Hat-trick hero Klukowski fires Rovers to Barrow win
YAN Klukowski struck a fantastic second half hat-trick as Forest Green secured all three points against an out of form Barrow at The New Lawn, writes Richard Joyce.
Klukowski’s three goals proved to be the difference in a game which despite the score line was far from spectacularly entertaining for a New Lawn crowd boosted by youngsters celebrating Youth Development Day.
An easily forgettable goalless first half was far from similar to the second as a brace of goals in the opening five minutes of the second period set Rovers on their way with star man Klukowski notching his third right at the death.
The Forest Green defence welcomed back Eddie Oshodi from the knee problem that kept him out at Telford in place of the suspended Chris Todd whilst Jake Thomson also earned a recall having sat out Rovers last two outings.
The first half was far from a classic with the visitors impressing early on with some good football which led to Andy Cook making Sam Russell produce a good stop to deny the Barrow striker when clean through in the tenth minute.
Meanwhile Forest Green’s first foray on goal ten minutes later saw the ball hit the back of the net but referee Lee Swabey was quick to rule out Yan Klukowski’s header from a Michael Uwezu cross for offside.
Uwezu was involved again soon after with the Nigerian attempting an audacious edge of the box half volley but his effort flew over to leave the score line untouched in a first half that was far from busy with chances.
If the first half possessed little drama then the second period began with a flurry of it as Chris Stokes direct run down the left led to the full back firing at goal only for Barrow’s Danny Hone to unfortunately handle.
Klukowski stepped up as he so often confidently does and dispatched the penalty convincingly past Barrow shot stopper Danny Hurst to hand Rovers the lead with the second half just a few minutes in.
And Rovers doubled their lead again just minutes later to reinforce their bright start to the second half as a perfectly placed near post cross from Uwezu was met by the surging Klukowski who directed the ball in to bag his second in a matter of minutes.
Even an ambitious effort directed towards goal from the right by-line by Uwezu was palmed over the crossbar by the stretching Hurst as Rovers bright second half beginning continued to flourish with Matty Taylor also trying his luck from distance.
The hour mark saw Russell called upon in the Rovers goal to make his first contribution of the second half, James Owen’s well struck effort at goal sticking well to the 29 year olds gloves.
Cook’s shot a few minutes later however skipped just wide and highlighted the threat the Barrow forward man continued to pose to the Rovers defence.
The return of Reece Styche to home soil in the 80th minute was met with rapturous applause from the Rovers faithful who were again on their feet in second half stoppage time when Klukowski hammered in a fine free kick to crown his third of the afternoon.
Whilst Rovers have missed Styche’s goals this season, Klukowski proved just why he has filled in so magnificently as his right footed strike crept in to the top corner to seal his hat-trick and a convincing win for Rovers.