Mis-firing Poppies are well beaten

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Kettering Town paid the price for missed chances as Barrow recorded a 3-0 win at Holker Street to leave the Poppies in big trouble at the wrong end of the Blue Square Bet Premier.

With their off-field situation remaining perilous, caretaker-manager Ashley Westwood recalled Phil Ifil into the Poppies’ three-man midfield while youngster Ben Ford – who was registered on Friday – started on the bench.

It was a quiet opening with neither side really getting a grip on proceedings but Barrow opened the scoring on 19 minutes.

A moment of hesitation on the edge of the box and allowed Chris Turner to get in on goal but Jerel Ifil made a challenge and while he seemed to win the ball, he got plenty of the player and referee Darren Bond pointed to the spot, despite heated protests from the visiting players.

Richie Baker stepped up to send Laurie Walker the wrong way.

But Kettering’s response was good and they should have been level before the break.

Marcus Kelly sent a free-kick just wide before David Bridges saw a goalbound headed cleared by Paul Smith.

But their best chance came two minutes before the break when the impressive Kelly sent Danny Mills through. His shot beat Shaun Pearson but rolled agonisingly wide of the post.

The Poppies started the second half well and another glorious chance fell to Mills when he was played in by Aman Verma but Pearson was equal to his shot.

Laurie Walker saved well from Andy Cook at the other end but another good opportunity was missed by Kettering when Patrick Noubissie’s cross fell to Nathan Ralph at the far post but he could only shoot over the bar.

And Kettering paid a big price for those missed chances with 13 minutes to go when a poor kick from Walker was sent back, Andy Cook latched on to it and held off Sol Davis before blasting home.

If that left a mountain to climb, it was game over six minutes later when Paul Rutherford won the ball off Kelly in the area and his cross was met by Cook who powered home a header.

Barrow: Pearson; Smith, Bolland, Hone, Skelton; Baker, Owen (sub Ferrell, 89 mins), Harvey; Mackreth (sub Nicholas, 76 mins), Cook, Turner (sub Rutherford, 63 mins). Subs not used: Cairns, Moyo.

Poppies: Walker; Noubissie, Sangare, J Ifil, Davis; Bridges, P Ifil (sub Jones, 80 mins), Kelly; Mills, Verma, Ralph. Subs not used: Ford, Hornby, Pryor.

Referee: Darren Bond.

Goals: Baker pen (19 mins, 1-0), Cook (77 mins, 2-0), Cook (83 mins, 3-0).

Bookings: Harvey, Baker (both fouls).

Attendance: 1,090.