Our report on today’s win at Maidstone United.
By Ryan Sutherland
Worgan, Hare, Wynter, Okuonghae, Anderson, Paxman, Lewis, Reason, Loza, Lafayette, Turgott.
De Havilland, Prestedge, Osei, Twumasi, Sam-Yorke
Arnold, Barthram, Macdonald, Diarra, Cook, White, Hall, Gomis, Holt, L.James, Jones
Audel, Bauress, Panayiotou, Humphrey, K.James
2338 (Including 89 Barrow fans – thanks for your fantastic support!)
On a warm and bright afternoon in Kent, Barrow battled to a hard fought win, Luke James’ first half strike securing three important points for the Bluebirds at the Gallagher Stadium.
Ady Pennock’s men had the better of the opening minutes, Luke James with the first shot of the game from close range which was blocked by a Maidstone defender. Soon after the ball was in the Stones area again with a scramble in the box, the ball eventually being cleared by the home defence.
Maidstone soon settled, winning a free kick midway into the Barrow area after a foul on Ross Lafayette. The ball was floated into the Barrow area and punched clear by Steve Arnold, but it fell to Jamar Loza who fired towards goal, with Moussa Diarra doing well to block his effort.
The home side then continued to press and they had the best chance of the opening exchanges after 10 minutes. A dangerous cross from Josh Hare was flicked on by Loza at the near post and found it’s way to Lafayette who saw his header go just over Arnold’s crossbar.
Maidstone played some good football down the wings and did well to make their way into the Barrow area, Calum Macdonald with a vital interception leading to a corner for the home side which was headed away by Diarra.
The Bluebirds looked to be in just short of the 15 minute mark, Asa Hall picking out Jordan White with a defence splitting pass but, under pressure from the onrushing keeper, he put his effort over the bar.
Barrow continued to press, first a long throw from Dan Jones causing chaos in the area, before Asa Hall had an effort saved by Worgan in the Maidstone goal. A long ball by Jack Barthram was then nodded down by Grant Holt, into the path of Bedsente Gomis. Unfortunately for him, and for the Bluebirds, he couldn’t get an effort away.
After 20 minutes Maidstone front man Lafayette made inroads into the Barrow area and got a cross in, Moussa Diarra doing well to turn it behind for a home corner. 3 minutes later they had a fantastic chance with the home forward somehow screwing his shot across Arnold’s goal.
Good build up play from Jones and Holt then saw Luke James played in, but the flag was offside. James broke forward again soon after, Gomis then taking over and winning a corner which came to nothing.
The games only goal came after 31 minutes. Grant Holt cushioned the ball down for Luke James who showed a fantastic turn of pace to race clear and curl the ball past Worgan, sparking celebrations on the pitch and amongst the 89 travelling Barrow fans.
The game settled down after James’ strike, Lafayette firing wide just before two minutes of added time was announced. They passed by uneventfully and the Bluebirds lead at half time.
Half Time: Maidstone United 0-1 Barrow
The home side kicked off the second half and they had a good chance just minutes in. A break down the right hand side resulting in a low cross along the six yard box but thankfully for Barrow, it evaded everyone and went out for a throw on the far side.
An almost identical chance then fell to the Bluebirds. Grant Holt raced onto a pass from James but his cross was just out of the reach of Dan Jones at the back post. James then had a good chance to break free, but he couldn’t quite get the ball out of his feet and the covering defender came away with the ball. The first Barrow substitution was then made, Chris Humphrey replacing Jordan White.
Barrow were enjoying a good spell and some fantastic play saw Jones play in a dangerous low cross which Worgan did well to gather. Bedsente Gomis then broke but he was held up allowing the defender to block his shot for a corner which was played in by Jones. Asa Hall met it with a powerful header which was parried away by Worgan, before the ball came into the area yet again from Jones, the ball rolling agonisingly across the face of goal.
Maidstone then had a good chance as a ball played in was somehow headed over, shortly before Kingsley James came on for Dan Jones to make his debut.
Barrow were inches away from doubling their lead on 70 minutes, Grant Holt playing in the overlapping Chris Humphrey who played a teasing cross in which skimmed Luke James’ foot and went wide.
Grant Holt went into the book after a disagreement with the referee, before a Maidstone forward fired wide and Asa Hall clipped the cross bar with a free kick towards the back post.
Brad Bauress replaced Luke James as the clocked ticked over into the last 10 minutes. The Bluebirds may have expected to come under pressure in the final stages and the hosts didn’t dissapoint. Two successive corners were well defended by Barrow before Moussa Diarra stopped Lafayette with a superb tackle.
The Bluebirds had some chances of their own late on, Holt fired over from a corner before Bedsente Gomis saw his shot well saved by Worgan, Humphrey following up but shooting wide.
The fourth official signalled for 4 long added minutes, but the hosts were forced to resort to pumping long balls into the area, which were solidly defended by the Bluebirds, the full time whistle eventually going to the delight of the Barrow players, management and supporters.
Full Time: Maidstone United 0-1 Barrow