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Match Reports

Match Report: Swindon vs Barrow

16 April 2023

Match Reports

Match Report: Swindon vs Barrow

16 April 2023

The Bluebirds picked up a solid point on the road at Swindon on Saturday, in the first of our final five league games of the season.

Pete Wild made one change to the side that beat Crawley on Easter Monday with Ben Whitfield back in the starting eleven, in place of the injured Ged Garner.

The opening ten minutes saw both teams finding their way into the game, with no real chances for either side. The best play from the Bluebirds saw Whitfield and Brough combine well down the left before the latter played in a good ball which evaded everyone in a Barrow shirt.

The first chances of the game then fell to the home side when Jonny Williams broke beyond the Bluebirds defence and squared for Charlie Austin who completely miskicked his effort. However, the ball soon found its way back to the centre forward who then saw an effort blocked well by Sam McClelland before firing the rebound over the bar.

Barrow were forced into an early change after 14 minutes when Rory Feely picked up an injury in the Bluebirds penalty area. He was unable to continue and George Ray entered the pitch to replace him.

The visitors then started to grow into the game and when Ben Whitfield was caught by a late challenge, Patrick Brough had the chance to whip a dangerous free kick in, though Sol Brynn claimed well in the Swindon goal.

With 20 minutes played the Bluebirds had their first sight of goal, Robbie Gotts did well to find space in the area and stood a superb cross towards the back post. The ball eventually found its way to Ben Whitfield and though it was at an awkward height for the forward, he managed to get a shot off at goal which Brynn had to claim low to his left.

It was then Swindon’s turn to apply more pressure as the half hour marked approach, Gotts blocking well from a Saidou Khan effort before three successive corners were dealt with well by the Barrow defence.

On 32 minutes the visitors had two chances to take the lead. First Harrison Neal swung in a teasing cross which was headed goal bound by George Ray, forcing Sol Brynn in the Swindon goal to save to his right. Ben Whitfield then broke forward dangerously and went alone to the edge of the area, before firing across goal with Brynn equal to his effort with a diving save.

The home side then had two chances of their own. Jonny Williams broke into the area and with the home crowd urging him to shoot, tried to take the ball around Paul Farman with the Barrow keeper doing well to show him away from goal, meaning his weak effort was eventually bundled behind by Patrick Brough. Charlie Austin then found a yard in the box and his teasing effort towards the far post thankfully evaded everyone in a Swindon shirt and fell just past the far post.

After three minutes of additional time, Paul Howard brought first half proceedings to an end with the scores level.

Half Time: Swindon Town 0-0 Barrow

It was the Bluebirds who started the second half brightly and Josh Gordon had a sight of goal on 47 minutes, firing over from 25 yards out.

There were then big appeals for a Swindon penalty after 54 minutes when Hepburn-Murphy went down under a challenge from Patrick Brough. However, the linesman was well placed and the referee quickly indicated to play on, waving away protests from the home side.

The game then lulled and with an hour played, Pete Wild made a further two changes, with Ben Whitfield & Harrison Neal making way for Josh Kay & Sam Foley.

With 65 minutes on the clock, the Bluebirds had the best chance of the game. After a clever ball from Robbie Gotts found Josh Gordon, the Bluebirds won a corner. Elliot Newby swung the ball in and it was met by the head of George Ray, with Tom Clayton clearing his effort off the line before the home side managed to clear.

In the next ten minutes both Patrick Brough and Robbie Gotts went into the referee’s notebook, but there were no more real chances of note as both sides pushed for a winner.

With ten minutes to go Pete Wild looked to freshen up his side with a final two substitutions, Elliot Newby & Josh Gordon making way for Tyrell Warren & Jake Young.

The game continued in much the same fashion for the final ten minutes, with both sides patiently building play, without any real chances until Hepburn-Murphy shot from the edge of the area and saw Paul Farman equal to his effort and doing well to hold on to the ball.

As the final of six added minutes was played, Barrow had one final chance to find a winner when Patrick Brough was fouled near the corner flag, but Josh Kays cross was headed clear with the referee blowing for full time soon after.

Full Time: Swindon Town 0-0 Barrow

A solid performance by the Bluebirds, who though unable to find a winning goal, left the County Ground with a valuable point.

Swindon: Brynn, Blake-Tracy, Clayton, Brewitt, Hutton, McEachran (Kadji 82'), Williams (Darcy 87'), Khan, Wakeling (Shade 81'), Hepburn-Murphy, Austin

Subs Not Used: Brann, Lavinier, Minturn, Jephcott

Barrow: Farman, Brough, McClelland, Canavan, Feely (Ray 15'), Newby (Warren 81'), Gotts, Neal (Foley 60'), White, Gordon (Young 81'), Whitfield (Kay 60')

Subs Not Used: Lillis

Yellow Cards: Brough (68'), Gotts (76')

Referee: Paul Howard

Attendance: 8080 (147 Barrow)


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