Barrow AFC 0 Harrogate Town 0: Sulphurites hang on for a point in dour affair

Harrogate Town survived a spell of late Barrow pressure to emerge from Saturday's League Two trip to Cumbria with a point.

By Rhys Howell
Saturday, 26th February 2022, 5:17 pm
Updated Saturday, 26th February 2022, 5:18 pm
George Thomson had Harrogate Town's best chance of the game as they played out a stalemate at Barrow AFC. Picture: Matt Kirkham
George Thomson had Harrogate Town's best chance of the game as they played out a stalemate at Barrow AFC. Picture: Matt Kirkham

Simon Weaver's team enjoyed plenty of possession during what was a dour affair seriously lacking in quality, but, despite having scored nine times in their last three away trips, they rarely threatened the home goal.

And having failed to really have a go at a Bluebirds side who looked to be there for the taking for more than 70 minutes, the Sulphurites then found themselves hanging on during the closing stages.

Harrogate dominated possession during the early stages of the contest and could have got their noses in front with just six minutes on the clock.

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Josh Falkingham's incisive pass in behind sent George Thomson through on the home goal, but the Town midfielder took too long to get his shot off and the advancing Paul Farman was able to block.

With Barrow's five-man defence seemingly happy to drop off and allow their visitors to have the ball, Weaver's men continued to control proceedings, though they never really threatened the Bluebirds' goal.

Lewis Page sent an awkward volley past the upright and Jack Diamond blasted high and wide from the edge of the box, while at the other end, the hosts created absolutely nothing.

The opening half-an-hour of the second period was even less eventful, with neither side looking like scoring until Barrow finally came to life late on.

Harrogate lad Robbie Gotts smashed a low 74th-minute strike beyond Mark Oxley, but fortunately for his hometown club, the ball rebounded off the base of the post.

John Rooney then flashed an effort wide from range before Gotts was presented with another sight of goal and saw a second shot hit the upright, courtesy of a deflection off the foot of the covering Page.

The Sulphurites were then grateful to Warren Burrell for a couple of crucial headers inside his own area as Patrick Brough took aim and Will Harris nodded goalwards.

On 83 minutes, Gotts got the better of Will Smith in midfield and ran through on Oxley's goal, however he cleared the cross-bar with just the Town custodian to beat.

And, although the visitors engineered a couple of promising situations on the counter-attack as the clock ticked towards full-time, it was the Bluebirds who looked the more likely during the closing stages.

There were however no more clear-cut chances created before the full-time whistle and the game would finish goalless, a point not enough to prevent Harrogate from dropping one place to 14th in the table.