Barrow produced another disciplined and encouraging performance to take a point from their opening group game of the EFL Trophy at Blackpool on Tuesday night.
David Dunn made eight changes to his starting eleven and they had to ride their luck at times but that mixture of good fortune and determined defending ensured a second consecutive clean sheet in a goalless draw at Bloomfield Road.
Blackpool set the early pace and looked to push Barrow on to the back foot but the best they could muster was a cross from Bez Lubala which looped harmlessly on to the roof of the net.
At the other end, Scott Quigley helped the ball on in to the path of strike partner Luke James who scampered in behind the home defence but saw his shot flash wide via a deflection off a recovering defender.
James then returned the favour by turning swiftly in from the right and showing great vision to slip a ball through to Quigley but the Blackpool defenders just got back in time to thwart the front man.
Dunn’s men were thankful to a wonderful save from Joel Dixon when Teddy Howe’s cross in to the box fell kindly in to the path of Ethan Robson who looked odds-on to open the scoring – only for Dixon to spread himself brilliantly to divert the ball away to safety.
The Seasiders were looking more and more menacing as the half developed though and another ball in from the right flashed dangerously across the face of the Barrow goal but Scott Madine couldn’t quite stretch enough at the far post to apply a finishing touch.
Next to try his luck was Daniel Kemp who darted away down the right hand side for the hosts before cutting inside and firing a low drive on goal which was blocked away by Jones.
Quigley then got a sight of goal at the other end following good work on the halfway line by Scott Wilson, who intercepted the ball and played it in to the striker’s path but his long-range shot flew well over the bar.
Blackpool’s Robson then had a go from a long-range free-kick which took a deflection and almost deceived Dixon, who had to readjust quickly to get back across his goal and turn it round the post.
Moments later Grant Ward came even closer to opening the scoring for the hosts when a cross from the left was cleared to him on the edge of the box and he instinctively volleyed an effort on goal which shaved the outside of the post on its way wide.
The Bluebirds almost stole in front right on half-time when Harrison Biggins whipped in a wicked free-kick from the left which flashed across goal and had to be clawed away by keeper Chris Maxwell.
A competitive opening to the second half did not produce a lot in the way of clear-cut chances, though Dixon did well again to block Lubala’s low drive with an outstretched foot.
At the other end Luke James saw his shot charged down after another energetic run down the right, before Morgan Penfold then engineered an opening for himself on the edge of the area but his shot was deflected wide.
Try as they might, neither side could find a breakthrough and it finished goalless with both sides taking a point in the opening group game.
It was Blackpool who then went on to clinch a bonus point as they held their nerve from the penalty spot to win the shootout 5-3.
Full Time: Blackpool 0 Barrow 0 (Blackpool win a bonus point 5-3 on penalties)
Blackpool: Maxwell, Husband, Thorniley, Williams, Robson (Anderson 71), Nottingham, Madine (Yates 91), Ward, Kemp, Howe, Lubala.
Subs not used: Sims, Turton, Ekpiteta, Hamilton, Shaw.
Barrow: Dixon, J Jones (Beadling 46), Hird, Wilson, Nlthe (Brown 46), Taylor, Gribbin, Penfold, Biggins, James, Quigley.
Subs not used: M Jones, Hardcastle, Angus, Hindle.
Referee: Conor Brown.