Barrow AFC have recalled winger Elliot Newby before the end of his three-month loan spell with county neighbours Workington Reds.

It means Newby will miss Monday’s tough clash with old rivals Blyth Spartans in the north east, as well as an even bigger test the following Saturday at home to leaders Rushall Olympic.

Barrow have had injury problems, as well as loan players coming to the end of their spells at Holker Street and, on Boxing Day, struggled to fill the bench against Gateshead.

But Newby, apparently, is not going back to boost numbers as Barrow have announced that he is joining struggling National North side Altrincham on loan.

Reds general manager Derek Townsley said: “It’s a blow for us because Elliot has done really well and only had two matches left in his final loan spell with us.

“There’s no doubt that we would have taken him back, although that would have required his release from Barrow as we had used him for the maximum three months.

“We now have a vacancy in the squad but are always on the lookout for players who can add something extra to what we’ve got.”

Newby, whose twin Alex spent time on loan with Reds two years ago, has played 19 times in his loan spell, of which, Reds have won ten and drawn two. He has scored six goals and been credited with two assists.

It looks like a tough assignment at Altrincham for Newby as they are bottom of the National North table with only one win and four draws in 21 games.

At the halfway point of the season, they are 12 points from safety and already look doomed.

With Newby’s departure, and the fact Sam Smith is not quite ready to resume, Reds will be looking anxiously towards fitness tests being planned for full-back Joe Simpson and forward Joe McGee ahead of the trip to Blyth.

Both left the field early in the 3-1 Boxing Day win over Nantwich and Simpson had actually given Reds the lead with a first-half free-kick.

The next two games will be useful indicators as to whether Reds are back on track, ready to challenge strongly for top spot over the second-half of the season.

Three straight defeats, when confidence had been shattered, have been followed by two 3-1 victories and the first 25 minutes against a good Nantwich side were as well as the team has played all season.