Barrow roared back to form with a convincing League Two win as high-flying Cheltenham Town were taken apart at The Progression Solicitors Stadium on Saturday.
The Bluebirds were at their scintillating best and rarely looked troubled by a visiting side who were sitting in the division’s automatic promotion places ahead of kick-off.
After creating numerous good chances, Barrow finally stole in front just before the break through Scott Quigley before Man of the Match Luke James added a wonderful second. Harrison Biggins then added gloss with a third goal as Rob Kelly’s men enjoyed their biggest win of the campaign.
After a relatively quiet opening to the game, it was The Robins who showed their teeth first when Tom Sang saw his shot well blocked before Chris Hussey’s low shot was easily held by Joel Dixon.
The dangerous Luke James then produced a moment of individual skill to carve out Barrow’s first effort note, doing well to control a ball forward before springing in to space to fire on goal but his effort flew wide.
At the other end there was a great opportunity for Andy Williams who found space to get on the end of Hussey’s well-placed cross, but the front man nodded it wide when he should probably have done better.
Tom Beadling came close to breaking the deadlock when he let fly with a thirty-yard free-kick which skipped up venomously on Town keeper Josh Griffiths, who did well to tip it round the post.
Barrow kept coming through and more determined work from James saw the ball break kindly for Quigley just inside the area and the front man got off a powerful low shot which was excellently saved by Griffiths.
The Robins attempted to respond but, as they pushed forward, they were caught on the counter. James led the charge and free Josh Kay down the left before the wide man fed the ball in to Quigley who fired a shot just too high.
However, the Bluebirds’ Number 9 finally got the reward his efforts deserved when he made a run to the right side of the box and was bundled in to by Liam Sercombe and the referee pointed to the spot. Quigley picked himself up and showed great composure to drill the ball beyond Griffiths to hand Barrow a half-time lead.
The Robins made a triple change at the break but it made little impact in the opening stages as Barrow continued to make most of the running, Harrison Biggins firing just over from distance.
On 52 minutes it was 2-0. Quigley got away through the middle but Griffiths charged from his line to block the striker’s effort – only for James to seize on the loose ball thirty yards out and lob an exquisite effort over everyone and in to the net.
Cheltenham did press to try and find a route back in to the game but there was a real determination about The Bluebirds’ defending and Rob Kelly’s men remained a real threat on the break.
Barrow could have made it 3-0 when James ran on to the ball on the edge of the box and fed it square for Kay but his curling shot flashed wide of the far post.
However, the third goal did arrive on 73 minutes when the rampant James once again got through on goal and, when Griffiths parried his effort, Biggins was there to knock home the rebound to send the fans wild in socially distanced delight.
Full Time: Barrow 3 Cheltenham Town 0
Barrow: Dixon, Brown, Platt, Hird, Brough, Kay (Wilson 79), Beadling, C Taylor, Biggins (J Taylor 84), James, Quigley (Angus 84).
Subs: Lillis, J Taylor, J Jones, Angus, Reid.
Cheltenham Town: Griffiths, Hussey (Freestone 78), Tozer, Raglan, Clements (Chapman 46), May (Lloyd 46), Blair, Williams (Reid 59), Boyle, Sercombe, Sang (Azaz 46).
Subs: Harris, Bowry.
Booked: Clements, Boyle, Hussey.
Referee: Marc Edwards