REPORT I Biggleswade Town 1 Barwell 1
By Simon Mathieson
Marvellous March Means More for Canaries
Barwell finished March unbeaten with a very good point at Biggleswade Town gained in a breathless 1-1 draw. In truth, all three points would have been deserved in a game that saw Barwell have two goals disallowed and all of the best chances. However, the point was only secured with a late own goal after the home side had taken the lead with a penalty in the 90th minute. Barwell played almost an hour with 10 men after Henry Eze was harshly sent off and still managed to be the better team. After the game both Guy Hadland and Brady Hickey thanked the travelling fans for their 'class support'. Barwell have played 5 games in March and gained 9 points, the highest points tally of any month this season, with two wins and three draws - including games against play off chasing teams such as Alvechurch and AFC Rushden & Diamonds.
It was Barwell's first ever visit to Biggleswade Town and, on a hard and bobbly pitch, they started well . Sam Hollis, lively all afternoon, was played in with a ball over the top in the opening 10 minutes and looked to have a good chance but was deemed offside. This offside looked solid but there were a number of much stranger decisions to come during the match.
An eventful 20 minutes for Henry Eze started when he went down injured on 12 minutes with a facial injury. A few minutes of treatment saw the big man back on the field and clearing the many long throws that Biggleswade sent in to the box. On 32 minutes he was sent off for a 2nd yellow card having, allegedly, brought down a home attacker but to many people it looked like a dive. Eze's first booking had come just 2 minutes earlier.
Prior to this there had been good chances for Barwell including the first disallowed goal for Jamie Towers. Barwell had a free kick which Dom Brown-Hill swung in from the left hand side of the pitch and it was met by the head of Towers but he was adjudged to be offside. It looked very tight. Elliot Putman had a scoring opportunity when played in well by Brady Hickey but it was defected wide for a corner.
After the Eze red card the referee was not happy with comments made from the away dugout and he dealt with this by sending off Guy Hadland. He was then not happy about where Hadland had taken up position in the tunnel area and the game was delayed again as a result. Barwell acquitted themselves well to these challenges and managed to hold out until half time without conceding even with some 6 minutes of time having been added on.
Half Time: Biggleswade Town 0 Barwell 0
Barwell started the 2nd half strongly and this was to continue throughout the half. On 46 minutes there was a great chance for Brady Hickey to score when Elliot Putman played in a ball from the left. Hickey shot but the keeper saved it. Shortly afterwards. Biggleswade had a chance to score with a free header inside the box but it went wide. It was a rare clear chance for the Home side as the new centre half pairing of Percival and Whitmore performed very well throughout the 2nd half.
In the 55th and 57th minute there were chances for Jamie Towers and for Elliot Putman but both shot wide. Towers had gone through from a flick by Sam Hollis but nudged the ball wide and Putman put a free kick over. Sam Hollis was causing the home defence serious issues and his partnership with Jamie Towers was looking very effective.
On 64 minutes came the 2nd disallowed goal for Jamie Towers. A ball was played in to the area and the keeper flapped at it. He managed to get his fingertips to it but pushed it behind him and Towers was waiting to pounce. Somehow it was given as offside. Not long afterwards there was a chance for Brady Hickey but the keeper saved his shot - Sam Hollis once again with a great pass to set the chance up.
On 78 minutes, Sam Hollis got to the byline on the left hand side. Hickey and Towers were racing in to the box and it looked a golden chance to set them up. Hollis shot however and the keeper gratefully clutched the ball. Hollis had another chance 5 minutes later but scooped the ball over the bar.
On 90 minutes, after a scramble in the box, a penalty was awarded to Biggleswade Town. Liam Brooks took it and scored with a well taken shot that went high in to the centre of the goal. It looked like this would secure an undeserved win for the home side but with 3 minutes of injury time played the equaliser was scored.
Jamie Towers had the ball and was 20 yards out. He made a run with the ball in to the area, taking it around a couple of defenders in the process. He managed to create enough space for a shot. The keeper made a good save but could only parry it out to directly in front of him where, rather than clear it, the defender was unfortunate to put it in his own net. The Barwell fans behind that goal were ecstatic.
The game ended pretty quickly after the equaliser and the away team was warmly congratulated by their fans for what had been a good performance in trying circumstances.
Full Time: Biggleswade Town 1 Barwell 1
Referee: Luigi Lungarella
Man of the Match: Elliot Putman