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Match Reports

Report: Walsall 2 Barrow 2

23 October 2021

A photograph of Barrow John Cripps (MI News & Sport)
Barrow's Josh Gordon in action against Walsall

Josh Gordon returned to haunt his former club by scoring a sensational equaliser deep into stoppage time to secure Barrow a share of the points from a dramatic encounter at Walsall.

The forward gleefully forced the ball home right at the death to earn Mark Cooper’s men a 2-2 draw in what had been a hard-fought affair against The Saddlers who twice led only to let it slip.

It was a ferocious start from the home side and the first effort came after just three minutes when Conor Wilkinson drove into space to let fly with a shot which was well tipped over by Paul Farman.

However, from the resultant corner, Walsall led. The ball was delivered into the edge of the six-yard area and a first shot was saved by Farman before it ricocheted down in front of top scorer, George Miller and he rifled in the opening goal from close range.

The goal injected real confidence into the hosts, and they could have been further ahead with just 8 minutes on the block when Miller timed his run brilliantly to get in behind the Barrow defence and cut inside to shoot only for Farman to make a wonderful save.

Wilkinson then tested Farman once more direct from a free-kick before Kieran Phillips showed great skill to drive in from the left wing to curl a shot just wide of the target.

The home side were being roared on by an encouraged crowd but they were finding Farman in inspired form – he produced more good work on 18 minutes to paw clear a Jack Earing free kick.

Emmanue Osadebe turned swiftly on the halfway line to run at the Barrow defence before curling a powerful shot just wide, while Joe Grayson had to take a yellow card to stop Miller skipping through on goal as Walsall kept pressing.

However, as time wore on, Barrow began to gather their composure and they were on level terms nine minutes before the break. Josh Kay fizzed a beautiful pass out to Remeao Hutton on the right who then delivered a first-time cross into the area where George Williams arrived right on cue to slide home his first goal for the Club.

Farman was kept busy again by Osadebe as he once again turned to bore down on goal, while Walsall keeper Carl Rushworth had to stay alert to tip over a Williams’ free kick from the left which almost caught him out.

The second half began with plenty of effort from both sides but very little in terms of quality in the final third until just after the hour mark when Walsall went back in front. A neat move down the right saw a low ball fed across to Miller at the near post who finished clinically, despite Bluebirds’ protests that the ball had gone out before it was crossed.

Barrow attempted to recover and could have levelled fifteen minutes from time when Hutton fizzed another testing ball into the middle and Kay arrived to try and strike on goal, but he didn’t connect cleanly, and Walsall survived.

At the other end, Miller had a sniff of completing his hat-trick when he got on the end of a deep cross from the right, but he nodded an effort too high to trouble Farman.

The Bluebirds remained patient and continued to knock it around, probing for an opening. It almost arrived six minutes from time when Kay picked out Banks on the edge of the box, but his low strike was just about held by keeper Rushworth with Hutton loitering for the rebound.

The moment finally arrived into the sixth minute of stoppage time when Barrow worked the ball down the left and Brough whipped another terrific cross into the box where Gordon tucked it home to set off wild celebrations behind the goal.

 

Full Time: Walsall 2 Barrow 2

Walsall: Rushworth, White, Ward, Labadie, Monthe, Wilkinson, Osadebe (Perry 86), Miller, Phillips (Shade 63), Earing, Menayese.
Subs not: Rose, Taylor, Kiernan, Leak, Khan.

Booked: White, Miller.

Barrow: Farman, Hutton, Ellis, Grayson, Brough, Banks, Stevens (James 76), Gotts, Williams (White 69), Kay, Gordon.
Subs not used: Moloney, Brown, Arthur, J Jones.

Booked: Banks, Grayson, Brough, Stevens, Kay.

Referee: Andy Haines

Attendance: 4,508 (224 Barrow)

 


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