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Club News

Match Preview: Barrow AFC vs Gillingham

7 December 2023

Club News

Match Preview: Barrow AFC vs Gillingham

7 December 2023

Having won five out of their last five league matches, Pete Wild’s men will be looking to get back to winning ways when they host Gillingham on Saturday.

The Bluebirds’ previous game came in the FA Cup when they faced Maidstone United away. The game saw National League South opposition cause the shock of the Second Round, knocking Barrow out of the FA Cup after a wonder strike from Maidstone Midfielder Bivesh Gurung.

The game saw Ben Whitfield score the first goal of the game in the 20th minute from close range, however, Maidstone continued to apply pressure on the Cumbrian side and scored their first goal of the game through Sam Corne. Maidstone kept pushing for a winner and eventually was rewarded for their efforts when Sam Bone crossed the ball from a corner, it fell to Bivesh Gurung outside the box who blasted his right-footed shot into the top left corner. The game ended 2-1 to Maidstone and Barrow exited the FA Cup in the Second Round.

The disappointing result in the FA Cup sees Barrow’s unbeaten run in all competitions end after 11 games. Barrow now has the opportunity to turn their form around and continue their unbeaten run in the league and go another game unbeaten at the SO Legal Stadium. The Bluebirds currently sit in third place in League Two, joint on points with second-placed Wrexham. They also find themselves only five points behind Stockport County in first place.

Team News

Junior Tiensa and Tyrell Warren remain the only Bluebirds out of this weekend’s squad due to their long-term injuries.

The Opposition

Gillingham currently sits in seventh place in the league with 31 points. Even though only four league positions seperate the two sides, the points difference is only six points.

When you look at Gillingham’s previous five league fixtures, they have accumulated six points with three losses and two victories being the outcomes. Whereas, when you compare this to Barrow’s previous five league matches, they have won five out of five matches and accumulated a total of 15 points.

Taking a look at the opposition in more depth, the star man Barrow need to look out for is winger Connor Mahoney, who is also the top scorer for the Gills. In August 2023 he made the loan move to Gillingham where he has made 18 appearances and has scored four goals whilst assisting twice. He has become an integral part of the side and only missed four league games this season.

Another player the Bluebirds supporters should look out for is defensive midfielder Ethan Coleman. Looking into the current season, he has made 24 appearances, assisting two goals. He is another player who’s become influential to the Gillingham side, having only missed two games in the league this season.

Head-to-Head

The two sides have faced each other a total of two times since the Bluebirds returned to the EFL.

Last season the two sides first met in Gillingham on the 22nd of October 2022. Barrow started that game the stronger of the two sides and they didn’t have to wait long for the first goal. Ben Whitfield put a cross into a swarm off Barrow shorts, the cross made its way to Josh Kay, who finished the chance with a right-footed shot from the centre of the box. As the game progressed into half time both sides had created many opportunities. Kay had the chance to double his goal tally for the day on the hour when Barrow was awarded a penalty however, it was saved. As the game prolonged Gillingham started to create some more chances, this resulted in the home side getting a goal back in the 74th minute and stealing a point.

The reverse and most recent fixture between the two sides came at Holker Street, on the 1st of April 2023. Going into the game, the Bluebirds were putting a strong run of form together in the lead-up to the game at Holker Street. And we didn’t have to wait long for the first goal as Gillingham opened the scoring, but it went in Barrow’s favour as Glen Morris scored an own goal to put the Bluebirds 1-0 up. Wild’s men fought with the Gillingham side for the rest of the game and managed to keep the score at 1-0 until the 82nd minute when Connor Materson headed home from a corner. Finally, as the game reached the 94th minute, Robbie Gotts carried the ball up the field towards the Barrow attackers. Gotts saw the opportunity to shoot as he took a right-footed shot from outside the box and the ball landed right into the bottom left corner to win it for the Bluebirds.

Referee

Experienced referee Darren Drysdale will the man in charge of Saturday’s fixture at the SO Legal Stadium. He’s taken charge of two Barrow’s matches since our return to the EFL, with the most recent fixture taking place in January when Northampton Town defeated us 2-0 after substitutes Ben Fox and Shaun McWilliams bagged goals off the bench.

Joining him at the weekend will be Lewis Raper, Danny Jarvis and Stuart Morland.

Tickets

Tickets can be purchased both online and in person at Holker Street. 

Main stand tickets (Purchased in advance) 

Adults- £20 

Seniors (65+)- £17 

18-21- £17 

15-17- £7 

7- 14 (Accompanied by an adult)- £7 

Under 7s- Free (Accompanied by an adult) 

Terrace Tickets (Purchased in advance) 

Adults- £18 

Seniors (65+)- £15 

18-21- £15 

15-17- £6 

7- 14 (Accompanied by an adult)- £6 

Under 7s- Free (Accompanied by an adult) 

Main stand tickets (Purchased on the day) 

Adults- £22 

Seniors (65+)- £18 

18-21- £18 

15-17- £8 

7- 14 (Accompanied by an adult)- £8 

Under 7s- Free (Accompanied by an adult) 

Terrace tickets (Purchased on the day) 

Adults- £20 

Seniors (65+)- £16 

18-21- £16 

15-17- £7 

7- 14 (Accompanied by an adult)- £7 

-Under 7s- Free (Accompanied by an adult)

Words By Dylan Whitbread


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