Bluebirds suffer shoot-out Dons defeat in FA Cup.
Barrow AFC 0-0 AFC Wimbledon (Wimbledon win 4-2 on penalties)
Barrow suffered their third cup shoot-out defeat of the season, as they exited the FA Cup in their rearranged tie against League One side AFC Wimbledon.
Playing their third game in six days, David Dunn rang the changes to his Bluebirds line-up, with only Yoan Zouma surviving from Tuesday night’s defeat to Oldham Athletic and it took them a while to get going as the Dons had the best of the opening stages.
Will Nightingale, Ethan Chislett and Ollie Palmer all could, and perhaps should, have opened the scoring, but were wasteful when presented with good chances before Barrow could get into the game, with Josh Kay’s weak effort failing to test Nik Tzanev.
Dimitri Sea did a lot better with the next notable attack, doing well to escape the attention of his marker before hammering a shot that bent just past the post as the half remained goalless.
The second half was almost a carbon copy of the first, with the visitors starting strongly before Barrow grew into the game. Sam Hird had to make a good block to deny Chislett, before the Wimbledon man fired high over the bar when he found himself with the ball at his feet after the Bluebirds had failed to deal with a corner.
Barrow had a half-chance with Jayden Reid’s thunderous strike from distance, before Dior Angus had a penalty appeal dismissed by the referee.
It was almost deja vu for the Bluebirds in second half stoppage time, but this time the sucker punch didn’t land, as Antony Hartigan’s strike cleared the crossbar as the tie went to extra time.
The next 30 minutes were dominated by Wimbledon, and Barrow had stand-in keeper Josh Lillis to thank for keeping them in the tie, with a fine save to deny Nightingale’s snapshot. Joe Pigott and Jack Rudoni saw efforts go close but the deadlock couldn’t be broken as penalties loomed.
The Bluebirds found themselves on the back foot from the first kick, with the usually reliable Angus seeing his spot-kick saved, before Scott Quigley blazed his over the bar. Those misses, coupled with the Dons’ accuracy, meant that Rudoni’s successful attempt was enough to send his team through to face Crawley in the second round.
Barrow AFC (3-4-3): Lillis; Hird, Zouma (Brough 77), Wilson; Kay, Gribbin, C.Taylor, Ntlhe (Brown 91); Sea (James 71), Reid (Quigley 86), Angus. Subs not used: Moloney, J.Taylor, Biggins.
AFC Wimbledon (3-5-2): Tzanev; Rudoni, Nightingale, Csoka; Alexander (McLoughlin 90), Woodyard, Hartigan, Chislett (Longman 90), Thomas; Palmer (Pigott 65), Guinness-Walker (Seddon 115). Subs not used: Cox, Kalambayi, Reilly.