IT WAS a long journey, but we arrived at Barrow with a spring in our step and chomping at the bit to get back into action after 14 days without a game.
After a cross from the home side caused some concern amongst the United back-line, a neat move ended with Achille Campion, who was making his first start for the club, force a corner which was delivered invitingly to the near post only for the ‘keeper to do well to gather.
Having seen plenty of the ball in the opening exchanges, United fell behind on nine minutes when Haworth’s ball found its way to Otis Khan who fired home beyond the reach of Dan Lavercombe.
Some good play in the middle of the park by debutant Verma saw him launch a neat move which ended with his header saved by Joel Dixon in the home goal.
As United upped the pace, the next raid saw Dan Butler thread the ball through to the lively Achille Campion whose strike was blocked before another smart pass from Verma on 21 minutes played through Campion moments later, but he failed to capitalise upon the opportunity as he side-footed the ball wide.
After an impressive start to the game, Aman Verma was forced to leave the field with an injury as Alex Fisher took his place and he was straight into the action to tee up Louis Briscoe whose stinging strike was saved.
At the other end, a counter-attack ended with an effort from Walker saved by Lavercombe without too many problems.
The wind and rain continued to lash down as the half went on, making it difficult conditions for both sets of players.
With five minutes to go until half-time, Andy Haworth rattled the woodwork with a powerful strike, but it wasn’t long before the lead was doubled when Haworth turned provider as Khan lashed home his second of the afternoon to make it 2-0.
United saw plenty of the ball during the opening period but couldn’t take advantage of our possession and were hit on the counter-attack by our hosts.
There was another enforced change at the break as Louis Briscoe was replaced by Andre Wright for his United debut.
An early free-kick from the home side caused problems for Dan Lavercombe but the pressure was eased with the awarding of a free-kick for a foul.
Some good play from Fisher saw him deliver an inviting cross which saw Wright go close to reducing the arrears.
More bad news was to follow when Nathan Smith was given a red card for a professional foul on Jason Walker as he looked to break through.
Although the resulting free-kick came to nothing, it soon became 3-0 when Lavercombe pushed out Khan’s effort as he cut inside and Walker was on hand to head home.
There was a yellow card for Fisher for a foul on Khan.
A United raid saw an effort from Wright spilled by the ‘keeper as Campion’s shot on the turn was deflected wide for a corner, which came to nothing.
A corner for the home side was met with a towering header from Simon Grand but Lavercombe was able to make the save as the danger was cleared.
Simon Heslop was booked for a foul on Khan as the clock ticked down.
A dipping effort from distance by Campion went close to reducing the arrears for United with the goalkeeper struggling to get across to it, whilst at the other end Walker saw his volley go over from a good position.
As the home side looked for a fourth goal, Berry did well with a sliding challenge to deny Van den Broek.
The fourth goal did arrive in stoppage time when a cross-come-shot from Pilkington hit the woodwork and deflected into the path of Haworth who was able to guide the ball home from close range to complete a disappointing afternoon.