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Match Report: Barrow AFC 1-0 Newport County

23 March 2024

Club News

Match Report: Barrow AFC 1-0 Newport County

23 March 2024

The Bluebirds ran out 1-0 winners after they beat Newport County at Holker Street, thanks to another superb finish from Cole Stockton. This victory extends their unbeaten run to five games.

Going into the game Pete Wild made three changes to the side which faced Harrogate Town with Dom Telford, Tyrell Warren and Ben Whitfield all coming into the starting XI.

The game began with high intensity from both sides, with the Bluebirds creating their first opportunity within seven minutes when Whitfield had the chance to put Barrow in the lead when he powered a low shot toward the goal, but his shot was blocked by the Newport defender.

Telford came even closer to scoring four minutes later when he twisted and turned in the center of the park to come out with the ball in his feet and create a chance to take on a shot from long range, but the ball missed the goal by a few inches of the crossbar to go out for a goal kick.

The Cumbrian side made a breakthrough on the 20-minute mark when Whitfield tried his luck from outside the area but his shot deflected off Telford in the box, however he managed to lay it off to Cole Stockton who rifled his shot low and hard towards Newport's goal and under goalkeeper, Nick Townsend, to give the Bluebirds the lead on the 20-minute mark. This goal now takes Stockton’s tally to five goals in the eleven games he has played for the Bluebirds. 1-0.

Kian Spence had his first chance of the game just before halftime, as he received a neatly played pass from Stockton, and managed to get his shot away from just inside the right of the box, but it was efficiently dealt with by the County defender.

In a half in which both sides struggled due to high wind speeds, the Bluebirds shone through maintaining 51% possession and creating the majority of the chances throughout the first half, resulting in them being rewarded with the 1-0 lead going into half time.

With the pendulum swinging Barrow’s way, Wild’s men came close to doubling their lead immediately after the break, when Whitfield made a run-down Barrow’s left-hand side and crossed a high ball into the Newport area, which saw Stockton rise highest and header the ball towards Thompson in the net. However, his header was just too high, and the ball went out for a goal kick to the Welsh side.

Barrow continued to push for a second goal and were close to being rewarded for their efforts when Stockton’s pass found Whitfield in the six-yard box, who then crossed the ball low and hard across goal towards Spence, whose outstretched leg kicked the ball back towards the goal line, but it was cleared wide for a corner by the back peddling Newport defender.

Newport soaked up a multitude of chances from the Bluebirds and the momentum began to swing in their favor, with their best opportunity of the game coming in the 63rd minute when Adam Lewis received the ball after a miss hit ball by Warren, he then played a cut back towards Palmer- Houlden, whose shot first-time shot was saved superbly by skipper Paul Farman to keep the Bluebirds in the lead.

Spence was next for Barrow to come close to doubling the lead, when on 66 minutes he received a threaded through ball from Telford and managed to get his shot away, but it whisked just wide of the post and out for a Newport goal kick.

 As the game headed into the final ten minutes, the weather at Holker Street continued to take its toll on both sides, with Wild’s men struggling to get control of the ball. The Bluebirds then made some more substitutions to the side, with Wild switching to a 5-4-1 formation to solidify the win and all three points for the Cumbrians.

Today’s victory takes Barrow to just four points away from third-placed Stockport County and an automatic promotion spot, with them now also extending the gap between themselves and seventh-placed Crawley Town to five points, as the Bluebirds chase down a spot in the top three.

Farman ©, Campbell, Ray, Spence, Gotts (Worrall 86’), Chester, Telford (Foley 86’), Warren (Stephenson 69’), Stockton (Acquah 75’), Feely, Whitfield (Newby 75’).

Words by Dylan Whitbread

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