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Match Report: Tranmere Rovers 1-2 Barrow AFC

5 August 2023

Club News

Match Report: Tranmere Rovers 1-2 Barrow AFC

5 August 2023

A Kian Spence stunner proved decisive as Barrow picked up all three points on the opening day of the new campaign.

Niall Canavan opened the scoring after receiving the ball at the back post before Josh Hawkes tied the contest up at Prenton Park. Spence then netted the winner in spectacular fashion with just under 20 minutes to play.

The Bluebirds introduced four debutants into the season’s inaugural starting XI as Dean Campbell, David Worrall, Spence, and Emile Acquah all started.

The new boys linked up well throughout the opening 45, however, the first opportunity fell to George Ray inside the penalty area. The defender’s header forced a calm save from Luke McGee.

Pete Wild’s men continued to probe and nearly opened the scoring after 17 minutes. Elliot Newby slipped through Ged Garner, whose square ball was diverted behind.

Following a flurry of set-piece deliveries, Barrow finally struck gold. Worrall’s corner was cleared only as far as Spence. The number eight cannoned an effort towards goal, Acquah flicked on, and Captain Canavan converted at the back post with a clever backheel. 

Shortly after taking the lead, Farman was called into action. Hawkes capitalised on a weak backpass, but the Barrow number one made himself big and protected the advantage with a great save at the feet of the attacker.

The first period came to a close with a pair of half chances. Worrall tried his luck from outside the area, but his half-volley was blocked. Ray then did well to get a shot away following a string of impressive passes but fired wide from distance.

After the break, Tranmere was awarded a penalty, following a mistimed Rory Feely challenge. Hawkes, who won the spot kick, stroked home to make it 1-1.

The hosts came forward again, with two quick-fire attempts. Kieron Morris stepped up first but failed to fire further than Ray, goalscorer Hawkes subsequently looped his header over the crossbar.

Debutant Spence then announced his arrival at Barrow with a bang. The midfielder reacted well after the clearance of Newby’s cross, rocketing his volley beyond McGee, who was helpless in the Tranmere goal.

Wild’s side reacted well after regaining the advantage, limiting Tranmere to very few chances. Their best chance before the close of play fell to substitute Dennis, who appeared to be one-on-one until Ray emerged once again to thwart his efforts.

After nine minutes of injury time, Barrow emerged victorious and registered their first three points of the season.

On Tuesday, attentions turn to the EFL Cup, where the Bluebirds travel to Bolton Wanderers for their first-round tie.


Barrow line-up: Farman; Worrall, Feely, Canavan, Ray, Newby (Tiensia, 77); Spence (Foley, 77), White, Campbell (Gotts, 87); Garner (Warren, 77), Acquah (Duffus, 66).


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