Mansfield Town keep up promotion charge with victory at Barrow

TEN-man Mansfield recorded a first Football League win over Barrow for more than half a century to maintain their push for Sky Bet League Two promotion, writes Trevor Baxter.

Saturday, 22nd January 2022, 5:02 pm
Stags celebrate a job well done at Barrow.
Stags celebrate a job well done at Barrow.

Farrend Rawson’s second red card against the Cumbrians this season ensured Town’s bid for a record equalling seventh successive league win wouldn’t be straightforward.

But Nigel Clough’s visitors, leading 2-1 before Rawson’s 39th minute dismissal, shrugged off their one-man deficit to secure another three points.

One-time Barrow loanee Jordan Bowery headed a match clincher after 67 minutes, adding to Rhys Oates’ opener after 40 seconds and Stephen McLaughlin’s latest goal after 25 minutes.

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Town’s last defeated their Cumbrian hosts in a league encounter in December 1969, losing all three meetings since Barrow returned to the Football League in 2020.

But they received the perfect early boost. Oates charged forward from the kick-off and his low shot forced Paul Farman to concede a corner after just seven seconds.

Ryan Stirk’s delivery was headed on at the near post by Rawson and Oates glanced in the assist from six yards.

There was momentary concern after 13 minutes when Luke James’ headed in but the goal was disallowed for a push.

But the warning wasn’t heeded and Barrow levelled four minutes later. Rawson conceded a corner from Anthony Glennon’s in-swinging free kick.

And the set piece frailty surfaced once more as Jones met Robbie Gotts’ flag kick and headed in off the far post.

Town-against the run of play-restored their advantage after 25 minutes. Stirk’s corner found its way through to McLaughlin whose left foot drive yielded his fourth goal in seven games.

Back in charge, Mansfield, pushed the self destruct button as Rawson collected two bookings in four minutes to receive his marching orders as he had done in the reverse fixture.

Additionally, Oli Hawkins’ seventh booking in nine games brought his season’s tally to 10 and an imminent two-game ban.

The second half brought constant Barrow pressure but Town soaked it all up and hit back with Bowery’s goal allowing the Stags to ease through the final 20 minutes.

Barrow: Farman, Jones, Platt, Brough, Hutton, Banks, White (Devitt 63), Glennon, Gotts (Kay 71) James (Wakeling 71), Harris; subs not used: Lillis, Brown, Stevens.

Mansfield:

Bishop, Hewitt, Rawson, Hawkins, McLaughlin, Stirk, O’Toole, Quinn (Charsley 78), Maris (Lapslie 70), Bowery, Oates (Akins 78); subs not used: Nartey, Johnson, Stech, Law.

Referee: Samuel Barrott

Attendance: 3,224 (358 Mansfield)