Swindon Town earned themselves a point at home to Barrow in a game they controlled throughout but were just unable to find the all-important breakthrough to hand them victory.
Despite creating numerous chances and nullifying the Bluebirds threat, the visitors stood firm, with a couple of potential penalty shouts for Town also a talking point, but the Robins bring to an end a run of four straight defeats and build some momentum ahead of a big game on Tuesday night against Bradford City.
It was three changes to Jody Morris’ starting eleven for the clash, as Tom Clayton, Remeao Hutton and captain Charlie Austin returned to the fold, with Joe Tomlinson, Marcel Lavinier and Tyrese Shade dropping out.
Onto the action, and after a rather slow and cagey opening, it was Town who were seeing most of the ball.
Josh Gordon was lucky not to go into the referees book after just eight minutes for what appeared to be a dive as he looked to catch Tom Brewitt off guard with the defender clipping him as he cleared the danger inside his area, but play was waved on by referee Paul Howard.
On 12-minutes, Town created the games first opportunity as George McEachran put Jonny Williams through on the right inside the Barrow box with the Welshman cutting it back to an unmarked Austin, but the striker snatched at the ball and was unable to make clean contact.
Then, just seconds later, in a similar position, the Robins captain had an initial shot blocked before sending a half-volley over from the rebound.
The visitors were then dealt an early setback as we approached 15-minutes, with Pete Wild forced into an early change following an injury to Rory Feely, who was replaced by George Ray.
Barrow created the next opportunity on goal on 20-minutes, and it was a good one.
Robbie Gotts found space on the right to cross to the far post aiming for Patrick Brough with Saidou Khan doing well to prevent him getting a shot on goal, but he could only direct it back across the Town box and into the path of Ben Whitfield.
Unfortunately for him and despite having an almost clear view on goal, his sliced effort lacked direction and Sol Brynn was able to dive across his goal and catch acrobatically.
As we approached the half hour mark, Town produced a sweeping move to carve open the Barrow midfield with Williams and McEachran combining well to set Jacob Wakeling clear down the left.
After the winger cut the ball back to Austin and he in turn teed up Saidou Khan, the latter’s strike at goal was well blocked by Sam McClelland. It didn’t lead to the opener, but a promising move which led to three straight corners, but still the score remained goalless.
The 8,080 strong crowd then witnessed three chances in the space of just two minutes as we reached 32.
First, George Ray met a dangerous cross from the right by team mate Harrison Neal with his head forcing Sol Brynn to get down low and save, before a mazy run from Ben Whitfield saw him denied by the Town stopper down to his left just sixty seconds later.
Then, on 34-minutes, Jonny Williams found a gap in the Barrow defence to drive into the box, but with just Paul Farman to beat, he opted to delay his shot and attempt to round the Bluebirds stopper, narrowing the angle, and his eventual cross was blocked.
Then possibly the ties best chance on 38-minutes, as Saidou Khan fed Austin on the edge of the Barrow area, and the strikers attempt to bend one into the top right hand corner was narrowly missed by Williams who was steaming in at the far post.
That was to be the last action of the half, and both sides went in level at the break.
The game restarted with the visitors quickest out the traps, as just a minute after play resumed, Robbie Gotts set up the in-form Josh Gordon for a strike at goal just outside the Town box, but he could only send his effort high over the bar.
After a good passage of play by the hosts, Town created their first chance of the second period on 53-minutes, as Remeao Hutton swung in a dangerous cross from the left which was met by the head of Rushian Hepburn-Murphy, but it was a little too high and the attacker was unable to direct his effort on target.
Then, just two minutes later, Hepburn-Murphy was involved again as he appeared to be challenged late in the area by Patrick Brough after being sent clear, but Town protests were waved away by referee Paul Howard.
On 64-minutes, it was a case of Tom Clayton to the rescue as the defender cleared Tom White’s far post header off the goal line with Brynn beaten following a Barrow corner on the left, and still the scores remained level.
On 68-minutes Paul Farman saved Niall Canavan’s blushes as he saw a low Hutton free-kick clip off his shin after a Williams dummy, but fortunately for Pete Wild’s side, their stopper was well placed to scoop it up.
There were only a series of substitutions from both sides in the 20-minutes that followed as Tyrese Shade, Dylan Kadji and Ronan Darcy entered the action as Jody Morris’ looked to switch things up in search of that all-important goal, but it wasn’t until we hit the 90-minute mark was saw the ties next chance.
Rushian Hepburn-Murphy received the ball out wide on the left before cutting in and driving one low at goal, but Farman got down well to repel the effort and hold onto the ball.
The final whistle went, ending Town’s run of four straight league defeats, but are forced to settle for a point on home turf with attentions turning back to SN1 on Tuesday evening for the visit of Bradford City.
Swindon Town Line-up: 4-1-2-3
1. Sol Brynn (GK) – 20. Frazer Blake-Tracy, 4. Tom Clayton, 12. Tom Brewitt, 2. Remeao Hutton, 5. George McEachran (21. Dylan Kadji 82mins), 8. Jonny Williams (10. Ronan Darcy 87mins), 23. Saidou Khan, 24. Jacob Wakeling (28. Tyrese Shade 81mins), 19. Rushian Hepburn-Murphy, 11. Charlie Austin ©.
Subs not used: 25. Conor Brann (GK) – 22. Marcel Lavinier, 31. Harrison Minturn, 15. Luke Jephcott.
Yellow Cards: None
Red Cards: None
Barrow Line-up: 3-5-2
1. Paul Farman (GK) – 5. Sam McClelland, 24. Rory Feely (25. George Ray 15mins), 6. Niall Canavan ©, 7. Elliot Newby (21. Tyrell Warren 81mins), 3. Patrick Brough, 15. Robbie Gotts, 13. Tom White, 14. Harrison Neal (16. Sam Foley 61mins), 10. Josh Gordon (28. Jake Young 81mins), 34. Ben Whitfield (11. Josh Kay 61mins).
Subs not used: 12. Josh Lillis (GK).
Yellow Cards: 3. Brough 68mins, 15. Gotts 76mins.
Red Cards: None
Referee: Paul Howard
Assistant Referees: Christopher Husband & Richard Morris
Fourth Official: Rodger Gifford
Attendance: 8,080 (147 away fans)