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Since we last met: Barrow

19 April 2024

Club News

Since we last met: Barrow

19 April 2024

The last home game of the season brings the test of a side sitting inside the play-off places in Sky Bet League Two.

Barrow have occupied a spot in the top seven since October and will be hoping to secure their place in the play-offs over the next week.

Winning just six of their 21 matches since Christmas Day and taking just one point from the last 12 available has ensured they still have work to do in order to extend their campaign.

A draw against fellow play-off contenders Crawley Town in midweek left them vulnerable with Rovers among those looking to take advantage in their remaining matches.

THE LAST MEETING

Rovers fell to a 3-2 defeat on a challenging afternoon at Barrow in September.

Finding themselves behind early to a Tyrell Warren header, Rovers found Barrow a tough nut to crack throughout a slog of a first half.

Ged Garner doubled the hosts’ advantage after the break and while Joe Ironside hit back for Rovers, breathing space was restored when substitute Emile Acquah netted on the break.

Mo Faal headed home during stoppage time to set up a frantic finish but time ran out on an unlikely comeback, bringing an end to Rovers’ run of consecutive wins at three.

Barrow’s organisation and structure reigned supreme as Rovers struggled to find the key to unlock the Bluebirds’ miserly defence.

BARROW’S RECENT FORM

The Bluebirds ended a run of three straight defeats when drawing 1-1 at top seven rivals Crawley Town on Tuesday night.

Prior to that run however, they were six games unbeaten with four wins all coming at Holker Street.

Away from home, they have not won since December 22.

LAST TIME OUT

Crawley Town 1 Barrow 1

Sky Bet League Two, Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Line-up: Farman, Feely, Canavan, Chester, Stephenson (Worrall 81), Spence, Gotts (Foley 81), Campbell, Newby, Telford (Whitfield 70), Acquah (Proctor 73). Subs not used: Lillis, Ogungbo.

THE MANAGER

Looking to guide the Bluebirds across the finishing line and set up the potential for a remarkable promotion is manager Pete Wild.

Despite never playing the game professionally, his talent for coaching was recognised by hometown club Oldham Athletic and he embarked on a decade-long spell at Boundary Park, which included several stints in caretaker charge of the first team.

He took charge of FC Halifax Town in 2019 before switching to Barrow in May 2022. Since his arrival at Holker Street, he has helped position Barrow as promotion contenders in both seasons.

KEY MEN

Goalkeeper – Paul Farman

The 34-year-old rejected the offer of a new contract with Carlisle United to join Barrow in 2021. A former Newcastle United trainee, the early days of Farman’s senior career were in non-league before he won promotion to the EFL with Lincoln City in 2017. A spell with Stevenage preceded his time at Carlisle. This season has brought 14 clean sheets in 41 matches.

Defender – James Chester

A former Wales international, Chester began his career with Manchester United and made one senior appearance for the Premier League giants. He then joined Hull City and featured regularly in both the Championship and top flight over 171 appearances. Spells with Aston Villa, West Brom, Stoke City and Derby County came before he joined Barrow last summer.

Midfielder – Sam Foley

The 37-year-old has made more than 500 senior appearances across the divisions. Starting out with Cheltenham Town, he dropped into non-league before joining Yeovil Town in 2012 and winning promotion to the Championship. He featured in League One with Port Vale and Northampton and League Two with Tranmere Rovers after a stint in the SPL with St Mirren and Motherwell.

Striker – Emile Acquah

The 23-year-old arrived at Holker Street last summer for an undisclosed fee from Maidenhead United. He came through the ranks at Southend United and had multiple loan spells before joining Maidenhead on a permanent deal. This season has brought eight goals in 44 appearances for the Bluebirds - including one against Rovers in the reverse fixture in September.

HEAD TO HEAD

Barrow AFC were formed in 1901 and 20 years later were elected to the Football League as part of the new Division Three (North). Rovers joined that League in 1923 and the first meeting of the clubs came on December 1, 1923 at Belle Vue. Peter Robertson and Albert Sissons scored for Rovers in a 2-2 draw. The teams met at Holker Street a week later with the game finishing 0-0.

Rovers and Barrow have met 55 times in the Football League. Rovers have a slight edge with 21 wins to Barrow’s 18. This season, Barrow won 3-2 at Holker Street in September, with Joe Ironside and Mo Faal scoring for Rovers.

Last season’s game at the Eco-Power Stadium brought a 1-0 win for Rovers with James Maxwell on the scoresheet.

TURNED OUT FOR BOTH

Current Rovers midfielder Harrison Biggins spent the first half of the 2020/21 season at Barrow, on loan from Fleetwood Town. Biggins made 26 appearances, scoring twice, then returned to play for Fleetwood in the second half of the season. After leaving Fleetwood in 2022, he joined Rovers, and he is now in his second season at the Eco-Power Stadium. His Rovers record to date is 82 appearances and ten goals.

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