|Barrow||3-0||Havant & Waterlooville|
Hindle 40' 71'
By Henry Deacon (@H_Deaconmedia)
After an even first half, Hindle struck 5 minutes before the interval in what was a cruel blow for Lee Bradbury’s side before striking the third 20 minutes from time.
The Hawks started with the same team as that which started our last pre-season friendly against AFC Wimbledon with Alfie Pavey and Nicke Kabamba leading the line for Lee Bradbury’s side.
The Hawks started life in The National League brightly and had the first opportunity of the game within the opening 10 minutes as Brian Stock’s corner couldn’t quite latch onto the head of Nicke Kabamba at the far post.
And a second opportunity came 5 minutes later as this time Andreas Robinson was the proprietor of the opportunity as he unleashed a thunderous curling effort to the throat of Andrew Firth in the Barrow goal.
And seconds later the Hawks came close again as Wes Fogden’s free kick was flicked back by Paul Robinson into the path of Ed Harris but couldn’t latch onto the header which probably would have seen the Hawks take the lead.
But Barrow would ask questions at the other end with Jordan Rose and Paul Robinson blocking efforts and crosses into the area before alerting the attention of Ryan Young in the Hawks goal.
Just before the half hour mark chaos decended on the pitch as after Josh Kay wins a free kick following Stock’s challenge a scuffle on the pitch occoured with both parties getting a yellow card by the referee Michael Wood.
Ten minutes before the break Ryan Young was forced to come out and make a class interception, coming out of the penalty area, making himself big before blocking his effort before hoofing it away.
But five minutes before the interval Barrow took the lead as Jack Hindle had the ball played into his path after some fine build up play before curling an audacious curling effort into the top left 25 yards from goal. 1-0 to the hosts.
The final chance of the opening 45 fell to the Hawks as in first half stoppage time a corner came into the path of Paul Robinson who again forced a save out of Firth in the Barrow goal.
The second half saw Barrow step up a gear and their experience of the ruthless nature of the fifth tier told.
The first opportunity of the half fell their way five minutes into the second period as Turner plays a dangerous cross into the penalty area which is cleared by Williams at the far post.
And ten minutes into the second period Barrow got their second as the ball skittles around the penalty area into the path of Tyler Smith who bundles the ball home from close range to give The Bluebirds a cushion.
The Hawks reacted well and within minutes came again as Wes Fogden, the Hawks’ lynchpin, had a go at goal from 18 yards out with a thunderous volley which again forced a good save by Firth in the Barrow goal.
And 5 minutes later Alfie Pavey unleashed a cross into the path of Nicke Kabamba who got a nick onto the header but couldn’t quite steer it into the back of the net.
But 20 minutes from time, the game was killed off as Barrow got their third and it was that man Hindle again getting on the scoresheet by driving a low effort past Ryan Young into the bottom left hand corner. Heartbreak for the Hawks.
The Hawks still though felt that if they got a goal they could still find a way back into the match and 10 minutes from time perhaps they got that chance as Fogden lead the Hawks’ charge forward before passing into the path of Rutherford before teeing up an enticing ball into the path of Nicke Kabamba who went to ground but the referee decided not to give a penalty to the Hawks number 10.
And the Hawks would have the final chance of the game in added on time as a free kick sees the ball pinballed around the penalty area before finding the path of Jordan Rose who has his effort blocked.
Not the start to life in The National League that the Hawks wanted but will serve the Hawks well as we learn about the relentless and ruthless nature of the top tier of Non-League Football.
Next up is a home game against Boreham Wood on Tuesday Night with a 19:45 kick off at Westleigh Park. Be great to see as many of you down the park to see the first taste of National League football at Westleigh Park.