Barrow AFC 1-1 Tranmere Rovers: James Norwood rescues a point deep into added time to keep Rovers in National League play-off places

By George Williamson

  • James Norwood stoppage time goal earns Rovers a point
  • Adam Buxton injury resulted in lengthy added time
  • Rovers fall to 7th despite rescuing late point

James Norwood scored in the fourth of nine added minutes against Barrow to rescue a point for Micky Mellon’s side after Adam Buxton suffered a serious injury with 15 minutes remaining.

Buxton was stretchered off with a quarter of an hour remaining after an awkward fall resulted in an extended stoppage as the medical staff tended to the defender, and mid-way through the following nine minutes of stoppage time, Norwood popped up to ensure the points were shared at Holker Street.

Rovers began the game low on numbers after Ollie Banks was recalled by Oldham, Devarn Green departed on loan to Warrington Town, and Scott Davies picked up a long-term injury in the previous fixture.

Davies’ spot was filled by new signing Rhys Taylor, who joined on loan from AFC Fylde earlier in the day, while Jay Harris started in Banks’ place for the visitors.

It wasn’t long before Taylor was called into action either, after Steve McNulty misjudged a clearance and sent Grant Holt tumbling in the area.

rhys taylor tranmere

New signing Rhys Taylor in action on debut against Barrow

Byron Harrison sent the debutant the wrong way to give Barrow a shock early lead.

Rovers were slow to respond, but Norwood did go close after a dinked cross from Ollie Norburn marginally evaded the target man.

The lively striker again went close after finding himself one-on-one with Joel Dixon in the Barrow goal, but the home goalkeeper stood firm and made the save.

The hosts did create a big chance of their own shortly before the half hour mark when Thierry Audel fired over after a game of pinball in the Rovers area had forced Taylor into two smart saves.

That didn’t deter the visitors from searching for the equaliser though, as Harris and Norwood forced Dixon into decent saves from shots from distances, before Larnell Cole fired inches over under pressure from Jack Barthram.

With the first half ticking to a close, Bedsente Gomis almost doubled the home side’s lead, but his looping volley clipped the bar on its way over.

buxton barrow

Adam Buxton was stretchered off in the draw against Barrow after landing awkwardly

Into the second half, and Norwood was again in the centre of the action. First, he curled an effort into the side-netting after being set-up by Eddie Clarke, before Dixon produced an excellent save to deny both Norwood and Andy Cook.

With Rovers increasing the intensity in search of an equaliser, Barrow had a glorious opportunity to make it 2-0, but an unmarked Harry Panayiotou scuffed his golden chance wide.

Buxton went close from a free-kick with just 25 minutes remaining after a powerful run from substitute Jeff Hughes was abruptly halted by Gomis, earning him a booking, but just moments later, the full-back Buxton was on the deck after landing awkwardly when challenging for a ball.

After a long stoppage and among worried faces around the ground, a stretcher eventually carried Buxton off the field, and the excellent defender was replaced by Liam Ridehalgh for the visitors.

Barrow looked to have the game wrapped up as the game headed to stoppage time, but Buxton’s lengthy injury meant there were a further nine minutes to play, and just four minutes in, Norwood poked home from close range after Jake Kirby’s excellent cross to secure a deserved point for the visitors.

Rovers slide to 7th with the point and look forward to an away match-up with Woking next, while Barrow remain 20th and travel to Brackley Town on Saturday.


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