Notts Senior League
Bridgford United 2
Barrowby went into the match against top-of-the-table Bridgford United with another strong squad.
The wet conditions and muddy pitch made the game a physical affair but Barrowby were in the ascendancy from the start with an attacking line up that took the visitors by surprise.
The battle in the middle of the pitch was being won by Barrowby’s Radford and Willcocks who did not allow Bridgford settle into any pattern of play, enabling the influential Yenebertiz to control the game.
Barrowby, featuring young full backs Roberts and Ludew, were playing on the front foot and the visitors struggled to get to grips with the fluid movement of Lund, Abel and Lee.
Barrowby took a deserved, albeit fortunate, lead when a free kick from skipper Short caused all sorts of uncertainty in the box, resulting in Lee smashing home,
Soon after, a ball down the left from Ludew released Lund to outpace his marker and cut the ball back from the byline for Lee to finish with confidence from 20 yards.
The visitors reshuffled their formation and began to get into the game although Barrowby defended resolutely, with dogged determination from Turner and Short limiting any sort of clear cut chances.
Home keeper Hotchin was eventually called into action with a fantastic reaction save from point blank range, but he was finally beaten when a strong run from the tricky Bridgford winger was slotted home into the corner on the stroke of half time.
The second half began as the first half left off with Bridgford keen to keep their title challenge intact. Barrowby’s defence was withstanding the barrage and Hotchin again saved well when he flicked a strong shot from distance over the bar with confidence.
The very competitive Bridgford team felt there was something in the game and equalised midway through the second half when their centre midfield maestro controlled well in the penalty area, swivelled and finished with aplomb.
Not deterred by this, Barrowby looked to the bench for reinforcements and made a double substitution with the introduction of the hungry Rooney-Beaumont, returning from suspension, and the pacey Taggart. A switch in formation also gave Yenebertiz more space to drive through the middle of the park.
With their tails up, Barrowby could sense that Bridgford had run out of steam and the introduction of Matongo also offered width and pace against the tiring visitors.
Barrowby clinched victory when Lee, through on goal again for his hat trick, rounded the keeper and smashed the ball against the bar, but Taggart was quickly there to slam home from just inside the box for his second goal in as many games.
The remainder of the game became a scrappy affair and an unsightly end and fraught tempers resulted in a 20-man melee with Bridgford keen to go home with something, including Matongo’s shir.
Barrowby’s man of the match was Leigh Radford.