The Harriers tumbled out of the FA Trophy by a narrow margin at Barrow today. A second half goal from Richie Bennett was enough to see the home side through into the 4th rd while we can now concentrate on overtaking Fylde at the top of the table starting at Stalybridge this coming Tuesday evening.
Although it was a disappointment to exit the Trophy that was tempered by the news that Salford had done us a massive favour by thrashing Fylde 5-0 at Moor Lane. The win leapfrogs Salford above us in the league but we now have two games in hand on both sides.
There was something of a surprise when the lineup was announced with lynchpin Ryan Croasdale ruled out through injury with Mani Dieseruvwe and Tyrell Waite back in the side. Ashley Carter replaced Croasdale while Andre Brown and Darryl Knights both dropped to the bench. That move was possibly our downfall with Carter being more solid than creative while Waite was unable to make the kind of impact on the game that Knights could have done. As it was substitutions were made too late in the game and, apart from the final five minutes of the game, we hardly had a sniff of a goal.
We were the better side in the opening stages of the game with our neat football compared to Barrows aerial version but it was our defence that was the busier of the two. We went close with two chances that we should have done something with if it wasn't for the poor finishing. Elton N'Gwatala fluffed his lines by sending his shot wide and then Arthur Gnahoua did likewise when well placed to bury the ball into the Barrow net. Before that Moussa Diarra had put his header from a free kick wide and Bennett had volleyed wide from the edge of the area.
New boy Shaun Tuton had a good chance to open his account after he signed on loan from Barnsley but his back header from a throw in went across the goal line without anyone able to tap it home. Diarra had another chance when he stooped to head a Paul Turnbull free kick just wide once again.
Just before the break Barrows Shaun Beeley's name was entered into the referees notebook after he followed through on Josh Ezewele after he had already lost the ball. Of course the Barrow fans saw it differently thinking it was a perfectly fair challenge.