Barrow lose to Morecambe after unwise red card.
Morecambe 1-0 Barrow AFC
A controversial red card inside the first quarter of an hour clipped the Bluebirds’ wings as they fell to a derby day defeat to Morecambe, compounding a poor start that already saw them go a goal down.
The Shrimps had already caused the Bluebirds problems and could have taken the lead inside the opening exchanges, but Joel Dixon was equal to Kelvin Mellor’s attempt.
Scott Quigley had what was to be a rare first-hand chance for Barrow, when his low drive went just past the far post after a neat turn.
Morecambe were firmly on top, however, and only a combination of Dixon and Matt Platt could deny first Adam Phillips and then Cole Stockton.
The opener wasn’t long in coming and the hosts took the lead when a long ball over the top left the Barrow defence stranded. Carlos Mendes Gomes raced through on goal and rounded Dixon to slot into the empty net on 12 minutes.
Things went from bad to worse three minutes later, when Barrow were reduced to 10 men in controversial circumstances. Sam Hird and Mendes Gomes were in a chase for the ball when the Barrow defender appeared to be pushed before consequently handling the ball.
With both sides appealling for a free kick, the referee consulted his assistant before showing Hird the red card for denying a goalscoring opportunity, much to the disbelief and dismay of the Bluebirds’ players and staff.
Forced into a reshuffle, with Scott Wilson slotting into a back four at the expense of Josh Kay, Barrow struggled for any meaningful possession as Morecambe’s man advantage was apparent for the rest of the half, with Mellor missing a gilt edged chance to double his side’s lead just before the interval.
The second half started following much the same pattern as the majority of the first, with Morecambe dominating the ball, creating a handful of chances to extend their lead, including a Stockton effort that stung the palms of Dixon.
The Shrimps didn’t have it all their way, however, and Barrow had a strong shout for a penalty when it looked as if Quigley was dragged down inside the area as he bore down on goal, much to the disinterest of the officials.
That was the start of a flourish for Barrow, who started to create chances with firstly Dior Angus and then Quigley flashing angled drives inches past the foot of the post.
Morecambe almost grabbed a second, hitting Barrow on the counter with A-Jay Leitch-Smith firing an effort from the edge of the area just over the bar, before Stockton glanced a header over.
The hosts rode out the Barrow pressure and Joel Dixon had to be alert to keep out Leitch-Smith’s fierce near-post strike.
Barrow still weren’t completely out of it, though, with the second half a far more even contest than first period. Indeed, they could have snatched a point if Matt Platt had kept his header down from a corner late-on, but they couldn’t find a way through the Morecambe defence before the final whistle.
Morecambe (3-4-3): Halstead; Lavelle (Diagouraga 86), Davis, Knight-Percival (Leitch-Smith 56); Mellor, Phillips, Songo’o, Hendrie (Cooney 72); Stockton, Mendes Gomes, O’Sullivan.
Subs not used: Turner, Slew, Kenyon, Pringle.
Barrow AFC (3-5-2): Dixon; Hird, Platt, Brough; Barry, C Taylor, J Taylor, Biggins (Reid 61), Kay (Wilson 19); James (Angus 61), Quigley.
Subs not used: Lillis, Brown, Gribbin.