Promotion hopefuls Forest Green snatch victory over Barrow in entertaining encounter

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Vanarama National League

Barrow 2-3 Forest Green Rovers

Bennett 33 Noble 6

Hannah 88 Doidge 64                    

                       Monthe 90+4

Forest Green won 3-2 against fellow promotion hopefuls Barrow in a very entertaining game at Holker Street today. The away side’s goals came from Liam Noble, Christian Doidge and Manny Monthe whilst Richie Bennett and Ross Hannah netted for Barrow.

The away side had a very good start to the game, and were in front just six minutes in. Captain Liam Noble hit an excellent free kick over the wall and into the top left-hand corner, wholeheartedly beating Barrow keeper Jonathan Flatt.

The game was played out mainly in midfield in the first half, with some rash challenges going in and there were little chances. Barrow’s first chance of the game didn’t come until the 30th minute. Akil Wright volleyed just wide after a brilliant cross from Danny Livesey.

Three minutes later, Barrow were back in the game. Richie Bennett headed home on the end of Harvey’s brilliant free kick to equalise for the home side.

Barrow could’ve taken the lead just before half time when Bennett made a promising run, but his 41st minute shot was badly timed and his effort went well wide of the mark. It was 1-1 at the break.

Ten minutes into the second half Forest Green came very close to taking the lead again. Charlie Cooper’s impressive corner was pushed out by Flatt and the ball fell to Liam Noble, whose long range shot forced the keeper into an excellent diving save to his right.

The away side did find themselves in front eight minutes later. Christian Doidge headed home on the end of Liam Noble’s free kick- a goal that was almost identical to Richie Bennett’s goal in the first half for the hosts.

Moussa Diarra and Akil Wright both came close for the hosts in the 67th and 69th minutes respectively, with both efforts going just over the bar.

Jonathan Flatt kept Barrow in with a chance ten minutes later, blocking Woolery’s shot after a great run from the winger.

In the 81st minute, substitute Andy Haworth almost made an instant impact for Paul Cox’s side. The former Bury man’s free kick was only kept out thanks to an outstanding diving save by Sam Russell to his left.

Barrow were awarded a penalty in the 85th minute after Moussa Diarra appeared to be brought down in the box. After some altercations between both sets of players, Ross Hannah eventually stepped up to the spot in the 88th minute. Whilst his penalty was saved by Russell to his left, the former Grimsby forward was able to score the rebound to quickly make amends.

The home side then looked to pile on the pressure on Mark Cooper’s men, desperate for a winner. After some excellent attacking play, Andy Haworth could only shoot straight at the keeper at the end of the move in the last minute of normal time.

Five minutes of added time were indicated, and Forest Green made good use of this- scoring the winner in the fourth minute of stoppage time. Substitute Manny Monthe provided an excellent header on the end of Noble’s corner to beat Flatt and take home the three points for the promotion contenders.

The result means that Barrow move out of the play-off places into sixth on 49 points, and Forest Green are now one point off the top on 57 points. Up next for Barrow is Kidderminster Harriers at home in the third round of the FA Trophy, whilst Forest Green travel to Macclesfield in the same competition.

Barrow: Flatt 8, Beeley 7, Diarra 7, Livesey 6 (c), Anderton 7, Wright 8 (Haworth 80), Harvey 6, Rowe 6, Hughes 5 (Meikle 73), Turnbull 7 (Hannah 72), Bennett 7.

Booked: Livesey, Harvey, Rowe, Bennett and Hannah

Sub ratings: Haworth 8, Meikle n/a, Hannah 7

Subs not used: Panayiotou and Anderson

Forest Green Rovers: Russell 8, Bennett 7, Ellis 6, Pinnock 6, Wishart 6 (Marsh-Brown 90+1), Cooper 7 (Wedgbury 90+5), Noble 9 (c), Sinclair 7, Woolery 8, Gosling 7 (Monthe 66), Doidge 7.

Booked: Ellis, Noble, Cooper, Wishart

Subs ratings: Monthe 8, Marsh-Brown n/a, Wedgbury n/a

Subs not used: Carter and Robert

Attendance: 1,422

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