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Match Previews

Preview: Bradford City v Barrow

16 February 2023

Match Previews

Preview: Bradford City v Barrow

16 February 2023

Learn more about Saturday's opponents, the match officials and venue ahead of the weekend's action.

Bradford City vs Barrow
18th February, kick-off 3pm
Valley Parade
Sky Bet League Two

Bradford were originally a rugby club, founded in 1880 as Manningham Football Club, becoming founding members of Northern Union (Rugby League) in 1895. However, in 1903 they converted from egg chasing to football, securing election into the Football League under the name Bradford City.

Early successes saw them as champions of Division Two in 1907 and Winners of the FA Cup in 1911, due to the Great War in 1914-18, The Bantams lost six former players including FA Cup heroes Jimmy Speirs and Bob Torrance.

In more recent times, Bradford City enjoyed a famous route to the League Cup Final in 2013, making history by becoming the first club from the fourth tier of English football to make the final.

It would be South Wales outfit Swansea City who denied them at the last hurdle. Adding onto this, The Bantams found themselves knocking Chelsea out in the FA Cup Fourth Round two years later, before going on to beat Sunderland in the Fifth Round to seal a spot in the FA Cup Quarter Finals.

The club also just narrowly missed out on promotion to the Championship in 2017, defeated by Millwall in the playoff final, before being relegated back to League Two in 2019.

Currently Bradford City sit in 8th place, having won last time out in their home fixture against Tranmere Rovers.

The Venue
Valley Parade was opened in 1886 as a rugby venue and has since been adapted to hosting football, it has been home to Bradford City since 1903.

In 1985, 56 supporters tragically lost their lives at Valley Parade, 54 from Bradford, and 2 from Lincoln City on a day that was supposed to be a celebration of the home side winning the Division Three title. The 56 souls lost on that day will forever be remembered by the footballing world, and a memorial is in permanent residence outside Valley Parade. May they forever rest in peace.

The current capacity of Valley Parade is 25,146, with the record attendance coming in 1911 when 39,146 oversaw Bradford face off against Burnley. Valley Parade has also had other uses such as England international U21 fixtures, Under 19 European Championship Qualifiers, Lionesses and even saw Bradford Park Avenue call it home in 1973/74.

Head To Head
Earlier in the season, Barrow defeated Bradford City 3-2; a game that saw an extremely eventful final 10 minutes.

Ben Whitfield gave The Bluebirds the lead just past the hour mark, but only 2 minutes later current Barrow loanee Jake Young equalised the scoring with a spectacular effort from just inside the area.

Heading into the final minutes of the fixture, Josh Kay fired Pete Wild’s side into the lead. The visitors thought they'd sealed a point when Andy Cook equalised in the 95th minute, before Josh Gordon’s last kick of the game in the 96th minute sent the SO Legal Stadium into elation.

The man with the whistle at Valley Parade will be Carl Boyeson. He’ll be assisted by Lewis Raper and Jake Topp; Lisa Rashid has been assigned to Fourth Official duties.  

You might recognise Boyeson from Barrow’s away draw to Gillingham in October, a fixture which saw Josh Kay give The Bluebirds the lead, assisted by Ben Whitfield, before being pegged back in the 74th minute to a header from Elkan Baggott.

Advance tickets are now off sale, but Barrow fans can buy tickets on the day at Valley Parade.

Live Streaming
We are not allowed to live stream games in the UK between the hours of 2.45pm and 5.15pm on a Saturday, so this weekend’s game will not be available to domestic supporters.

Barrow fans outside of the UK will be able to access a live stream via iFollow and you can purchase the match in the usual way ahead of kick-off.

Live Commentary
We will be providing live online audio commentary from every game this season as we continue our link-up with BBC Radio Cumbria.

Fans will be able to listen to Cumbria's commentary team to describe all 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.

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