The magic of the cup was well and truly alive at Sixfields as Barrow secured their place in the Second Round of the Emirates FA Cup following a 3-1 win over League One side Northampton Town.
Coming into the match the Bluebirds were full of confidence after extending their unbeaten streak to six games in midweek, following an emphatic 1-0 victory over rivals Morecambe.
As a result of the midweek derby day victory, the Gaffer admitted energy levels were somewhat depleted as he made two changes to that side that defeated the Shrimps, with Tom White and Mazeed both making their first starts in nearly a month.
And Barrow had a dream start to the match when they took the lead in the ninth minute after Emile Acquah rose highest to head home Elliot Newby’s pinpoint corner.
Having taken an early lead, the Bluebirds soon went under the cosh for the remainder of the opening half as the League One side pushed for an equaliser.
Will Hondermarck really should have made more of his chance in the 14th minute when he was played in on goal by a long ball over the top of the Barrow defence, but he wastefully lashed his shot wide of the target.
Northampton continued to push forward and were level on 29 minutes when Mitch Pinnock finished from close range after Sam Hoskins deflected a Barrow ball into his path.
Dom Telford looked to continue his fine form in front of goal today and he was only inches away from putting the Cumbrians back in front in the 35th minute when he smashed a shot from 30 yards just wide of the post.
In the final few minutes of the half experienced defender James Chester was on hand to clear the ball of the line after Hoskins’ shot from close range seemed destined to find the bottom corner.
After a rocky end to the opening period, Barrow started the second half strongly and regained the lead in the 52nd minute, when Tom White’s powerful effort from 25 yards took a big deflection which completely deceived the keeper and rolled into the back of the net.
After the goal, Barrow became tighter at the back and were rewarded for their continued efforts with a third goal only 20 minutes later, when Robbie Gotts chipped a hopeful ball through to Ben Whitfield who nipped in front of a defender and the goalkeeper to make it three.
Kian Spence thought he’d added a fourth goal to the tally in the 76th minute after Newby cleverly cut the ball back for the midfielder who blasted a shot toward goal, only for it to be tipped onto the bar.
As the tie prolonged Barrow looked more and more likely to add to their lead and deep into stoppage time Gotts thought he’d added a fourth when he riffled an effort from 30 yards inches wide of the top right corner.
That proved to be the final chance of the game as Pete Wild’s men experienced the magic of the FA Cup after they knocked out League One side Northampton.
Barrow XI: Farman, Ray, Canavan ©, Chester (Foley 74), Mazeed (Whitfield 45), Newby, White, Stephenson (Gotts 45), Spence, Acquah (Proctor 61), Telford (Garner 61).