Despite Cockups and Muscles, We’re Still Alive Alive-o

Kev Neylon
7 min readApr 16, 2024

A lot of people have done versions of Molly Malone, but none have been mangled as much as I’ve just done in this title. If I had to pick a version then I would go for The Dubliners, after all, I heard a lot of that as a child. And it’s used as there aren’t a lot of barrow mentions in other songs, with or without wheels.

Without much time to rest and recuperate it is another home game tonight. After the error strewn disappointment of Saturday’s loss against relegation threatened Colchester United, we are back in action against Barrow, in a rearranged game as the original due to be played on March 2nd was postponed due to our pitch being waterlogged. And although there was some biblical rain yesterday, there has been high winds and sunny spells to ensure the pitch is playable for tonight.

We go into the game in the final playoff spot, and are two points behind our opponents tonight, so a win would see us leapfrog them into sixth, even if they do have a game in hand after another of their recent games was postponed due to their pitch being waterlogged. And it has been hotting up behind us. There are five teams within three points of us, with Doncaster Rovers now only a single point behind us and on a run of wins that looks like it would take some stopping. But it is still in our own hands, win the last three games and we will be in the playoffs regardless of what anyone else does.

It is a hell of a trip down from Barrow on a Tuesday night, but they have brought a coach, some cars and eleven long haired friends of Jesus in a chartreuse microbus in a convoy. And they’ve brought Dom Telford with them for his first Broadfield Stadium action since missing a penalty against Gillingham at the start of the season before he was sold to Barrow.

We arrive as the sun is setting over the corner of the KRL Logistics stand, and it is a totally different sky depending on whether you look north (lovely),

Or south (welcome to Mordor).

Despite the nice sunset it did rain on us all the way to the ground. Barrow are in white shirts with blue arms, blue shorts, and socks.

It is a cagey start, and it takes a while for the first shot to come, and it’s Jay Williams from about thirty yards out and it goes just over the bar. The ref has got his book out early on and there is a booking for each side for their first heavy challenge. Only for him to calm down and let a few more robust ones go (including a couple on Harry Forster again). There is a free kick on the wing, but Will Wright’s free kick is straight into the keeper’s arms.

Barrow attack and a shot is blocked, there is a Dom Telford miscue (where have we seen that before?) and a Corey Addai save before a cross goes wide. At the other end Ade Adeyemo gets a shot on the edge of the area but it is blocked within a couple of yards.

There is a lot of nothing going on for quite some time. Then we work it forward and Adeyemo has it in the box, his shot is blocked, hits a defender in the face and the keeper has to save it. Most of our good play is from getting it to the two wing backs high up the pitch, but we don’t do this anywhere near often enough. Lots of slow possession, and each backwards or sideways pass is getting met with groans.

Ten minutes before the break, Adeyemo tries to prevent to ball going to their winger but at full stretch just slows it down for him, the cross goes into the box, over the defence and their number 20 is at the back post and his header can’t be kept out by Addai and we are down 0–1.

It’s a while before our next attack, but a Wright ball finds Klaidi Lolos in the box and his shot is force over the bar for a corner. Which we waste. There are three added minutes at the end of the half. Enough time to get a cross in from the left wing which Adeyemo heads just wide at the back post. And the half time whistle goes with it 0–1.

The second half starts with a wasted free kick early on. Then an attack down the right and the cross is turned behind for a corner, which is headed clear, it comes back, and a shot is blocked, reclaimed, and then passed all the way back to Addai.

Another attack sees who knows what going on. We have a shot; it is blocked and there are claims for a penalty. It is cleared, put back in, there is another shot, and it bounces around and the keeper claims it. Then the ref points at the spot and we have a penalty. Was it for the handball? Who cares, even if it took an age to give. Danilo Orsi has the ball, and the Barrow players are taking as long as possible to allow the penalty to be taken. Their goalie is booked after coming back out off his line after everyone has lined up outside the box. Orsi ignores it all and sends the keeper the wrong way and it is 1–1.

Barrow have a bit of pressure, a corner is turned behind for another, from which Addai makes a great save, and there is a third corner which we eventually clear. We attack and there is clever work from Adeyemo down the right, it goes to Liam Kelly and his ball into the box finds Lolos and his shot is cleared by a defender after beating the keeper. We work it back across the field to the left and win a corner, and an Adam Campbell shot is beaten away and the follow up goes wide right.

At the other end a corner is half cleared, and played back in, a header comes out off the post and their shot is well saved by Addai, and the third effort is also stopped by Addai before the ball is cleared away. Barrow play a long ball over the top and it is taken down in the area by their striker, but one on one with Addai it is saved and cleared.

Lolos wins a free kick on the right-hand edge of the area about twenty-five yards out. The cross is headed out for a corner, which is wasted once again. Barrow attack, their cross is headed back to someone in the box, but their shot is over the bar. Then Barrow have the ball in the net, but the ref had blown for a free kick for handball before it was.

There are six added minutes. In which we huff and puff a bit. A Campbell cross is headed wide by Orsi, and there is a Dion Conroy shot from distances which is just wide, but the final whistle goes, and it is a 1–1 draw.

The crowd was announced as being 3,155 with 108 away fans, and the sponsors’ man of the match was Will Wright. Not sure why.

The draw doesn’t do us any favours. We stay seventh, a point ahead of Walsall who won tonight, and two ahead of Doncaster Rovers who have a game in hand against Colchester United next Tuesday night. It is no longer in our own hands, we are going to need help from somewhere, but we still have the right position, and all we can do now is go out and win those last two games.

Next up is out final away game of the season with a fairly local game against Sutton United, where the away tickets had sold out, but they have released another 450 this afternoon.

Come on you reds.

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Kev Neylon

Writing fiction, travel, history, sport, & music blogs. Monthly e-zine with all kinds of writing at www.onetruekev.co.uk. All pictures used are my own.