Holwell Sports held to Easter derby stalemate at Barrow

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For the second time this season Holwell and Barrow couldn’t be separated as they played out a goalless stalemate on Easter Monday.

With two points and one place between the sides at the start of play, Holwell knew a win at Riverside Park would see them leapfrog their hosts into eighth with two games in hand.

But at full-time status quo remained following a tight encounter.

Hatton was back in the dug-out after missing the previous two games, but with Parrra-Watson, Calver, Wells, Byrne and McKay all missing, and Ridout arriving late, Holwell’s squad was stretched.

Randall and Hallam were recalled following Saturday’s victory over Anstey, while Smith was also given a start.

The first half was a scrappy affair and played as a typical local derby.

The flow of the game was often interrupted by an official who for the first half was very insistent on speaking with as many players as he could, and even the Barrow manager.

The second half continued as the first half, but by now the referee had grown tired of talking and began brandishing his yellow card at regular intervals.

Unlike the first half, however, there was some goalmouth action to report.

Smith cleared off the line as Barrow started brightly, but they then shut up shop and made defence their priority, only threatening Holwell through set pieces.

Holwell pressed forward looking to break the deadlock as Barrow became a little last-ditch in their attempts to preserve a clean sheet.

Barnard went close for Holwell after 55 minutes, but shot just wide.

Mooney jinked inside, but his effort was blocked before Hibbitt also saw his volley blocked.

Stevenson shot over from a free kick before Mooney saw his shot deflected wide.

There was still time for Foster to threaten, but he also saw his effort pass the wrong side of the post as Holwell’s momentum fizzled out.

The draw was the least the visitors deserved, but the result didn’t help their push for a top six finish, particularly as the three teams above also dropped points.

Next up for Holwell on Saturday is a trip to a rejuvenated Graham Street Prims who lie fourth-bottom (kick-off 3pm).

Holwell: Stainsby, Smith, Randall, Hallam, Chapman, Barnard (Ridout 65) Stevenson, Hibbitt, Foster, Mooney, Stannard. Subs not used; Denigan, Hatton.