United produced a resolute performance away to promotion chasing Barrow AFC to earn an important point on the road.
Player-manager Kevin Nicholson made two changes to the side that took on Macclesfield at Plainmoor. Jamie Reid replaced the departing David Fitzpatrick on the wing with Aman Verma returning to midfield at the expense of Luke Young.
Nicholson sent out the first eleven tight and compact with Aman Verma supporting Brett Williams in attack. Damon Lathrope and captain Courtney Richards were in place to screen in front of the back four with Jamie Reid and Dan Sparkes on the wing.
Kevin Nicholson would have been pleased with the opening stages of the match. United kept Barrow quiet, and restricted them to tame efforts on goal.
The game lacked chances up until the 36th minute when Brendan Moore was finally called into action.
Brett Williams headed over in the 39th minute from a free-kick. Considering the way he reacted, he was disappointed that he couldn’t get the effort on target.
Chances and drama were at a premium but that suited United. The one negative from the first half came when captain Courtney Richards had to be substituted in the 43rd minute after suffering an injury after making a challenge. Luke Young replaced him and we wait to see the extent of his injury.
United created two chances just before half-time. Jared Hodgkiss’s low cross into the box was prodded towards goal by Jamie Reid. Flatt turned the effort around the post. Then Aman Verma couldn’t find the target from a corner. The finishing touch was the missing ingredient on both occasions.
United mustered up some worthwhile efforts in the second half but could never get the slice of luck they needed. Barrow too, had chances, but the Gulls shaded matters.
In the 53rd minute Barrow were stretched in near breaking point. A Dan Sparkes cross tempted Williams and Diarra to challenge in the air and the Barrow defender was able to get the ball back to his goalkeeper John Flatt. It was a brave piece of defending.
Barrow threatened on the break when in the 55th minute Jordan Williams dallied to long when trying to find an angle on goal. A little more composure may have resulted in a goal.
United had Jared Hodgkiss to thank in the 70th minute when he cleared a Moussa Diarra header off his own goal line.
A free-kick from Luke Young had Flatt concerned in the 75th minute. It was 35 yards out, but Young showed power and technique to force Flatt to put the ball behind for a corner.
Striker Brett Williams could have had a more successful day, but it wasn’t for a lack of effort. Williams worked hard for the chances he could create and was unlucky not to break the deadlock.
Williams was on the end of a ball into the box after a fluid move involving Jamie Reid and Damon Lathrope. His header went over the bar. Then a few minutes later Williams stretched to meet a through ball that he couldn’t quite collect. It was another frustrating moment that had the striker shaking his head.
So United kept Barrow at bay but couldn’t find the finishing touch in front of goal. The nature of the point will mean much to player-manager Kevin Nicholson and he will hope that they can earn more for their efforts when they take on Sutton United at Plainmoor in seven days time.
The last word goes to the 54 members of the Yellow Army who supported the team. The players went over to thank them personally after the final whistle. Thank you for your support!