Barrow 3, Crawley Town 2: Late heartbreak for Reds as Bluebirds snatch dramatic win

Crawley Town came away from Barrow empty-handed as a 96th minute goal saw the Bluebirds snatch a dramatic 3-2 win in League Two this (Saturday) afternoon.

Saturday, 20th March 2021, 5:49 pm
Jack Powell thought he had snatched a late point for Crawley Town at Barrow but it wasn't to be as the Reds fell to a dramatic 3-2 defeat. Picture by Steve Robards

The Reds came back to equalise twice through George Francomb and Jack Powell but it was not enough, as set-pieces proved the visitors undoing.

The result sees Crawley sit tenth in League Two, six points behind Newport County in the final play-off spot although the Reds have a game in hand.

The Reds started the brighter of the two sides, with sustained possession, but could not create any clear-cut opportunities.

The hosts almost took the lead on seven minutes against the run of play. Glenn Morris’ miskick was headed back towards his goal by a Barrow player which allowed Luke James to run clear, but the Crawley keeper atoned for his mistake by making a save round the post.

From the resulting corner however, Barrow took the lead as Tom Davies powerfully headed home, leaving Morris no chance to react.

The Bluebirds almost doubled their lead six minutes later when a long throw was headed clear.

The ball was met by Ollie Franks at the edge of the box, but his scissor kick was well saved by Morris.

The match went into a lull of sorts, as the windy conditions hampered both sides' ability to get the ball down and play.

Crawley equalised on 31 minutes when Joe McNerney played a dazzling 50-yard diagonal ball toward Tom Nichols who raced to the byline and pulled it back for Francomb to slot home.

The lead did not last long however as Barrow were awarded a penalty five minutes later when Jordan Tunnicliffe brought down Bobby Thomas.

Scott Quigley rifled the penalty into the roof of the net to make it 2-1.

Coming out of the break it was Crawley who started brighter, and they almost equalised when McNerney rose highest from a corner but his header fell wide of the mark.

The hosts almost made it 3-1 on 61 minutes as Banks’ 40-yard drive from a free-kick nearly wrong-footed Morris but he recovered quickly to save.

There was little action in the match from that point on until in the 84th minute, as Powell bundled home a Jordan Maguire-Drew cross to equalise for Crawley.

In added time Morris pulled off a spectacular acrobatic save to deny Quigley his second goal of the afternoon.

But from the resulting corner Barrow snatched the three points as Chris Taylor’s cross evaded everyone and ended up in the back of the net.

Crawley Town: Morris, Davies (Nadesan, 64), Tunnicliffe, McNerney (Tsaroulla, 68), Craig, Francomb, Wright, Powell, Hessenthaler, Nichols, Tilley (Maguire-Drew, 78).

Unused: Sesay, Allarakhia, Nelson

Barrow: Dixon, Jones, Davies, Thomas, Eardley, Barry (C Taylor, 82), J Taylor, Banks (Beadling, 88) Brough, Guigley, James (Sea, 88).

Unused: Lillis, Ndjoli, Devitt

Referee: Scott Oldham