Cheltenham Town 0 - 2 Barrow: Promotion chasers stunned by relegation threatened Bluebirds
Photo by Charlotte Tattersall

Relegation threatened Barrow continued their up-turn in form with a stunning away win against top of the league Cheltenham town

An early goal from James Jones and a second half own-goal from Sean Long saw the Cumbrian side record their third victory on the bounce under caretaker boss Rob Kelly and move out of the relegation zone for the first time since February. 

The hosts struggled to truly get going on what will go down as a night to forget for Michael Duff's team.

Story of the match

High flyers Cheltenham came into the tie looking to extend their lead at the top of the League Two table, however they were left stunned when their relegation threatened visitors took a surprise early lead. 

Defender James Jones put Barrow ahead in just the second minute when his seemingly innocuous cross was missed by everyone in the box before nestling in the corner of the goal. 

The Bluebirds, who came into the game in a precarious 23rd position, then believed they had doubled their lead not long after when Scott Quigley poked home from short range after getting on the end of a Patrick Brough through ball, before his effort was ruled out for offside. 

The hosts began to grow into the game as the first half went on though, coming close to scoring themselves when Chris Hussey connected well with a volley on the edge of the box before seeing his effort bounce back off the post in the 39th minute. 

Michael Duff's side then came even closer to equalising when a long ball into the box created a goal line scramble, with Alfie May's close range shot being miraculously blocked on the line before Barrow goalkeeper Joel Dixon produced an even more stunning save to deny Hussey's powerful follow up effort.  

Following the break however, the Bluebirds began to enjoy far more of the games possession, eventually doubling their lead after 66 minuets when a long throw in from Bobby Thomas caused chaos in the Cheltenham box before being finally touched in for an own goal by Sean Long. 

The Gloucestershire outfit, who have been renowned for the goal scoring exploits thus far this season, struggled to create any clear cut chances late in the game on what proved to be a frustrating night for the promotion chasers. 

The victory for Barrow sees them move above the relegation zone into 22nd place, while Cheltenham remain in first one point ahead of second place Cambridge United.

Man of the match - Joel Dixon 

Barrows number one played an instrumental role in keeping his side ahead during the hosts first half attacking onslaught following Jones' early goal. 

His stunning save to deny Hussey in the first period was undoubtedly just as valuable as a goal at the other end. 

The 27-year-old failed to put a foot wrong on what proved to be a testing evening for the Bluebirds defence, and also seemed to act as a calming influence on the regularly under pressure defence in front of him.