We turn our attentions to Saturday's action with a full and in-depth preview of Port Vale's League Two visit to The Dunes Hotel Stadium.
Barrow v Port Vale
Saturday 2nd April 2022, 3pm
The Dunes Hotel Stadium
Sky Bet League Two
Port Vale have roared back into automatic promotion contention on the back of an impressive run of form in recent months which has seen them taste defeat just once in 15 League Two games.
The Valiants had slipped off the pace slightly following three consecutive defeats in January and looked resigned to challenging only for a spot in the play-offs.
However, four wins from their last five has helped move them fourth in the table and they’re now within touching distance of the division’s top three.
The Staffordshire outfit were also handed a boost this week with the news that boss Darrell Clarke is to begin a phased return to work following a period of absence due to a close family bereavement.
During Clarke’s absence, Assistant Manager Andy Crosby has stepped in to take interim charge and keep Vale on course for a return to League One for the first time since relegation in 2017.
One To Watch
Ben Garrity has become one of the stars of Port Vale’s charge towards the automatic promotion places having enjoyed a wonderful first season with the club.
The 25-year-old joined Vale for an undisclosed fee from Blackpool during the summer and has gone on to score an impressive 11 goals from midfield so far this term.
Liverpool-born Garrity was first spotted playing for Warrington where his form earned a move to Blackpool, though he gained League Two experience last term during a loan spell at Oldham Athletic.
Head To Head
This weekend’s game will be the 20th competitive encounter between the clubs and it’s Port Vale who have the edge historically having won 11 of the previous 19 fixtures.
The Bluebirds have to go back as far as the 1930s for their last home win over The Valiants, who ran out 2-0 winners during their League Two trip to Cumbria last April.
Barrow are also seeking some revenge on Saturday for the 3-1 defeat suffered at Vale Park back in October.
James Oldham will be in charge of a Barrow game for the second time this season on Saturday when he’s on the whistle for our contest with Port Vale.
Having stepped up from the National League at the beginning of 2019/20, Oldham is now into his third season on the EFL list of referees.
He oversaw The Bluebirds on the opening day of the current campaign when we were defeated 1-0 at Stevenage, whilst his most recent appointment was a fortnight ago when he saw Wigan Athletic thump Morecambe 4-1.
Fans can buy their tickets online right now for Saturday’s game, while we’re also open until 4.30pm on Friday if you want to buy in-person from the Club or over the telephone.
On matchday, we are open to sell tickets at Main Reception (card payment only) from 10am and from the Ticket Booth in the Fan Zone (cash and card) from 12noon.
There will be no live stream for fans living in the UK due to the restrictions around Saturday afternoon broadcasting.
However, fans who live abroad will be able to access live footage as normal and can pick up their International Video Match Pass right now for just £10.
iFollow is the only place that fans can listen to live online commentary of every game this season as we continue our link-up with our friends at BBC Radio Cumbria.
Fans will be able to listen to expert Bluebirds commentator Adam Johnson, who will be alongside John Goodwin in The Dunes Hotel Stadium press box to describe the action as it unfolds.
You can purchase an Audio Match Pass for £2.50, an Audio Monthly Pass for £4.49 or sign-up for Audio Season Pass which provides all live commentary and video news for just £45.
Port Vale have been installed as 23/20 favourites for three points on Saturday, with The Bluebirds rated a 12/5 shot for victory and a draw priced up at 21/10 with our friends at Sky Bet.