Late Forest Green leveller leaves Bluebirds stumped
Barrow AFC 2-2 Forest Green Rovers
Barrow were forced to settle for a point following Nicky Cadden’s injury time equaliser at the end of an entertaining match both sides had chances to win.
A frantic opening quarter of an hour set the tone for the rest of the game. Firstly, Scott Quigley had a goal ruled out for offside, before Carl Winchester saw his goal-bound effort cleared off the line by Sam Hird at the other end.
Moments later, Quigley found himself through on goal, this time he was onside but couldn’t place the ball past the advancing Luke McGee, while Barrow had the woodwork to thank when Jake Young’s curled shot struck the foot of the post, having left Joel Dixon stranded.
The frenetic pace continued throughout the half, with both sides cancelling each other out until the closing stages when Young danced past three Barrow players before hitting the crossbar with a dipping 20-yard shot.
The visitors started the second period in positive fashion, pegging Barrow back in their own half for much of the opening exchanges and were eventually rewarded with the opening goal. Cadden swung in a corner that caught the Bluebirds’ defence flat-footed as Elliott Whitehouse stole a march to nod in.
Barrow responded well, though, and stepped up a gear in search for the leveller. Substitute Connor Brown headed wide at the back post with his first touch of the game. Brown made a bigger impact in the 73rd minute, when his cutback teed up Luke James to rifle a shot past McGee to draw his side level.
The Bluebirds continued to press on and took the lead with seven minutes of normal time remaining after Harrison Biggins was dragged down in the penalty area following a surging run took him to the byline was abruptly stopped by Jordan Moore-Taylor.
Dior Angus, on for Quigley, stepped up to coolly slot his penalty into the bottom left corner, past the dive of the Rovers stopper.
David Dunn must have thought his side had done enough to earn all three points but, just as Barrow had done in their previous game at Cambridge, Forest Green left it until the last kick of the ball to snatch a share of the spoils.
A sloppy Mike Jones foul on the edge of the area gave the visitors a free-kick in a dangerous position. Cadden stepped up to take and sent a wicked strike crashing against the underside of the bar and in to earn his side a dramatic point.
Barrow AFC (3-4-2-1): Dixon; Hird, Platt, Brough; Barry, J.Taylor, M.Jones, Ntlhe (Brown 53); Biggins, James; Quigley (Angus 75). Subs not used: Lillis, Wilson, C.Taylor, Reid.
Forest Green (4-3-3): McGee; Richardson (Stevens 90), Godwin-Malife, Kitching, Cadden; Adams, Winchester, Whitehouse (Collins 78); Bailey (Moore-Taylor 60), Matt, Young. Subs not used: Thomas, Wilson, Sweeney, Stokes.