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Match Reports

TOWN 1-0 Barrow - Patient display rewarded with all three points

18 March 2023

Match Reports

TOWN 1-0 Barrow - Patient display rewarded with all three points

18 March 2023

A Matty Daly strike with little over fifteen minutes remaining was enough to earn Town all three points in a 1-0 victory over playoff chasing Barrow.

It was an afternoon that rewarded the patience shown by a Town side who moved up the table and put daylight between themselves and the bottom two in the process.

The victory also ended the visitors five game unbeaten and meant that Town continued their run of home wins against Barrow since entering the EFL together at the end of the 2019/20 season.

Simon Weaver made two changes from the line-up that fell to defeat at Crawley last weekend. Toby Sims served the first match of his three-game suspension and was replaced by George Thomson, whilst Danny Grant returned in place of Alex Pattison, who dropped to the bench.

The visitors made three changes to the side that gained a valuable point against Sutton. Robbie Gotts, Sam Foley and Gerard Garner returned to the side in place of Harrison Neal, Tom White and Billy Waters.

A loose ball on seven minutes in midfield saw Jake Young power towards the Town box and leave fans with their hearts in their mouths. Fortunately, Young was crowded out and his shot fell to safety.

Young then had a snapshot on the edge of the area from a corner that was only narrowly over Mark Oxley's bar.
Town's first effort of the afternoon came on ten minutes when Grant cut in from the left flank as he so often does, but his shot was straight at Paul Farman in the visitors goal.

They were a matter of inches from taking the lead five minutes later when Matty Foulds lateral ball found Levi Sutton, who took a steadying touch before crashing a right-footed strike that rattled the crossbar with Farman looking on helplessly.

The effort spurred Town on and they began to enjoy territorial dominance, with Foulds and Grant in particular enjoying a spell of possession that pushed the visitors deep in their half.

Oxley was called into action on the half-hour mark when he moved quickly across his goal to palm away Ben Whitfield's direct free-kick.

The Town keeper had an easier save to make minutes later when Garner hit a left-footed strike from the edge of the area; the effort lacked the pace or direction to truly test him though.

Whitfield then had a half-chance at the far post from Rory Feely's cross but the angle was too tight and his header was off target.

With the minutes ticking down to half-time Kazeem Olaigbe flashed a cross along the six-yard box that only just evaded the onrushing Town players.

It was to prove the last action of an even opening forty-five minutes that left both sides with hopes of coming away with all three points.

And the visitors made an attacking change at the break with forward Josh Gordon replacing defender Sam McClelland.

Five minutes into the half a loose ball fell to Armstrong at distance and his pot shot almost caught Farman off-guard before Grant had a pair of snapshots that he dragged wide of the target.

An all-too rarely spotted Josh Falkingham driving run saw him unleash a shot from fully twenty-five yards that Farman had to be at full stretch for to tip over.

Town made two changes in quick succession with Matty Daly replacing Grant and then introducing Pattison for Sutton with the visitors making another two attacking moves, bringing on Billy Waters and Josh Kay for Young and Garner.

And both substitutes also made an immediate impact for the Bluebirds when Kay's powerfully hit strike saw Oxley parry the ball but only in to the path of Waters but he fired over from close range when well placed to open the scoring.

Despite this it was Town who got their noses in front – and what a well-worked goal it was. Falkingham's quick thinking from a free-kick saw him release Muldoon, whose clever ball set up Daly who struck firmly enough that Farman could only get a touch on the ball before it found the back of the net.

Wild played his final hand when he made his remaining changes in bringing on Harrison Neal and Ty Warren for Sam Foley and Rory Feely.

Kazeem Olaigbe had a fantastic opportunity to double the lead with just over ten minutes remaining when he danced through the defence and got off a shot that was deflected just wide of the goal.

A fractious ending to the game saw Pattison and Whitfield receive yellow card.

The win was Town's first home victory of 2023 and enough, with results elsewhere, to move them up to nineteenth in the table ahead of a week off due to the postponement of the away trip to Newport.

TOWN: Oxley, Falkingham, Thomson, Grant (Daly, 65), Olaigbe (Folarin 90+5), O'Connor, Sutton (Pattison, 69), Muldoon, Armstrong, Foulds, Eastman.

Substitutes: Giles, Mattock, Burrell, McArdle.

Goal: Daly (74)

Booked: Pattison (90)

Barrow: Farman, Brough, McClelland (Gordon, 45), Canavan, Gotts, Foley, Garner (Kay, 70), Feely, Ray, Young (Waters, 70), Whitfield.

Substitutes: Willis, Neal, Warren.

Booked: Whitifield (90+3)

Referee: Will Finnie

Attendance: 2,343 (514 away)

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