Notts County capitalise on Rooney penalty miss and Quigley sending off

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Barrow Lad New
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Notts County capitalise on Rooney penalty miss and Quigley sending off

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Barrow: Dixon, Brough, Hird, Rooney, Quigley, Hardcastle, Kay, Platt, White, White, Angus, Jones
70: Harrison replaced Platt, Brown replaced Kay
79: Dyson replaced Angus

Booked: Kay (29), Harrison (84, foul on Brindley)
Sent Off: Quigley (challenge on McDonnell, 61)

Notts County: McDonnell, McCrory, O’Brien, Thomas, Doyle, Rawlinson, Brindley, Crawford, Lacey, Bagan, Wilson
58: Wootton replaced Wilson, Roberts replaced Thomas
83: Long replaced Bagan

Booked: Bagan (83)

GOALS: Crawford (67), Roberts (72)

Notts County avenged our 3-0 away victory in November at Meadow Lane with a 2-0 win at Holker Street, a Rooney penalty miss and Quigley sending off effectively turning the game in their favour. Only time will tell how costly the defeat and Quigley’s suspension will be to Barrow’s title challenge; it was one of those afternoons where little seemed to go right for the Bluebirds.

The largest crowd of the season- 3,307 including 433 visitors- turned up on a windy but sunny afternoon. Playing with the wind towards the Holker Street end in the first half, we were initially on fire, winning two corners in the first two minutes as Rawlinson then McCrory were forced into panicky clearances. A unpunished bad foul by Joel Bagan on Josh Kay in the 12th minute was the first of numerous challenges and holds by County players not deemed worthy of a card.

Seconds later, Sam Hird was fouled, John Rooney’s free kick going over the bar. A ball from Rooney in the 17th minute found Scott Quigley in the area, who was brought down by Damien McCrory. Again puzzlingly no card, and to make matters worse, Rooney grazed the right post with his penalty kick.

Another Rooney shot was saved by Joseph McDonnell and in the 24th minute a ball forward from Quigley found Dior Angus on the right edge of the area, who drilled agonisingly wide of the left post.

All chances to Barrow up to now but no goals; Josh Kay then received a booking for kicking the ball away in frustration, seemingly a worse offence than the late tackle he suffered quarter of an hour earlier.

A foul by Michael Doyle on Rooney gave Barrow’s No.8 another chance on goal with a free kick which went just wide of the left post. Despite a further Rooney corner and free kick, we had failed to make our first half dominance count.

This would come to haunt us in the second half as County came out fighting. Within the opening two minutes, a foul on Wes Thomas gave Doyle a free kick which Joel Dixon saved.

Barrow’s best chance of the half came five minutes in as a superb 25 yard strike by Dan Jones from the left was acrobatically punched away by McDonnell.

However, the tide would soon turn markedly in County’s favour. In the 58th minute, they made a double substitution, Kyle Wootton and Callum Roberts coming on for Scott Wilson and Wes Thomas.

Three minutes later, the two pairs of fresh legs also became a one-man advantage as a run by Scott Quigley down the right ended up in a rather too full-blooded challenge on keeper McDonnell and a straight red card.

With half an hour to play, we now felt the might of a rejuvenated Notts county who had ridden our storm and were now preparing one of their own.

Three minutes after the sending-off, we struggled to deal with a Jim O’Brien cross, Dixon punching away for a corner after a mis-kick by a Barrow defender. Two minutes later, Dixon saved from Tom Crawford. Another minute later a Richard Brindley shot was cleared past the right post for a corner, which Crawford turned in for 0-1.

With 20 minutes of normal time remaining, we tried a double substitution although the replacement of Matt Platt and Josh Kay with Byron Harrison and Connor Brown could do little to stem the tide. Indeed two minutes later an unchallenged run into the area and shot from a narrow angle by County substitute Callum Roberts made it 0-2.

Five minutes between the two goals with the risk of shipping more as we tired, County sensed we were there for the taking. To rub salt in the wound “Top of the League, you’re having a laugh” range out from the visiting fans at the Holker Street end, eager to see more balls flying in their direction, testing our flagging defence.

Ollie Dyson then came on for Dior Angus but a minute later an O’Brien free kick was punched onto the bar and out for a corner.

Joel Bagan was finally booked in the 83rd minute and was immediately replaced by Adam Long. Harrison was then booked for a foul on Brindley at the other end. Both O’Brien and then Roberts shot wide from range, the score remaining 0-2 after four minutes of added time.

Lewis Hardcastle was awarded Barrow’s man of the match and the players were applauded off the pitch for their efforts, even though on the day things had sadly not gone to plan.

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