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Match Reports

Bluebirds Held At Home Again

24 October 2020

A photo of the Barrow players celebrating Mark Fletcher (MI News & Sport)
Luke James celebrates his goal

Barrow were made to wait for their first league win of the new season despite twice leading against Walsall at The Progression Solicitors Stadium on Saturday.

Goals from Dior Angus and Luke James put David Dunn’s men in the driving seat on two occasions as the Bluebirds boss returned to the dugout, but two strikes from Caolan Lavery ensured they were left frustrated with a fifth successive home league draw.

Walsall enjoyed some good early possession and engineered a half chance from a right wing corner which was whipped in to the front post for Caolan Lavery but his flicked shot was parried by Joel Dixon.

The Bluebirds then pushed their visitors on to the back foot and began to look a real threat every time they reached the edge of the Walsall penalty area.

Jason Taylor did well to win the ball back high up the pitch to feed Luke James and his pinpoint cross gave Harrison Biggins the chance to volley on goal but he struck it just too high.

James then had a go on goal himself after Josh Kay had cut inside and rolled the ball in to his feet but, after dropping his shoulder to find a yard of space, he clipped a curling effort just wide.

James was at the centre of everything and he turned provider again moment later to set up Jason Taylor for a shot but his firm strike was superbly tipped over the bar by Saddlers keeper Liam Roberts.

The front man came close again just afterwards when he arrived on to a cross from the right and hit a low shot towards the bottom corner but again Roberts was equal to it, getting down low to make an excellent save.

A deserved breakthrough arrived on 24 minutes when Josh Kay showed great positivity to drive down the left side of the area where he was halted in his tracks by a visiting defender and referee Bobby Madley was well positioned to judge it was just inside the box. Dior Angus made no mistake from twelve yards, rifling the penalty high in to the net for 1-0.

The Saddlers lost their skipper, James Clarke, to injury just before half-time but nearly pulled level when Lavery found space twenty yards out but fired too high.

However, the Northern Irish forward was to have the final say of the first half when a cross was delivered in to the box and, when it dropped in to the six-yard area, Lavery reacted quickest to turn it past Dixon to make it 1-1 at the break.

Five minutes in to the second half Barrow restored their lead. James showed great tenacity to keep an attack alive and then cut inside from the left before delivering a wicked shot which nicked off a defender and looped over the keeper and in to top corner of the net.

The Saddlers weren’t behind for long this time though, as the referee spotted a push in the penalty area and pointed to the spot – Lavery slotted home his second of the game from twelve yards to tie the game up at 2-2.

Walsall almost went in front for the first time 12 minutes from time when the tricky Emmanuel Osadebe jinked superbly in to the left side of the area but his low shot across goal came back out off the post and Barrow survived.

 

Chris Taylor could have won it for The Bluebirds injury time when he came off the bench to meet Brad Barry’s inch-perfect cross from the right but the midfielder’s header was straight at keeper Roberts.

Full Time: Barrow 2 Walsall 2

Barrow: Dixon, Barry, Hird, Platt, Brough, Kay (Brown 77), J Taylor, M Jones, Biggins (C Taylor 92), James, Angus (Reid 85).
Subs not used: Moloney, Zouma, Gribbin.

Booked: M Jones.

Walsall: Roberts, Norman, Jules, Clarke (McDonald 40), Scarr, Kinsella, Lavery, Adebayo (Scrimshaw 77), Bates (Guthrie 59), Nurse, Osadebe.
Subs not used: Rose, Sinclair, George, White.

Booked: Jules

Referee: Bobby Madley

Attendance: Behind Closed Doors


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