Latics pitch invasion holds up Barrow defeat

Date published: 05 September 2021

It proved to be another dismal day at Latics yesterday as another pitch invasion by disgruntled fans interrupted a 3-0 thumping by Barrow at Boundary Park.

This time protestors made their feelings known during the game as supporters charged onto the pitch in the 64th minute, shortly after Barrow's third goal.

Referee Carl Boyeson immediately waved all the players off the pitch, but thankfully play was able to resume roughly three minutes later.

Protestors made their feelings known almost throughout the game as club owner Abdallah Lemsagam was again targeted.

Latics boss Keith Curle, whose team are still without a home win so far this term and will be under pressure himself, said: "First and foremost I was thinking about the safety of the players and officials, because these situations can escalate.

“I understand the fans. I’m not immune to it. I understand what’s going on.

“I’ve had messages about it since and I’ll reply to them, but I’ll try and give balance.

“The underlying message from fans I’ve heard from tonight is that they’re behind me, they’re behind the team, but if there’s things being thrown onto the pitch, that just can’t happen.”

Curle added: “There’s a toxic environment within the dressing room, with injuries meaning we’re down to the bare bones, but today was about a lack of discipline, as individuals.

“We didn’t have enough disciplined players that did their jobs today, individually and collectively.

“We’ve let the fans down with that performance.

“There is a situation here with where we are in the league of course, but we’ve just got to work hard at it.

“I won’t shy away from my responsibilities here."

 After Junior Luamba had fluffed a terrific chance for Latics, it was Barrow who broke the deadlock in the 15th minute.

Debut boy Jordan Stevens touched the ball to ex-Latics man Ollie Banks, and he drilled home an angled strike from 22 yards.

Latics almost levelled on the half-hour when Jamie Bowden’s bullet header was superbly saved by Paul Farman.

In first-half stoppage-time Alan Sheehan saw a well-struck free-kick saved again by the diving Farman.

Barrow struck again in the 53rd minute when Offrande Zanzala breezed past two Latics defenders before slotting coolly past Jayson Leutwiler from close range.

It was three four minutes later when Joe Grayson’s free-kick from the right beat everyone before flying in at the far post.

After that, and the subsequent pitch invasion, Barrow held onto their lead comfortably.

Latics are back in action away at Leyton Orient on Saturday.

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