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Barrow 2 v 2 Carlisle United
SkyBet League Two
Saturday, 10th April 2021 Kick-off 15:00
Guthrum added 02:20 - Mar 12
As I said to Harry, we didn't really deserve to win that on the first half (when we did score), but did deserve to win it on the second half (when we didn't score).

The game took a while to get going, then there was a period of pressure from Yeovil, while we had few chances and those wildly off target. We managed to somewhat fortuitously bag a goal just at the right time, minutes before the break.

Thereafter, Town perked up, especially after HT (I suspect they were given a bit of a talking-to - during the game, from where we were standing, we could hear McCarthy and Connor bellowing at the players). Altho Yeovil had some good passages of play, Town were now the better team. We were playing a notably high line at the back, too. However, we still suffered from quite a lot of long aerial balls, too much giving it away to the opposition and needlessly putting it out of play.

SEB visibly began to tire, no longer chasing lost balls, was the right time to take him off (earlier substitution-board confusion between him and Hunt notwithstanding).

Have to say that bringing on Mings and Williams made a major difference to our game. Suddenly Town were much more incisive and attacking. Williams is absolutely bursting with skill.

We had a good chance which the Yeovil 'keeper only just managed to prevent being bundled over the line. There was a heart-in-mouth moment near the end when a Yeovil shot came off the inside of the post and shot across the mouth of our goal, somehow failing to go in.

Rather poor first half, rather better second, good to see Berra scoring.

Nice traditional ground, friendly stewards (banter about standing on the yellow steps, spent the HT interval chatting with us), good turn-out from the Town fans, good noise from the Yeovil lot (make more noise than many larger fanbases), nice to see several of the South West contingent.

Had to chuckle at the retro-style toilet roll throwing. Feared for my car when Gerken cleared the ball clean over one of the stands.

Gingerblues added 07:54 - Mar 12
It was typical championship start to a game, lots of high balls to nowhere. Yeovil were much brighter earlier on and had a couple of decent chances, we look lacking in confidence by comparison. As the half wore on we got better but didn't really deserve the to be in front at half time. So we were a happy lot at half time, despite the bizarre French style accordion music coming from the announcement system! It was nice to see MM playing two wingers but Hunt had been very poor and Anderson had hardly touched the ball.

In the second half we improved and bossed the first 10 minutes without creating much. We then began to sit back allowing Yeovil a spell of pressure. This is when MM took off the lacklustre Hunt and brought on Williams who looks a real player. He has a great touch and faces the goal and runs at last!! Mings came on and did really well and Creswell looked a class act in Midfield. We then created a hat full of chances and should have been out of sight. In stoppage time we had our hearts in our mouths when a Yeovil shot hit the inside of the post and looked to have gone in, but somehow stayed out.

A good away win and great support from Town fans.

HarryfromBath added 14:04 - Mar 12
Confidence is a funny thing. For the first half hour, our energy levels were low and we were clearly playing within ourselves, whereas the Glovers clearly had their tails up. We were giving them time and space in the way they were denying us time and space on the ball.

If Ishmael Miller and James Hayter had brought their ‘A’ game with them, we could so easily have been a goal down in this period. Despite all of their early pressure, Gerkin didn’t have that much to do, as the defence was restricting the Glovers to half chances. Gerkin’s good working relationship with his centre-backs underpins the confidence of the back-four, and I think that this is why Mick goes with him.

Berra in particular had an immense game, for his defending as much as for his goal. Both centre-backs had each set of strikers in their pocket. They dominated them in the air, and matched them on the ground as they didn't really have the pace to frighten us.

The axis of confidence markedly shifted once our goal went in. Suddenly Yeovil were the team in the relegation zone not quite getting the weight right on their passes and yielding us time and space. Whereas in former days and under former managers I would have been praying for half time to consolidate a 40th minute lead, the wind was in our sails and five minutes injury time would have been welcomed.

Although our goal came from a good spell of pressure, it was hardly deserved on the balance of the game at the time. At half-time, my West Country chums and I were looking sheepishly at each other, grateful for a possibly undeserved lead and feeling as if we had found a £50 note on the pavement and should we tell someone about it.

Yeovil fans were grumbling when their strikers were both substituted at half-time, but it was a back-handed compliment from Gary Johnson to Smith and Berra for the manner in which they were contained, as Moore and Hoskins were brought on to “add more mobility.”

The goal loosened off the shackles of the game, and things opened up more in the second half. As the Glovers pressed forward harder for an equaliser, there were times when we started sitting too deeply, with no-one available for an out ball. This would have been asking for trouble against more dangerous opponents.

A word of praise for Skuse and Hyam. There will be more difficult encounters in the coming weeks, but they quickly got a handle on Reuben Palazuelos. The Spaniard showed flashes of his technical and spatial awareness during the Glovers bright opening period, but they had his measure as the game wore on, and he simply wasn’t given the time and space to operate.

By the end of the game, I felt a measure of sympathy for Luke Ayling, the Yeovil right-back. Having had Stephen Hunt run him ragged for an hour, he then had Mings, Cresswell and occasionally Williams keeping him company in the later stages of the game. He could have been helped better by Adam Morgan, the substitute right-midfielder, and I think that Mick spotted this.

Anderson will have slept well last night, having been in a right old game, and having a few bruises from his battle with McAllister who got under his skin at times. Murphy and Ebanks-Blake did well. Although the latter is still shaking off the cobwebs, one senses that it is only a matter of a short amount of time – and a goal – before he gets going.

Then we come to Jonny Williams. When McGoldrick’s knee gave way against Blackpool, I felt that much of this season’s hope went with it. McGoldrick didn’t just bring goals. His footballing brain raised the level of everyone’s creative thinking and often his team mates would raise their game to his level.

Williams brought this magic back to the team, and elevated our game within a few minutes of his arrival. You could see the whole team respond to his energy, hunger and relentless industry. Yeovil did not know how to deal with him at times. It was inspired of Mick to move him into a more central role and bring on Mings who was sprightly and eager to try ideas out.

The endgame was a story of missed chances. It was tempting to think that McGoldrick would have put some of the late chances away, but from where I was standing, it was hard to tell how clear cut they were, and how good Stech’s saves were.

Then they hit the post, or, more accurately, tried to remove the post from its moorings, given the ferocity of Moore’s shot. How many times - Bristol - Birmingham - Burnley - have our hearts sank in the second half as we have watched the net ripple from the opposite end of the field and three quarters of the ground erupt?

For once – mercifully – it was not to be, and it would have been unfair if they had equalised. It is somewhat Irish logic, I know, but we showed the quality and control after the goal that would have merited the goal we hadn’t deserved to score.

On the way home, I worried for Yeovil. They have a small squad, and their strike force was clearly weary after Saturday’s heroics. They may struggle purely because the games come so thick and fast over the next six to eight weeks.

The games will be coming equally thick and fast for us, and I feel that many of our hopes will hang on the resilience of our squad, which has much quality but lacks depth.

Nevertheless, there was so much to take heart from last night. We were bright and full of energy, if a little rough around the edges. There was good rhythm and tempo to our game, especially as it wore on, and then there was this diminutive Welsh wizard who just might give all of us something to dream about.

StNeotsBlue added 01:26 - Mar 14
Did anyone else wonder why so many stewards ringed the pitch towards the end of the game, there were hundreds of them, seemed a touch unnecessary.

It was a good night out although Wednesday was a bit of a write off.

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7 AugMorecambe H2 - 211
10 AugNewport CC1H0 - 16
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11 SepBolton H2 - 523
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18 SepLincoln City A0 - 19
25 SepSheff Wed H1 - 111
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2 OctAcc Stanley A2 - 16
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16 OctCambridge A2 - 25
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13 NovOxford United H0 - 07
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1 DecCrewe H2 - 22
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11 DecWigan A1 - 16
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18 DecSunderland H1 - 15
29 DecWycombe H1 - 09

8 JanGillingham A0 - 49
15 JanBolton A2 - 09
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