BARROW TOWN 6
BARROW Town sent Stapenhill crashing to defeat at Riverside Park as Steve Gough's reign as manager began on a disappointing note.
Goals from Joe Hanlon (2), Ryan Whatley, Dave Coleman, Jordan Lever and Ben Law shocked the Swans after a positive pre-season at Edge Hill.
Matt Weightman, Jamie Disney (pictured) and Asa Sippits hit back for Stapenhill but a 4-0 half-time deficit was too much.
The Swans made all the early running, with a clearance from Town keeper Jamie Witham charged down by Weightman, but fortunately for Barrow a rebound took it over the by-line. Then a vital clearance from defender Mitch Turner denied Harry Austin as he tried to convert a cross from Weightman.
Paul Furniss' diagonal ball released Lewis Campbell but the winger's shot was never going to trouble Witham.
Unfortunately for Stapenhill, Barrow settled down to seize the initiative.
Mitch Turner, Coleman and Law combined to set up Hanlon, whose shot beat Ben Gough but was cleared off the line by Steve Dennahy.
On 14 minutes, Town captain Whatley gave the hosts the lead with a screamer into the top corner from 25 yards.
Town continued to press, with Hanlon finding the side netting and Gough beating out a fierce striker from Law and then blocking the follow-up from Hanlon.
The striker was a constant menace to the Swans and moments later he got the better of Richard Perry and drove inches over.
The relief was short-lived, however, for a minute later he robbed Ben Davies on the edge of the box and smashed the ball past Gough.
On 36 minutes, Coleman threaded the ball through to Hanlon, who went one-on-one with Gough, but the keeper stood up well and caught the ball as the danger man tried to chip him.
Town went even closer when Lloyd Tapper crashed the ball against the underside of the bar with Gough beaten.
Two goals in two minutes before the break left the Swans shell-shocked.
Campbell lost possession and the defence failed to deal with a routine cross from Lever and Hanlon rammed the ball home at the far post.
Then Furniss inexplicably gave the ball to Coleman in the box and the striker was scythed down by Gough, who was lucky to stay on.
Coleman picked himself up and buried the spot kick.
At 4-0 down Stapenhill had it all to do, but they pulled a goal back three minutes after the restart. Witham's pass was intended for his full-back Luke Plummer but it was intercepted by Weightman and the striker found the bottom corner from a very tight angle.
Furniss and Campbell then combined to give Disney half a chance but his shot was blocked.
At the other end, Tapper drove down the right before picking out Lever, who blazed wildly over.
On 69 minutes it was 5-1 when Coleman drove a low corner into the near post and Lever finished in a crowd of players.
A minute later the Swans made it 5-2 when Aaron Carvell, on at half-time for Harry Austin, won the ball in midfield and found Weightman. The striker unselfishly laid the ball off to Disney, who found the bottom corner.
On 73 minutes, Furniss was forced off through injury and having used all their substitutes, the Swans were down to 10 men.
But they kept going and made it 5-3 on 76 minutes. Carvell hit Weightman and he flicked the ball on to Sippits. The winger hammered it past Witham.
Disney had a shot blocked, Weightman headed just wide from a Campbell cross and Sippits had an effort scrambled clear.
However, Town had the final say as Tapper burst down the right and picked out Law, who took a touch before blasting past Gough.
GOALS: Whatley 20, Hanlon 33, 44, Coleman 45 pen, Lever 68, Law 90 (Town); Weightman 48, Disney 70, Sippits 76 (Swans).
BARROW TOWN: Witham, Sharman, Plummer (Packwood 63), Portwood, Turner, Law, Tapper, Whatley, Hanlon (Simon 61), Coleman (C Davies 78), Lever. Subs not used: Walton, King (gk).
SWANS: Gough, B Davies, Rolph (Wayte 61), Furniss, Perry, Dennahy, Taylor (Sippits 56), Austin (Carvell 46), Disney, Weightman, Campbell.
YELLOW CARDS: Turner, Tapper (Town); Disney, Gough (Swans).
SWANS STAR MAN: Matt Weightman – kept going on a difficult afternoon.
REFEREE: J Dolbear (Nottingham).