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20 April 2024 Venue The Eco-Power Stadium Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Reports

REPORT | Rovers 4 Barrow 2

20 April 2024

Rovers staged a stunning comeback to recover from a two goal deficit against play-off hopefuls Barrow and secure a ninth straight win.

There was plenty to do in the second half for Rovers as they trailed only to deliver an incredible fight back to continue the remarkable winning run.

Rovers dominated the ball over the first half hour but found themselves behind when Emile Acquah headed home for Barrow ten minutes before the break.

And they had a mountain to climb heading in the second half as Rory Feely netted in added time.

A Joe Ironside penalty reduced the deficit with more than half an hour left to play and Rovers piled on the pressure.

It was two goals in the final five minutes that turned the tables however as Hakeeb Adelakun produced a cool finish to equalise before substitute Harrison Biggins headed home on 88 minutes.

And Ironside added a second deep into added time to make sure of the win.

Grant McCann named an unchanged side from the one that beat Accrington Stanley a week earlier, while Biggins returned among the substitutes.

Rovers began the game at a rapid tempo, with Ironside drawing a save from Barrow keeper Paul Farman inside the opening 30 seconds after being played into the box by Luke Molyneux.

And moments later Owen Bailey almost played Adelakun with a fine through ball only for Farman to race out.

Barrow sat deep and invited Rovers on, seeing McCann’s side dominate the ball but find in-roads in the final third difficult to come by.

Molyneux raced in off the right and lashed a shot towards the near post, with Farman batting the ball away.

It took until the midpoint of the half for the visitors to have their first sighting of goal when Robbie Gotts dragged a shot wide from 20 yards.

But after soaking up plenty of pressure, Barrow took the lead on 35 minutes. On a swift counterattack, Gotts was sent racing down the left and lofted a ball into box which Acquah powered onto and headed beyond Thimothée Lo-Tutala.

And the lead was doubled in first half stoppage time when Feely headed home from a corner.

The pattern of the game continued in the early stages of the second half, with Rovers struggling to break down a stubborn Barrow rear guard.

But they were gifted an opportunity to get back into the game when Ironside was felled in the box by Barrow skipper Niall Canavan.

Ironside stepped up and fired into the bottom corner from the spot to give Rovers a lifeline on 58 minutes.

There was a huge opportunity to draw level moments later when Adelakun raced onto a lofted ball from Ironside and attempted to lob Farman, only for the keeper to make a smart block.

It revitalised the bumper crowd at the Eco-Power Stadium and Rovers piled on the pressure as McCann sent on three substitutes and changed the shape of the side.

Adelakun saw a shot deflect straight into the hands of Farman before a brilliant ball in from Kyle Hurst fell to fellow sub Biggins, who somehow could not turn home from close range.

The equaliser came on 85 minutes. Tom Anderson played a superb ball over the top which bamboozled the Barrow defence, allowing Adelakun to nip in, control and finish calmly beyond Farman.

Three minutes later, Rovers were ahead, sparking pandemonium in the stadium. A brilliant counter attack saw the ball fed to Tommy Rowe, whose fine cross was headed home by Biggins.

Seven minutes of added time had nerves jangling but Rovers defended superbly as Barrow sent balls into the box.

And they made sure of the win eight minutes into stoppage time. Bailey carried the ball deep into Barrow territory and awaited reinforcements, with Hurst squaring across goal for Ironside to tap in from close range.

Rovers: Lo-Tutala, Sterry (Anderson 63), Olowu, Wood, Maxwell (Hurst 63), Craig (Rowe 63), Molyneux, Westbrooke (Biggins 46), Bailey, Adelakun (Broadbent 90+7), Ironside. Subs not used: Jones, Waters.

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