Athletic were all on for causing the upset of the season when, on 65 minutes, Danny Laywood, the league’s leading scorer, stepped up to what could have been a two-nil advantage against previously unbeaten Barrow Town.
Although Laywood struck the penalty well, Nurse, who was outstanding all game, made a brilliant one handed save to deny Athletic what would have been a well-deserved two nil advantage.
Earlier in the first half Laywood latched onto a through ball and clinically finished from 12 yards out. Athletic dominated the first half and should have seen the game off, only to have been denied by Barrow's brilliant keeper.
The second half continued in the same vein until the missed penalty, which seemed to give Barrow a massive lift and had the reverse effect on Athletic.
Then, on 70 minutes, Barrow were level, Tony Brown downed Allen and Craig Noble finished from the spot. Two minutes later they were in front through Allen's clinical finishing. Barrow, with all the experience, had come back from what looked like their first defeat.
I was philosophical after the game and delighted with the team’s performance. We showed we can match the best and Barrow deserve to be top, they're never beaten and show great resilience. But our lads can feel proud after a performance like that.
Athletic Development Squad remained the only unbeaten side in the league after thrashing Barrow Reserves 8 – 0 with hat tricks for Paul Leaver and George Lee.