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Match Reports

Match Report: Barrow AFC 2-0 Walsall

28 November 2023

Match Reports

Match Report: Barrow AFC 2-0 Walsall

28 November 2023

A goal in each half saw Walsall slip to a disappointing defeat away at Barrow.

Ben Whitfield and Niall Canavan got on the scoresheet for the Bluebirds in a game where the Saddlers struggled to get any kind of foothold on a frustrating night.

Mat Sadler made two changes to the team that drew with Forest Green Rovers on Saturday.

Priestley Farquharson made his first appearance since picking up an injury in September while Danny Johnson was also restored to the starting XI as the suspended Oisin McEntee and Ronan Maher dropped out.

Barrow had the first chance of the game after seven minutes when Elliot Newby’s tricky footwork saw him get the better of David Okagbue and cut the ball back to Whitfield who arrowed in a shot but Owen Evans did well to save with his feet.

Whitfield made no mistake with his second opportunity of the night just four minutes later when he controlled Canavan’s long ball beautifully and rifled the ball into the far corner to give the hosts the lead.

Walsall’s first real chance came after 28 minutes when Isaac Hutchinson unleashed a powerful strike that Paul Farman parried away but only out to Freddie Draper who tucked the ball into the net but he was flagged offside.

The Saddlers were dealt a blow on 33 minutes when Evans was forced off with an injury and replaced by Jackson Smith.

There was little action in the closing stages of the first half and Barrow went into the break with a one goal advantage.

The Bluebirds started the second half well and caused problems from a corner when George Ray won the header and it found its way to James Chester but he miscued his shot and it was eventually cleared.

Sadler made a double change on 55 minutes as he swapped his forwards with Jamille Matt and Douglas James-Taylor coming on in place of Johnson and Draper.

The changes didn’t have the desired outcome as the Saddlers struggled to build any real momentum.

Barrow doubled their lead after Sam Foley’s delivery caused havoc in the penalty area and the ball was eventually bundled in by Canavan.

The Saddlers managed to create a couple of half chances after the goal. Sadler’s men did come close on 84 minutes when Matt was denied twice by Farman from close range.

That was as close as Walsall came to finding the net and Barrow claimed all three points.


Evans (Smith 33’); Okagbue, Farquharson (Williams 73’), Daniels, Gordon; Knowles, Comley, Stirk, Hutchinson; Johnson (James-Taylor 55’), Draper (Matt 55’)

Subs: Foulkes, Maher, Allen

Attendance: 3072 (105 away)

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