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Match Reports

Report: Barrow 1 Rovers 2

Rovers record an opening pre-season win thanks to Nuttall's winner at Holker Street against the National League side

6 July 2019

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Joe Nuttall's strike proved the difference as Rovers recorded a victory in the opening pre-season friendly of the summer at Barrow.

The striker rifled home from inside the box on 64 minutes to earn the win for Tony Mowbray's side, who took the lead through an own goal early on prior to Scott Quigley's equaliser before the break.

It was a good run-out for the squad, with Rovers bossing possession for the majority of the encounter in the Cumbrian sunshine.

Mowbray couldn't call on a few of his first team regulars at Holker Street, with Charlie Mulgrew, Ryan Nyambe, Jayson Leutwiler and Corry Evans all left out of the matchday squad after international duty for their countries earlier in the summer.

Amari'i Bell, Harry Chapman and Derrick Williams were unavailable due to illness and injury, but trialist Charlie Adam did play a part in the second half against Ian Evatt's National League outfit.

Following David Raya's departure to Brentford earlier in the day, Andy Fisher played the full 90 minutes and was largely untested throughout.

Rovers started well, with Bradley Dack stinging the palms of home goalkeeper Joel Dixon after only three minutes.

The visitors had plenty of the ball, and midway through the half Mowbray's men took the lead after Ben Brereton's low cross was turned into his own net by a Barrow trialist.

A moment later and Joe Rankin-Costello worked his way into the box and showed fine footwork before seeing his curling effort held by Dixon.

The hosts managed to find a route through the Rovers backline just before the half hour mark when Lewis Hardcastle, a former Rovers Academy graduate, threaded a perfect ball through to Dior Angus, whose shot was flicked over by Fisher.

Angus was proving to be a thorn in Rovers' side, and he tested Fisher again soon after, but the young stopper kept hold of the winger's low strike towards goal.

With seven minutes of the first half remaining, Barrow grabbed an equaliser against the run of play. Hardcastle's curling free kick was clipped onto the bar by Fisher, but Scott Quigley was in the right place at the right time to nod home the rebound from close range.

All outfield players were changed at the break and one of those alterations in Joe Nuttall had a great chance to give Rovers the lead again, but dallied on the ball after being picked out by John Buckley and the chance was gone.

Nuttall again went close a few moments later as he connected with Adam's corner at the back post, but saw his towering header fly into the side-netting.

Dan Butterworth fired just wide of target from 25 yards on the hour mark as Rovers bossed the opening exchanges of the second half.

But four minutes later the lead was regained by Rovers, with Nuttall lashing home past goalkeeper Johnny Saltmer after fine pressing from Adam forced a mistake in the Barrow defence.

Adam was impressing in his second half cameo, and Saltmer had to turn the ball behind after the midfielder unleashed a 30-yard effort that was arrowing into the corner of the net.

Adam Armstrong's pace was causing problems for Barrow, and he nearly made it 3-1 late on, but saw his effort crack the crossbar, before Buckley's solo run and strike was saved well by Saltmer.

That was to be the last of the action at Holker Street, and the boss will have been pleased by the workout against the National League outfit.

Rovers are back in action next weekend when we head to Spotland to take on Rochdale on Saturday 14th July, kick-off 3pm.

Rovers (1st): Fisher, Rankin-Costello, Lenihan, Grayson, Hart, Davenport, Travis, Rothwell, Brereton, Dack, Graham.

Substitutes: Hilton, Platt, Thompson, Mols.

Rovers (2nd): Fisher, Bennett, Magloire, Wharton, Thompson, Adam, Smallwood, Buckley, Butterworth, Armstrong, Nuttall.

Substitutes: Hilton, Platt, Mols.

Goals: A. Trialist (OG), 16, Nuttall, 64

Barrow goal: Quigley, 38

Referee: Jeremy Simpson.

Attendance: 1,105 (311 away)

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