Barrow A.F.C 1 Tranmere Rovers 1 – The match report.
Tuesday 29th December 2020
English Football League Two
It would be a disappointing performance from Tranmere, in a midweek draw in Cumbria that would seal off a frustrating 2020 for the Whites. Before the game, the Merseyside club were looking to gain a positive result from their travels to add to the previous 3-0 away win against Bolton. Looking at the result, considering it is away to a side that have won their past two league encounters some could argue that this is a positive outcome. However, with the events that unfolded throughout the game the willingness of ‘going for a win’ is a concern that the Rovers faithful have of their manager Keith Hill.
The team selected was not too dissimilar from what the interested football fans were predicting, three changes were made. Up-front Morgan Ferrier replaced Corey Blackett-Taylor, Ferrier had impressed when he came on as a sub in the boxing day defeat. Midfielders Jack Young and Danny Lloyd were also replaced by Kieron Morris and Paul Lewis. A concern from the line-up selected was the choice of Calum MacDonald as right back, it has been made evident that the young left-back struggles playing on the other side. This is something that Hill should look to address with his recruitment in the January transfer window as the Whites look to strengthen their defence.
The hosts dominated early on yet their chances would fail to get past Tranmere goalkeeper Scott Davies. The closest Barrow came to scoring in the opening ten minutes was when striker Scott Quigley fired a low shot into the right side of Davies’ goal, the shot forcing the keeper into a brilliant save. They looked threatening again a few moments later, Quigley this time firing a cross along the face of the six yard box but none of his team mates were in a position to convert.
Bluebirds goalkeeper Joel Dixon would show his quality across the course of the night, producing many great saves. Dixon’s first showing of great skill came when James Vaughan had a powerful shot from ten yards out. Rovers dominated this period of the game, Liam Ridehalgh’s header at the back post was heading for the top corner but the keeper would claim the goalbound effort with a good catch. The pressure continued to pile on to the Whites defence yet there was no great result for the hosts.
A few moments later, Tranmere midfielder Kieron Morris would ‘pull the trigger’ from 20 yards out. Dixon palmed this effort away to his right, forcing a corner.
From the set piece, Vaughan would add another to his tally with a beautiful header that further extended his place at the summit of the top scorers chart for the Whites.
The goal came with twenty more minutes of the first half left to play, the remaining time would be contested well as both sides created chances at either end of the pitch. Young midfielder Lewis Hardcastle hit the side netting with a free kick from 25 yards out for the hosts and Spearing’s diagonal ball into the box moved towards the direction of veteran centre half Peter Clarke who failed to send his attempt goal-bound.
In truth, both defences and goalkeepers would remain solid and the half would finish at the right time for the visitors.
There were no changes made at half time, what the Whites had shown proved that they had quality and there was an ambition to go for more.
In the opening five minutes, Liam Feeney took a free-kick from the right and this set piece was met by the head of goalscorer Vaughan. Unfortunately, this time his header sailed over the bar.
Barrow found themselves with a perfect opportunity to level the scoreline when striker Luke James dragged a shot wide from the edge of the box. The Bluebirds continued to apply pressure in their search for a leveller, midfielder Josh Kay’s low cross deflecting just past Davies for a corner.
This was a period in the game that sucked energy from the visiting legs, Feeney being booked for a late tackle on Biggins before Sid Nelson put in a frustrating tackle in an area for which a penalty was given. Quigley netted from the spot, sending the keeper the wrong way.
Immediately after the hosts’ leveller, Bluebirds’ midfielder Harrison Biggins was shown a red card for an off the ball incident that involved Vaughan. The striker was shown a yellow.
Hill made his first substitution of the game when it was evident that there was a need to attack the game. Kaiyne Woolery came on to replace Morgan Ferrier, with little over ten minutes left on the clock.
The best chance of the later stages of the second half came when the Barrow goalkeeper produced another amazing stop to deny Peter Clarke with a header at the back post. Great reactions from the 27-year-old.
Both sides would continue their search for a goal, as they looked to win the game. The best moment for the hosts came when there was a scramble in the Rovers’ goal area. Nothing would come from this, other than a risky Kung-fu esque kick from defensive midfielder Jay Spearing.
This encounter would finish one-a-piece, the Rovers faithful the more frustrated by this understandably so.
Barrow A.F.C –
Dixon, Brown, Hird, Platt, Brough, Kay, Beadling, Hardcastle, Biggins, Quigley, James.
Subs on: Taylor, Jones, Angus.
Tranmere Rovers –
Davies, MacDonald, Nelson, Clarke, Ridehalgh, Spearing, Morris, Lewis, Feeney, Vaughan, Ferrier.
Subs on: Woolery, Banks.
Possession – 45%/55%
Shots – 11/16
Shots on target – 5/10
Corners – 3/7
Fouls – 11/17
Yellow cards – 1/2
Red cards – 1/0
Thank you very much for reading,
All the very best for the new year,