Wanderers B Team were knocked out of the Lancashire FA Senior Cup by an experienced Barrow outfit at Lostock on Tuesday afternoon.
After an evenly matched first half, a flurry of Barrow goals in the second period was enough for the away side to advance to the final of the competition.
The Barrow side boasted the likes of Ben Whitfield, Josh Lillis and David Worrall who all have years of EFL experience under their belt and ultimately led by example in this clash.
The opening stages produced no clear cut chances for either side with both defences prevailing when tested with a series of crosses from out wide. Firstly, Lockett fired in a low driven cross for Loureiro to slide onto for Wanderers before Worrall got to the byline for the visitors but saw his cut back intercepted by Hogan.
The first real sight of goal for either side came when Lockett’s corner bounced inside the box and landed at the feet of Halford who connected on the half volley but it whistled just past the far post.
Whitfield was beginning to assert his quality on the ball when he found himself in space on the right and delivered a teasing cross for Acquah but the forward couldn’t get the required connection on the cross to divert it on target.
The visitors had grown into the game at this point and struck the crossbar after the half hour mark. Barrow worked a short corner which led to Gotts getting into the box and nearly catching Flint out with his cross which looped over the keeper and crashed back off the woodwork.
As the half drew to a close, Whitfield had one more chance to put Barrow ahead at the break but couldn’t take it. Acquah played him in behind with a threaded through ball but Whitfield went from precision over power which wasn’t enough to beat Flint in the Wanderers’ net.
The half time whistle went, and the young Wanderers side had battled and competed well throughout the 45.
The second half began with a golden chance for Andy Taylor’s side when Wanderers pressed well, winning the ball back high up the pitch which led to Ben Andreucci being through on goal but he could only drag his effort wide of the far post.
That miss proved to be costly just five minutes later when it was Barrow’s turn to win the ball back high up the pitch. Warren had the composure to thread a pass out to Etaluku who fired beyond Flint and into the roof of the net to give the visitors the lead.
In honesty, Wanderers never fully recovered from that set-back and found themselves two goals down just a minute after the first goal. Etaluku again causing problems with his pace won Barrow a penalty when he was wiped out by Hogan inside the box. Whitfield stepped up and hammered his spot kick down the middle, past the legs of Flint.
It was always going to be an uphill task for Wanderers from that point onwards on a wet and slippy surface and 66 minutes in, it got even tougher.
A run in behind from Robbie Gotts wasn’t tracked and he latched on to Etaluku’s pass before calmly slotting beneath the onrushing Flint to make it three.
To their credit, Wanderers never threw the towel in and thought they’d had one back when Andreucci raced clear and finished beyond Lillis but the linesman had flagged for offside.
With legs tiring all over the pitch, the visitors rounded off their win with a fourth. A slick passing move was eventually squared across to Whitfield to fire in at the near post and put the tie beyond all doubt.
Andy Taylor’s side showed a great deal of endeavour, determination and quality in periods of the game but were unfortunately undone by a very strong and experienced Barrow side on the afternoon.
Wanderers team: Flint, Frimpong, Halford, Hogan (Yoro 66’), Inwood, Lockett, Khumbeni (Trialist One 45’), Sharples-Ahmed, Tweedley, Andreucci, Loureiro (Abimbola 62’)
Subs: Lewis, Trialist Two
Barrow team: Lillis, Ogungbo, Worrall, White, Gotts, Acquah (Stephenson 45’), Warren (Foley 75’), Feely, Whitfield, Reeve, Etaluku
Subs: Farman, Taylor