BARROW AFC 0 BROMLEY 3 (Raymond 24, Wanadio 58, Vose 81)

HIGHS on the road were followed by Holker Street lows as Barrow AFC were subjected to another home defeat.

There was optimism and confidence on the back of victories at Eastleigh and Gateshead but they were no match for the accuracy, solidity and consistency of Bromley.

While the hosts were unable to pick out team-mates, could not string passes together or find a cutting edge, the Ravens took their chances well, stayed in control and kept their heads.

It was the visitors who coped better with the rain squalls and the howling gales, and they played the game to the conditions and looked every bit a side competing for a place in the National League play-offs.

Their goals from Frankie Raymond, Luke Wanadio and Dominic Vose – with an almost unfathomable strike from near the touchline – were the least they deserved for their efforts in the appalling conditions.

The rain had been a factor even before kick-off, with the Holker Street pitch passing two inspections, one by former Football League referee Mike Pike at 8.30am and another by match official Glen Hart at 12.30pm.

Still, there must have been doubts as to whether the match would go ahead, as heavy showers pounded the pitch right up until kick-off, with ground-staff working relentlessly on the area in front of the Wilkie Terrace to ensure it was playable.

There was a warning of the danger the conditions posed within the opening minutes, as the wind caught a long ball as it headed towards the Barrow area.

Jimmy Dunne was chasing it, and Stuart Moore was coming off his line to claim it as it approached the 18-yard line. Neither knew what to do, Dunne eventually hooking it ineffectively into the air and to the feet of Louis Dennis. The Ravens striker saw his chance and lifted the ball back over Moore, though the wind proved Barrow’s saviour as it swung away and went past the far post.

It seemed set to be an end-to-end encounter as the hosts looked positive going forward as well, with Harry Panayiotou volleying wide when the ball fell to him 15 yards out.

However, that was to be the only effort of the half from Barrow, with balls going astray and no-one having the gumption to test David Gregory in the Bromley goal, despite the gusts at their backs.

Instead, it was the London side who took the initiative, going ahead on the back of a string of poor decisions from Ady Pennock’s AFC.

Firstly, Byron Harrison gave the ball away with a lazy pass from the halfway line towards his own goal. That allowed Dennis and Jack Holland to combine in attack, before Bedsente Gomis and Paul Bignot sandwiched Dennis and gave away a free-kick 20 yards out.

A training ground move followed, as Dennis fed the ball to Raymond, who found the bottom corner with a daisy-cutter that had Moore beaten all ends up.

Rather than look like drawing level, Barrow went close to going two behind several times before the break.

Adam Mekki had two efforts from close-range blocked, by the returning Jack Barthram – in for the suspended Moussa Diarra – on the line and Chris Clements – starting as Asa Hall’s wife was in labour – close to it.

The Bluebirds set-pieces lacked Bromley’s finesse, and Bradley Bauress hit the ball before Panayitou had a long-range effort blocked close to him, while Moore had to be alive to twice save at the other end, first denying Raymond’s header and then smothering the rebound from Holland.

There were better signs for Barrow after the break, and seemingly a way back into a game they were lucky to be trailing in by only a single goal.

Clements found Yussuf with a free-kick, and he got off a shot just as the block came in to deflect it for a corner.

Panayiotou then played a cutting through ball for Harrison, who was able to pick his spot from 12 yards out, beat Gregory but see his effort come back off the foot of the post. It hit the keeper’s back but was hoofed to safety before Barrow could capitalise on the loose ball.

Any optimism was punctured by the second Ravens goal.

Holland picked out Wanadio in space on the right of the area, and the Barrow defence was nowhere as the winger took his time and beat Moore with a stinging effort at his near post. The AFC keeper may feel he should have stopped it but Wanadio struck it well.

From then on, there were half-chances, even some good ones – Panayiotou shooting wide, Wanadio hitting a shot right at Moore, Harrison scuffing a strike on the turn when picked out by Bauress in the area and seeing Bromley clear – but the results seemed settled.

Josh Rees almost made sure with a 25-yarder which Moore fumbled and gathered close to the ground, and Vase did seal it with his free-kick from 40 yards out almost on the left touchline that evaded everyone and went in at the far post.

Another, given the distance, where Moore may wonder if he could have done better.

Grant Holt and Jordan White were thrown on up-front for Barrow, but they could only add to the string of half-chances, though Gomis did force a fine diving stop from Gregory with a flashing drive across the face of goal. Barrow had done so much right in the two games before their return to Holker Street, yet they could not match those levels back at home.

They know what they are capable of. The challenge now is to produce it on a regular basis.


Barrow AFC (4-4-2): Stuart Moore 5, Jack Barthram 6, Tony Diagne 6, Paul Bignot 6, Jimmy Dunne 6, Harry Panayiotou 6, Chris Clements 5, Bedsente Gomis 6, Adi Yussuf 5, Byron Harrison 5 (Jordan White 71), Bradley Bauress 5 (Grant Holt 74).

Substitutes Not Used: Joel Dixon, David Fitzpatrick, Donovan Makoma.

Bromley (4-2-3-1): David Gregory, Josh Rees, Jack Holland, Frankie Raymond (Frankie Sutherland 55), Adam Mekki, Jordan Higgs, Dan Johnson, Tyrone Sterling, Luke Wanadio (Dominic Vose 76), Roger Johnson, Louis Dennis (George Porter 64).

Substitutes Not Used: Iffy Allen, Ben Wynter.

Referee: Glen Hart.

Attendance: 941 (29 from Bromley).


HARRY PANAYIOTOU: Worked hard and looked