Persistent Rovers earn Barrow point
The woodwork twice denied Forest Green Rovers in a competitive clash with play-off chasing Barrow at The New Lawn, writes Richard Joyce.
Aarran Racine and Drissa Traore both struck the upright in a tight affair between two of the divisions in form sides, as Rovers kept up their unbeaten home record for a seventh game in a row.
Paul Cox’s Barrow proved resolute and at times tricky to break down. They themselves had chances but Sam Russell again impressed to record his third clean sheet on the bounce.
The opening quarter of an hour provided little for a good sized crowd, but on 15 minutes the influential Keanu Marsh-Brown forced Barrow keeper Joel Dixon into a good save with a drive from 20 yards.
Marsh-Brown again did well to cross for Charlie Clough to head narrowly over just before the half hour mark, while Moussa Diarra’s hook towards goal for the visitors ended up going over the bar.
Then came a five minute spell where FGR had a glorious opportunity to break the deadlock, only to be denied twice by the woodwork.
Racine’s header from a fine Liam Noble free kick saw the recalled central defender head onto the post, and Dixon was again called into service to prevent Christian Doidge from turning and scoring seconds later.
Then, five minutes before the break, Traore this time went close. He did brilliantly to work the ball onto his left foot and saw his speared effort slam against the bar.
Diarra had another good opportunity from a set piece shortly before half time for the visitors that he couldn’t convert.
Rovers attacking play in the final third caught the eye in the second period. Early on Marsh-Brown tested Dixon after being set clear, while Doidge came very close to poking home Dale Bennett’s teasing low ball.
Russell recovered well to keep his clean sheet intact. He saved Paul Turnbull’s shot but pushed it back into the danger zone, only to then bravely collect the ball from the feet of former Chesterfield man Byron Harrison who came bundling in.
Marsh-Brown was just inches away from breaking the deadlock on 66 minutes as his cross the pitch run from a corner ended with him rifling a shot just past the post.
And the continued Rovers pressure almost saw Noble strike from outside the box, but his right footed shot landed on the roof of Dixon’s net.
The game inched towards the finish and it was going to take something heart breaking for at least one of the sides to separate the two. With FGR looking to claim a late win, Barrow were able to utilise the gaps that had opened up at the back.
Jordan Williams found himself in two good positions, only to be denied firstly when Russell saved his low effort, and then again when the experienced keeper made a superb save to push away the attackers attempt four minutes from time, to leave the tie all even in what was Forest Green’s first goalless draw of the campaign.
Report: Richard Joyce
Photo: Shane Healey/Pro Sports Images
Highlights: Hannah Worboys, Elliot Owens & Richard Joyce