Our report from a fantastic win over Eastleigh at the FBSS.
Arnold, Makoma, Diagne, Diarra, Cook, Waterston, Kingsley James, Hall, Gomis, Luke James, Walters
Audel, Fitzpatrick, Bauress, Panayiotou, Barthram
Waterston (59), Cook (74, foul on Yeats)
Hall (15), Makoma (62), Walters (79)
Stack, Hoyte, Togwell, Cresswell, Wood, McCallum, Yeats, Zebroski, Broom, Miley, Mathews
Green, Flitney, Hollands, Williamson, Dennett
Zebroski (24, handball)
Zebroski (60), Williamson (90)
Barrow scored three home goals to earn three richly deserved vital points- the last time either happened was on 27th October. The victory was even sweeter after a massive scare in the ninth minute of time added, the woodwork twice preserving the win.
Barrow went on the attack from the kick-off with Luke James through on goal within 15 seconds, seeing his shot tipped just wide of the post. Three minutes later a cross from the right gave James another opportunity which Graham Stack saved again. In the 7th minute a long ball from Nathan Waterston resulted in a run by Lewis Walters whose shot was then cleared for a corner, Walters’ kick being headed wide by Waterston.
Three minutes later there were yet more chances for the Bluebirds as a goalbound shot from Walters was cleared and his resultant corner punched cleared by Stack.
As the quarter hour approached, the reward finally came as Asa Hall precisely headed a Walters corner into the bottom left corner for 1-0.
Twenty minutes in, Eastleigh tested our defence with three corners. However, on the final one, Chris Zebroski was booked for handball in the area.
In the 33rd minute, a Walters ball from the right gave James a shot across the face of goal.
Despite Barrow’s previous dominance in possession and chances, Eastleigh ended the half strongly, gaining a 40th minute free kick just outside the area. Steve Arnold was at full stretch to catch Mark Yeats’ goalbound strike. However, we survived the late onslaught and went in with a deserved, albeit slender, lead.
Half Time: Barrow 1-0 Eastleigh
The visitors continued as they had left off, with Barrow being restricted to counter attacks- one saw Bedsente Gomis colliding with keeper Stack as each went for a long ball forward in the 53rd minute. Five minutes later, the injured Gomis had to be replaced by David Fitzpatrick; seconds later Eastleigh had the ball in the net from a Yeats corner but offside was flagged.
As the hour approached, the ball was in the net again, this time the equaliser as Zebroski broke through, rounded Steve Arnold and fired in.
Undaunted, Barrow went back on the attack and, within two minutes, we were back in the lead. A close-range effort by Walters was blocked by stack but the ball fell to Donovan Makoma just outside the box who fired through the crowded area into the corner. Both Ryan Cresswell and keeper Stack were injured in the process and, after treatment lasting nearly 5 minutes, had to be replaced by Michael Green and Ross Flitney respectively.
In the 67th minute, a foul on Yeats gave him a free kick which was headed across Barrow’s goal. Five minutes later, Eastleigh made the final change with Ben Williamson coming on for Sam Togwell.
In the 79th minute, Nathan Waterston hit the right post with a fierce shot, the ball rebounding to Walters on the edge of the area who fired in our third. This goal, which the players celebrated as if they had won the cup, would later prove crucial.
Undeterred, Eastleigh went all out for the final 10 minutes of normal time- plus almost 9 minutes of time added- for a nail-biting finale. Zebroski crossed dangerously across goal in the 83rd minute. The crowd of 817 (including 32 visitors) was announced and Brad Bauress came on Walters.
In the last minute of normal time, Walters was announced as man of the match- just as substitute Ben Williamson clawed one back for Eastleigh in a crowded area.
There was a sense of disbelief on the restart as 8 minutes of time added were announced following the various injuries. Could we yet throw away a hard-earned win ? indeed, it again seemed like a cup tie as even goalie Flitney had gone up for a free kick! Arnold caught a Yeats free kick in the 6th minute of time added.
To the relief of the Barrow contingent , we gained a free kick 20 yards out on the right with less than a minute of the eight to play. Instead of firing toward goal and risking a quick clearance, Bauress decided to launch the ball towards the corner. It went out for a throw in – and a rapid counter attack resulted. Eastleigh gained a corner with over eight minutes having been played; Sam Mathew’s kick was launched into the area where mayhem resulted, the woodwork twice saving Barrow from a crushing equaliser. First Yeats hit the post and then goalie Flitney, who had again gone up to the other end, headed against the crossbar. This was the final action, the whistle blowing after a draining extra 8 minutes 45 seconds.
Full Time: Barrow 3-2 Eastleigh
Thanks to Derek for the report.
We are next at home this coming Saturday as we host Ebbsfleet United in the National League. Kick off is 3pm at the Furness Building Society Stadium.