Barrow manager Pete Wild praised his substitutes for “really influencing the game,” as the Bluebirds maintained their perfect start to the new campaign, beating Sutton United 2-1 at the SO Legal Stadium.
Lee Angol opened the scoring for ten-man Sutton, however, debutant Jamie Proctor netted the decisive strike 8 minutes from time, just three after Emile Acquah also bagged his first goal for the club having drawn his side level.
A barrage of Bluebirds attacks in the second half ensured that Barrow bounced back from Bolton's bruising on Tuesday night.
Arguably the biggest impact was made by the substitutes, as Sam Foley notched a pair of assists, and Proctor, of course, netted the decider. Overall Wild was impressed with the effect that they had and spoke about the importance of squad depth.
“I thought that the subs really influenced the game today. I have spoken a lot about subs, and I have spoken to the players about them as well.
“Sometimes you start a game and have to do the hard graft, but sometimes you’ll come on when the game opens up and you’ll have to be a finisher and get to the end of the game. The latter are the ones who probably have the bigger part to play.”
He continued: “It takes a mixture of being calm and ensuring that we keep the pressure on. We have been fortunate to be able to bring in experienced players like Jamie Proctor and Sam Foley, who know how to deal with those situations.”
Life was made difficult for the away side only 13 minutes into this encounter after Us forward Harry Smith was sent over off for a stamp on Tom White. However, there was still work to be done, and Barrow did well to ensure that they made the most of their advantage.
The breakthrough did not come straight away, and Wild was impressed with his side’s drive and determination to turn the contest on its head.
He stated: “I am really pleased; we took control of a difficult game. We had 15 shots on goal, and until late on, we did everything but score.
“At half time I stressed that I wanted us to play like us because the red card seemed to make us think that we had to win it in the next five minutes and play frantically. Even if it took until 70, 80, or even 85 minutes to get that goal, I wanted us to keep being us, which we did – I was really pleased.
“Fair credit to Sutton though; I thought that they defended for their lives and grafted so hard for their team. When you’re up against that, it is very difficult to break down. We were made to keep applying pressure, and eventually, it worked.”
Barrow faces two successive away fixtures before returning to Holker Street again in a fortnight. First up is a trip to Accrington Stanley on Tuesday before Stockport County beckons next weekend.