Stevenage FC held to a stalemate in Cumbria as the sides battle out a 0-0 draw despite two red cards and several chances…
Initially scheduled for 3pm, this fixture was delayed an hour and a half due to electrical faults at Holker Street. Paul Tisdale made five changes from defeat on Tuesday night as Luther James-Wildin, Luke Prosser, Elliott List, Luke Norris and Chris Lines all returned to the starting eleven. A win for either side today would be crucial in their quests to stay far from safety and climb the table.
The hosts found a lot more of the ball in the opening moments as Stevenage struggled to get started early on. There were handball claims by Barrow fans, but the referee thought otherwise.
Twelve minutes in, Boro created their first chance of the game. Bailey Clements delivered his corner into Scott Cuthbert who headed towards goal but was denied by Paul Farman who acrobatically kept the effort out.
Chris Lines had a chance on goal of his own, intercepting the ball just outside the area before forcing ex Boro keeper Paul Farman into another save.
The Bluebirds were mostly on the front foot for the next ten minutes as Stevenage were forced to defend. Ollie Banks fired at goal from the edge of the box, but Christy Pym stretched well to get across and deny. Then, John Rooney saw his effort fly just wide of the post.
On the half-hour mark, Stevenage had by far the closest chance of the game so far. Jake Taylor slid in Luke Norris who lofted the ball over Paul Farman, but Patrick Brough miraculously slid in to clear off the line. Shortly after, Barrow came inches away down the other end of the pitch with Aaron Amadi-Holloway smashing his effort off the post.
The remainder of the half went mostly Barrow’s way with John Rooney’s corner almost creeping in, but the referee’s whistle ended a half in which neither side could break the deadlock.
Tisdale introduced his first substitution early in the second half as Elliott List, who had recently returned from injury, was replaced by Charlie Carter. Then, just two minutes later Barrow were reduced to ten men after Aaron Amandi-Holloway’s late challenge on Chris Lines.
After the red card, Stevenage were on the front foot and had the majority of the ball. Zain Westbrooke came close to breaking the deadlock with fifteen minutes to go as he received the ball from Charlie Carter before forcing Farman to save. Jake Taylor was brought off and replaced by Jamie Reid in a slightly more attacking change.
With ten minutes to go, Michael Bostwick picked up the ball from thirty yards out before firing high and wide of the post. Then, down the other end, Barrow came extremely close to grabbing the first goal of the game. Christy Pym did phenomenally well to deny Luke James from point-blank range.
The fourth official then indicated an additional seven minutes of the game as both sides scrappily looked to break the deadlock. In the final minute of additional time, Luke Prosser saw red for a second bookable offence, meaning that both sides were now down to ten men. This turned out to be the final highlight of the game as the sides went back down the tunnel, failing to hit the back of the net over ninety seven minutes of football.
Attendance: 3,001 (inc 38 away).