Match report: Swindon Town 0 - 0 Barrow

By Alfie Howlett - 17 April 2023

Sport

A match report from Swindon Link's STFC correspondent Alfie Howlett.

Swindon took a small step in the right direction with an encouraging performance in a goalless stalemate with playoff chasing Barrow.
 
Despite forcing a lack of clear cut chances, Swindon offered a positive performance as they resiliently badgered away for their first victory since February. On another day they might have had the opportunity to open the scoring from the spot, when Rushian Hepburn-Murphy was hauled down inside the box in what looked like a stone wall penalty. 
 
With Swindon just playing for pride, Jody Morris made three changes to the starting 11 that lost at Tranmere on Easter Monday. Captain Charlie Austin returned alongside Tom Clayton and Remeao Hutton in place of Joe Tomlinson, Marcel Lavinier and Tyrese Shade. The visitors, who had made the long trip from Cumbria, arrived at the County Ground with the playoffs still in sight.
 
Despite Barrow having more to play for, it was Swindon who started the contest with considerably more intensity. With just 12 minutes on the clock, Charlie Austin had his first sniff of goal when Swindon won the ball inside the Barrow half.
 
Austin inside the box saw his low right footed effort blocked before firing his volley over on the rebound. On the 20 minute mark Barrow had their first attempt on goal when Sol Brynn pulled off a save for the cameras as he dramatically claimed Ben Whitfield's tame volley.
 
The Bluebirds would once again call Brynn into action past the half hour mark as he denied George Ray's header from a free kick. Brynn was yet again on hand to keep the opposition at bay seconds later. Ben Whitfield easily skipped past Tom Brewitt before sending a low shot down the throat of Brynn.
 
Swindon would respond a minute later with an opportunity of their own. Frazer Blake-Tracey precisely found the run of Jonny Williams in Barrow territory. The Welshman burst into the box only for a heavy touch to narrow his angle forcing Town to settle for a corner. 6 minutes shy of the break, Williams came within inches to opening the scoring.
 
On the left byline Saidou Khan pulled the ball back to Austin on the left side of the box. There the marksman curled an effort towards the far corner, which narrowly evaded both the net and the head of the arriving Williams. It meant that the deadlock was yet to be broken as both sides went in at the interval.
 
10 minutes into the second half, Swindon had an extremely convincing penalty appeal waved away when Rushian Hepburn-Murphy was rashly fouled inside the box. Prior to the hour mark they threatened again when Tom Clayton was unable to direct his header goal bound from a Williams corner.
 
It was from a corner that Barrow nearly took the lead with 64 minutes on the clock. George Ray unmarked at the back post saw his header beat everyone but Tom Clayton who miraculously headed off the line. From there the game petered to a close with Barrow more than happy to run down the clock and Swindon unable to apply any pressure.
 
The closest either side came to finding a winner was Swindon on the stroke of 90 minutes. Rushian Hepburn-Murphy latched onto Saidou Khan's long ball. He then shifted on to his right foot and fired a stinging effort down the goalkeeper's throat from 20 yards. So it finished in a 0-0 stalemate with Town breaking their four-game losing streak.

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