BARROW moved seven points clear of the National League relegation zone with a comfortable victory away to fellow strugglers Boreham Wood, writes SAM STORE.

First half goals from Ben Tomlinson and Andy Cook sealed the victory in which the Bluebirds never looked like losing.

Manager Paul Cox declared himself ‘over the moon’ at the result and was full of praise for the many fans who made the long trip south to Hertfordshire.

“The fans were absolutely magnificent today,” he said. “They gave us such fantastic vocal support and the players responded to that and put in a real shift out there.”

The Bluebirds couldn’t have wished for a better start, taking the lead after just 13 minutes when Tomlinson rose brilliantly above Wood full-back Danny Woodards to meet Jordan Williams’ deep searching cross from the left with a thumping header to give them an early lead.

The second goal came on the stroke of half-time when striker Cook broke free of the Wood defence and used wonderful control to take the ball around keeper James Russell.

The striker’s shot at the open goal was cleared off the line by Wood centre-back David Stephens, but Cook was able to head in at the back post from the resulting corner, giving Barrow a two goal cushion at the break.

Cook was a constant menace to the Wood defence throughout, leaving his manager delighted.

“He scored from his hardest chance to be honest!,” he said.

“I love him to bits because you know what you’re going to get from. His work ethic, desire and hunger for the club are excellent and he’s always got a goal in him.”

Barrow would probably have expected more fight from a side battling relegation, but in truth Wood looked a shadow of the side that had beaten Southport so clinically just the previous week.

Bluebirds keeper Joel Dixon didn’t have a single save to make in the first half, with the home side only threatening from distance.

After the break and chasing a two-goal deficit, Wood boss Luke Garrard threw caution to the wind, bringing on strikers Jamie Lucas and Junior Morias.

It was Lucas who finally forced a save from Dixon in the 70th minute, nearly poking home from six yards out, but the Barrow keeper prevented him with a fantastic sprawling save.

Boreham Wood’s lack of chances was in part down to the consistency of the Barrow defence.

Both centre backs, captain Simon Grand and Danny Livesey, looked rock solid at the back and it was a strong debut for on-loan Ritchie Sutton at right full back.

Barrow continually frustrated the home side, never more than when stopper Dixon was booked for a cheeky attempt at time-wasting, rushing out to prevent a quick Wood throw-in.

It was another promising performance from Everton loanee Michael Donohue, who was a constant threat on the wings.

Cox beamed at the youngster’s performance: “He’s been fabulous for us since he’s been here. He’s just a breath of fresh air and a dream when he’s in possession. I can understand why Everton have really high hopes that he’s going to come through play in their first team.”

In truth, Wood never looked like scoring and it was Barrow that were more likely to add a third. The best chance for a third goal fell to Cook late on, who once again won a header at the back post. It looked destined for the net, but Wood defender Joe Devera threw his body in the way to block the chance.

The Bluebirds now prepare for the return fixture, with Wood travelling to Cumbria tomorrow night looking to settle the score.