Match Report : 10/11/2012


City were unchanged for a third successive game as they took on Barrow AFC at a grey and wet Holker Street looking to extend their unbeaten run to eight games.

Heavy rain greeted the two teams as they were led out on to the pitch by referee Peter Bankes and once the pre-match formalities and a minute's silence to mark Remembrance Day things got underway with the Imps kicking off.

City enjoyed the better of the early exchanges with a Jake Sheridan cross from the right which crashed against the side netting a couple of minutes in being the first attack of note, but play was understandably scrappy with the conditions and heavy pitch quickly playing their part.

In the 10th minute Jamie Taylor was harshly penalised for a tug on Mike Pearson's shirt as he looked to latch on to a Sheridan through ball but with both sides giving possession away cheaply, a poor first quarter continued.

City easily dealt with the game's first corner and as they responded Adam Smith latched on to a great ball over the top from Peter Gilbert but, after he cut inside on to his right foot, went down under a challenge in the area only for referee Bankes to deem that he had dived and duly brandished a yellow card in the direction of the winger.

Home striker Joe Jackson came close to breaking the deadlock when his shot on the turn on the half-hour mark flicked off Andrew Boyce and a foot wide for a corner which ended up with the Imps winning a goal-kick. City's response saw Sheridan flick Paul Farman's clearance on for Taylor who saw his low effort claimed by Barrow 'keeper Danny Hurst.

The best piece of play came five minutes before the break with the Imps carving the Barrow defence open with a swift break down their right leading to the lead. Sheridan, who had seen plenty of the ball in the first period, linked well withh Taylor and he in turn played a clever pass into the path of Alan Power who, eight yards from goal, neatly slotted past Hurst for his first of the season.

Barrow's response saw Danny Rowe fire a long range effort well over the target before City stood firm as the hosts pressed again as they went in search of a quick leveller; Farman superbly tipping over a Rowe volley a minute before the break. The resultant corner saw Farman again in the action, pushing away a goalbound header before the loose ball was blazed over.

HT: Barrow 0 Imps 1

Both teams emerged unchanged for the start of the second period with City having some good possession early after the restart with a foul on Power giving skipper Gary Mills the chance to whip in a free-kick which was claimed low by Hurst after the ball skidded off the greasy surface.

At the other end City got bodies behind the ball and stood firm as the home side pressed and when the ball was played out, Danny Rowe was replaced by Adam Boyes for Barrow.

There was drama shortly afterwards when Mike Pearson pulled back Taylor as he looked to bear down on goal; a free-kick and yellow card for the Barrow defender was all that was forthcoming though despite the Imps' protests for something more severe. Smith then curled the 25-yard set-piece well over.

Barrow's response saw them win a corner on their right but Boyce headed clear whilst from another flag-kick, this one taken quickly, Jackson headed wide at full stretch.

A knock to Mills brought about a break in play as the hour mark approached and when he returned to the fray Barrow won a sixth corner before Vadaine Oliver replaced Adam Smith for the Imps. Oliver's first touch saw him head the flag-kick away to safety.

City's first corner came in the 64th minute when a Power cross was headed behind by a home defender and when the Imps' man swung in from the quadrant, there was Oliver to power home a header which gave Hurst no chance between the Barrow sticks.

Colin Larkin for Taylor was the Imps' second change midway through the second half whilst the hosts' second switch saw Alex-Ray Harvey replace Garry Hunter three minutes later.

Oliver headed a Sheridan cross into Hurst's gloves and Sheridan curled wide after good build-up play from Larkin as the Imps pushed for a third to put the game well beyond the reach of their opponents.

Barrow's frustrations saw Jackson leave a foot in on Miller for a deserved 78th minute caution before a final home switch saw Sean McConville come on for Matt Flynn.

The hosts gave themselves a glimmer of hope with five minutes remaining when, after Farman had pushed away a Jackson drive, ex-Imp Louis Almond went down under a Gilbert challenge. Although referee Bankes was happy for play to carry on, he took the advice of his assistant Joe Johnson who indicated a foul and a penalty. Richie Baker duly sent Farman the wrong way from the spot to halve the arrears.

Barrow's tails were now up but a poor shot from Almond and a weak effort from McConville gave Farman the chance to eat some valuable seconds up with a couple of goal-kicks.

Four additional minutes was indicated by the Fourth Official with the first 90 seconds seeing the Imps on the defensive with Farman commanding his area well to claim a cross from the right before Scott Garner came on for a debut in place of Power. He had a minute of added time in which to do a job.

Garner was quickly on the defensive as the heads went up and the blocks came in as the home side pressed for a late leveller but when one ball was over hit and Gray pushed over, the final whistle went after an additional minutes' play with the travelling fans quick to salute the players as they stretched the unbeaten run to eight games.

FT: Barrow 1 Imps 2

City: Paul Farman, Dan Gray, Andrew Boyce, Tom Miller, Peter Gilbert, Gary Mills, Mamadou Fofana, Jake Sheridan, Adam Smith, Alan Power, Jamie Taylor.

subs: Scott Garner (for Power 90+4), Vadaine Oliver (for Smith 62), Colin Larkin (for Taylor 68), David Morgan, Jake Turner.

goals: Power (40), Oliver (65)

bookings: Smith (24)

Barrow: Danny Hurst, Matt Flynn, Sean Hessey, Mike Pearson, Tom Aldred, Paul Rutherford, Richie Baker, Garry Hunter, Joe Jackson, Louis Almond, Danny Rowe.

subs: Shaun Pearson, Gavin Skelton, Adam Boyes (for Rowe 52), Alex-Ray Harvey (for Hunter 71), Sean McConville (for Flynn 79).

goals: Baker (85 pen)

bookings: M Pearson (54), Jackson (78)

Referee: Peter Bankes
Assistants: Natalie Walker & Joe Johnson
Fourth Official: Mark Ackerman

Attendance: 987