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Match Reports

Belshaw penalty heroics give town well-earned point on the road.

16 March 2024

Match Reports

Belshaw penalty heroics give town well-earned point on the road.

16 March 2024

James Belshaw’s first-half penalty save proved decisive in continuing Town’s positive away record as we fought through the blistering wind in Cumbria against a Barrow side sat in the play-offs.

Matty Foulds returned to the starting line-up to replace an injured Liam Gibson who dropped out of the squad to leave space for Rod Macdonald to return from a hamstring injury.

Barrow’s sturdy home defence had led them to 4 wins from 6 but they were caught cold by a Town team firing with two early corners following quick counter attacking exchanges between Muldoon and March.

A flurry of early chances followed, the best of which was a low driven shot from Daly which almost snuck past Farman at his near post.

The play then fell into the home sides hands as Feely struck the crossbar from 20 yards out in the 16th minute.

Town’s direct attacking was forced to appear with Barrow closing the quick avenues Harrogate exploited within the first 20 minutes. O’Connor lofted a long through ball above the Barrow backline, but Muldoon’s volley sailed wide.

Barrow were then rewarded a golden opportunity when Warren Burrell was penalised after a late challenge on Gotts inside the penalty area.

It proved to be Belshaw to the rescue again for Town as the penalty from Campbell was expertly tipped wide of the left post. Keeping the score level as the half time whistle blew.

The second half opened with no changes made in the line-up, or the momentum with continued Barrow pressure allowing Ray to flick a dangerous cross wide of the post. Barrow missed the pick of the open play chances in the opening ten minutes, when Acquah latched onto a lofted cross from Newby, only to see his open goal effort loop over the cross bar.

But it would be Town who began to take control soon after a long-range effort from Thomson and quick interchanges between Abu and the newly introduced Sivi. Then with 20 minutes remaining Odoh weaved his way into the box, but his shot whistled in to the side-netting.

Matty Daly left the fold to be replaced by Stephen Dooley, who picked up the first yellow card of the afternoon. Signalling a switch in Town to grind through the Barrow pressure.

The tide began to turn back in Barrows way as Anthony O’Connor came to Town's rescue on multiple occasions, cutting out dangerous shooting and crossing opportunities from Telford and White.

The 85th minute saw Weaver make his fourth substitution as Rod MacDonald returned to the field for the first time since recovering from injury, replacing Derrick Abu in defence who proved to be a valuable spark in Town’s attack.

The four minutes of added time were called just as March looked to have won a stonewall penalty, only for the linesman to raise his offside flag.

This remained the last chance of the afternoon with Town returning to Harrogate earning another deserved point on the road and battling well against play-off contenders.

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