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Match Report: Barrow AFC B 3-0 Preston North-End Reserves

20 February 2024

Club News

Match Report: Barrow AFC B 3-0 Preston North-End Reserves

20 February 2024

Jason Taylor’s men secured a comfortable 3-0 win over Preston Reserves earlier this afternoon thanks to a brace from Ben Whitfield and a fine volley from Owen Bray.

In the usual B team format, Barrow elected to play a strong side including a number of first-team players who didn’t start at Salford last weekend with the likes of Dean Campbell, Dom Telford, and David Worrall all finding their ways into the starting XI.

It started as an even affair with the young Preston team working very hard off the ball to nullify Barrow’s threats going forward. Eventually in the 10th minute, the Bluebirds created their first chance of the afternoon when Whitfield pinged a deep corner to the back stick where Jamie Proctor headed over.

Only a minute later Max Wilson had a great chance to put North-End in the lead when he received a lofted ball inside the penalty area, but he sliced his attempt wide of Josh Lillis’ goal.

After a relatively quiet next 10 minutes in regards to goalmouth action, Barrow broke the deadlock in the 23rd minute after Telford dinked a deep ball to the back post where Whitfield headed the ball across the box to Bray who came charging into the six-yard box to volley it home.

Campbell was unfortunate not to double our lead six minutes later when he tried his luck from 30 yards, but his venomous effort sailed narrowly over the bar.

Barrow continued to dominate the opening half of football and came close again in the 33rd minute when Whitfield’s deep corner found Proctor at the back post who spun quickly before hitting a low effort against the side-netting

The visitors started the second half very well and were unfortunate not to be level when Ellis Horan picked the ball up on the edge of the area before hitting a low shot towards the bottom left corner, but Lillis was equal to his effort and pushed it away. The rebound fell kindly to Kit Nelson who hit the ball back towards goal, but Lillis showed great reactions to get up and make the double save.

After that opportunity, it was Barrow’s turn to attack and Proctor was again denied from getting on the scoresheet. This time Whitfield quickly rolled a corner across the six-yard box to our experienced striker who flicked the ball towards goal only for it to be cleared off the line.

Eventually in the 74th minute, our lead was doubled when Lillis pinged a goal kick to Proctor on halfway and he simply flicked it into the path of Whitfield who raced through on goal before sliding his attempt underneath the keeper to make it 2-0.

North-End’s best opportunity of the match came 10 minutes from time when Ethan Eccleston curled the ball with his right foot towards the top right corner of the goal from distance, but his effort bounced off the inside of the post and to safety.

In the final minute of the match, Whitfield doubled his goal tally for the day when Telford whipped a low ball across the box to the pacey forward who had the simple task of tapping it into an empty net.

And that proved to be the final chance of the match as Taylor's men secured a league double over Preston having defeated them 3-0 back in November at the Championship side's training ground.

Barrow XI: Lillis, Worrall, Foley, Reeve, Etaluku, Campbell © (Gotts 62), Bray, Stephenson (Warren 62), Telford, Whitfield, Proctor.

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