Barrow returned to winning ways after defeating an inform Tranmere Rovers side 1-0 thanks to a sensational strike from Dean Campbell.
Pete Wild was forced into a number of changes ahead of today's game after Luca Stephenson and David Worrall was forced off during our previous encounter through injury. As a result Wild made four changes with Rory Feely, Mazeed, Dean Campbell, and Jamie Proctor all coming into the starting XI.
The first opportunity of the game fell to Barrow when Elliott Newby powered into the opposition box, he then played it towards Ben Whitfield, who saw his shot go past the face of the goal.
The next chance came when Whitfield and Proctor played a 1-2 on the edge of the Tranmere box, and Whitfield played a low cross destined for Newby, but Tranmere cleared it and out for a Bluebirds corner.
After a decent spell in the game from Nigel Adkins’ side, Feely controlled the ball down the ball on the edge of the Tranmere penalty area, and in the process took two Tranmere defenders out of the game, leaving him with space to take on a shot which sailed over the bar.
The Bluebirds had a huge opportunity to get ahead in the game just before halftime, when Whitfield received the ball in the Tranmere box from a Campbell cross-field ball. He brought then brought it down superbly and got his shot away, but missed by inches.
The Bluebirds got the second half underway, and we didn’t have to wait long for their first opportunity, when Proctor had a shot defended by Walker, but the ball fell to Mazeed on the edge of the box whose shot fizzed wide of the post.
Wild’s men began to gain momentum as the second half progressed, and the closest the Cumbrian side had come to scoring all game, came when Mazeed played the ball to Newby whose cross fell to the head of Proctor, whose chance on goal was saved well by Luke McGee in the Tranmere net.
Wild rolled the dice with a number of subs and it was nearly an instant impact by substitute Emile Acquah who almost scored with his first touch of the game when Whitfield’s cross fell to the head of our number 20, but his header fell just wide of the post.
The first goal of the game came for the Bluebirds with just nine minutes remaining when Newby played the ball out to Campbell on the edge of the box, and he set himself and unleashed a curling shot into the top right corner, past an outstretched McGee in the Tranmere goal.
Subsitute Josh Hawkes nearly leveled things in stoppage time when he dangerously cut inside the area before blasting a low shot against the post.
The Bluebirds nearly made it 2-0 with their last chance of the game when Adeep into stoppage time when Acquah, Spence, and Tom White countered towards the Tranmere goal. Acquah played the ball towards the onrushing White who took his shot, but it was saved by McGee, Spence then nodded in the ball from close range, only for it to be denied for offside.
After a game which started evenly between the two sides and Tranmere making it difficult for the Bluebirds, the Cumbrians gained momentum and saw their attacking prowess rewarded when Campbell scored the winner with a composed strike into the top right corner. This result gives Barrow their first win of 2024 and puts them just three points behind first placed Stockport County.
Barrow XI: Farman, Mazeed (Gotts 76’), Campbell (White 85’), Ray, Canavan ©, Spence, Proctor (Acquah 76’), Newby, Chester, Feely, Whitfield (Foley 85’)
Words by Dylan Whitbread