Lucas Dawson’s dramatic last minute winner leaps Chester outside of the relegation zone as Marcus Bignot’s men deservedly win three points against Barrow in added time at the Swansway Chester Stadium.
Late first half goals Adi Yussuf and Byron Harrison saw the Blues let a two-goal lead slip at the break, but Dawson’s last minute screamer sees the Blues win late on in front of 1548 supporters.
It was a tight start to the game but it was Chester who took their early chance, through debutant Jordan Archer. Lucas Dawson found the 24-year-old in behind the Barrow defence, and the striker, who joined earlier this week, kept his composure to slot the ball into the left-hand corner of the net.
The Blues continued to dominate and could have doubled their lead a couple of minutes later. Midfielder Kingsley James found Ross Hannah on the 18-yard box, who cut inside and fired his shot into the hands of the Bluebirds goalkeeper, Joel Dixon.
Marcus Bignot’s men were in full flow and their supremacy soon paid off, as they doubled their lead in the 25th minute. Dawson’s whipped corner got cleared away into the path of Reece Hall-Johnson, who rifled his 20-yard shot home to put Blues two ahead.
Chester’s set piece play remained a constant threat to the Barrow defence as the Blues came close to making it three. Another Dawson corner caused misery in the 6-yard box, as the ball fell to John McCombe but his close-range header was tipped over by the Bluebirds keeper
Despite the Blues having complete control for most of the first half, it was the visitors who went in with a spring in their step. Firstly, a Barrow long ball found its way to striker Adi Yussuf, who managed to stroke the ball past Blues keeper, Alex Lynch.
The Bluebirds weren’t finished there as they found themselves level at the break. The away team found some momentum and another long ball was met by Byron Harrison, who passed his effort over Lynch to put themselves firmly back in the game.
It was a slow start to the second half and it was the caretaker manager, Neill Hornby’s side who came inches away from taking the lead for the first time in the match through substitute, Harry Panayiotou. The Barrow striker latched onto a right-wing cross but only to see his header glide inches past Alex Lynch’s post.
Chester responded with a sequence of corners which tested the Bluebirds defence. Headers from John McCombe and Zanzala came close to the Blues stealing the lead late on, but last-ditch saves from Dixon kept Marcus Bignot’s side out.
The Blues pilled on the pressure and substitute Zanzala close range effort was superbly saved by the Barrow keeper. The young striker tricked his way into the box but his driven shot was tipped around the post.
The pressure soon paid dividends and Chester took the lead for the second time in the game, in added time. A cross from the left-hand side was deflected out to James, who found Dawson on the edge of the box and the midfielders long range effort sailed into the net to take the three points home.
The dramatic end to the game means that the Blues leapfrog visitors Barrow and climb outside of the relegation zone.
Match Report by Matty Perry.