FC Isle of Man crest

MATCH REPORT: Barnoldswick Town vs FC Isle of Man

Two games in two days proved a match too far for FC Isle of Man as they slipped to a 5-2 defeat away at Barnoldswick Town.

Coming off the back of Friday’s impressive 2-0 win away at Colne, Paul Jones made several changes to the squad as Ronan McDonnell, Furo Davies, Ben Wilkinson, Jamie Corlett and Tom Creer came in to provide fresher legs. 

After the pitch was given the go-ahead following the hard work of the Barlick ground staff, a prolonged inspection by officials and a lot of sand, the Ravens started the game brighter than their hosts. 

Davies had the first opportunity to stretch the Barlick back line when sent clear by McDonnell, but as they had closed him down, Davies was unable to take full advantage. 

Quick as a flash at the other end, Wilkinson was called into action as Barlick’s Jack Foster found himself with space at the back post, only to see the Ravens’ keeper get enough on it to keep the ball out.

Creer got the just rewards from his efforts as he gave the Ravens the lead in the 10th minute. The striker chased down a bobbling pass back to the Barlick keeper and nipped in past him to slot home into an empty net to send the 100 plus Ravens fans wild. 

The Ravens then had a major wake-up call as Gareth Hill seemed to have the freedom of the Silentnight Stadium to pick his spot, only to see his effort go wide. 

Barlick would get their equaliser shortly after as Foster got in behind the back four and slotted the ball under Wilkinson who couldn’t have done anything to stop it.

The home side would take the lead before halftime when the Ravens failed to clear their lines and when the ball was lofted back in, Ryan Moore volleyed his side ahead, despite huge appeals of offside, 2-1.

Just before the break, Paul Jones was forced into a change as Creer went off injured after a knock, with Charlie Higgins coming on in his place. 

As the second half got underway, the Ravens looked to get back into it, with Frank Jones’ effort being well blocked, the best effort they mustered.

However, defensive frailty would be the undoing as Andrew and Gareth Hill combined to extend the home side’s lead from a corner that went deep to the back post where it wasn’t dealt with and G Hill powered in to make it 3-1. 

Whitley nearly brought the Ravens back within one as a quick free kick found him, but the Barlick keeper made one of several decent stops of the afternoon.

Hill would get his second soon after as he got on the end of a cross from Moore to effectively seal the win at 4-1. 

Danny Gerrard pulled a late goal back after Frank Jones chased down a long ball to win a throw, which was taken quickly and worked over to Whitley and when his shot was blocked, Gerrard popped up to slot it in, giving feint hope of snatching something. 

Sadly any hope was soon dashed as Barlick went down the other end and scored as Conor High got on the end of a Luke Stowe cross to make it 5-2 to Barlick.

The Ravens’ next game is on Tuesday away versus Charnock Richard, that game will be live-streamed to the Pinewood for anyone who is unable to make the trip. 

A final thank you to the over 100 Ravens fans who made the trip this weekend, especially the percussion section who made it to the Colne game on Friday, it means a lot to the lads to have your support no matter what the result.