooney, whose low cross was tapped in by Angus at the far post.

It was the third time in a row Angus had opened the scoring against the Ravens, but that lead came under considerable threat in the second half.

It was almost wiped out within three minutes of the restart, when Hird got back to brilliantly clear Luke Coulson’s lob over Joel Dixon off the line, while Bromley debutant Corey Whitely missed a sitter within two minutes of coming off the bench.

Luck was with AFC at the other end, as well, as Rooney doubled their advantage with his 18th goal of the campaign when his corner somehow got past Ryan Huddart at his near post.

Barrow found their swagger after this, with Quigley curling a beauty against the bar, and although there was no rout this time, it was mission accomplished when it came to throwing down the gauntlet to their challengers.

Barrow AFC (3-4-1-2): Dixon, Hird, Platt, Brough, Barry, Taylor, White, Kay, Rooney (Hardcastle 83), Angus (Dyson 76), Quigley (Harrison 89).

Subs not used: Brown, Hindle.

Bromley (3-4-1-2): Huddart, Holland, Winfield, Chambers, Kizzi, Rees (Whitely 67), Raymond (Higgs 89), Wood, Coulson, Cheek (Clifton 83), Williamson.

Subs not used: Coker, Najia.

Referee: James Bell

Attendance: 3,155

Bluebirds star man: Sam Hird