It finished honours even at the SO Legal Stadium as Barrow’s late barrage on Richard O’Donnell’s goal was not quite enough to take all three points.
It was a positive opening 10 minutes which saw some great work by Ben Whitfield finding Billy Waters inside the box whose shot narrowly falls wide of the target. 4 minutes later Richie Bennett towered above the Rochdale defence, his powerful header doesn’t miss by much.
The Bluebirds came the closest out of the two sides in the opening half an hour, Ben Whitfield’s curling effort on the edge of the area scrapes past the other side of Richard O’Donnell’s post and out for a goal kick
Barrow came forward just shy of halftime with a successive of attacks, the most prominent of these saw the ball land at the feet of Ben Whitfield following Harrison Neal’s cross to the far post, Whitfield sees his shot collected into Richard O’Donnell’s grasp.
Straight away from the restart Tom White won the ball and was fouled by Liam Kelly on the centre circle; Whitfield’s resulting free kick was delivered to the back post, with Niall Canavan not quite able to stretch his leg out enough to convert the ball past Richard O’Donnell in the Dale goal.
In the 58th minute, Connor Brown brought the ball forward playing into Jordan Stevens, running at the Rochdale defence before laying off to Harrison Neal, his cross to the back post directed towards Richie Bennett who put his header just wide of the mark.
74 minutes on the clock and a brilliant opportunity for Barrow started through Tom White who played it out to Patrick Brough on the left-hand side, who beats his man and cross lands for Robbie Gotts who shoots low but blocked by Rochdale’s defence, and scrappily got it out of danger to keep the score goalless.
Into the final 10 minutes of the contest and Billy Waters had a fantastic opportunity in the 83rd, from a close acute angle fired over on the volley following Richie Bennett’s cross, Barrow continued to strive forward looking for the decisive goal, Tyrell Warren’s dangerous cross across the face of the goal was turned behind for a corner, the corner was delivered and headed by into the box by Sam Foley, finding Josh Gordon who fired over the bar.
Deep into stoppage time, Richie Bennett’s long-range speculative effort flashed across Richard O’Donnell’s goal and narrowly wide of the target.
Full Time: Barrow 0-0 Rochdale