Walsall vs Barrow
Saturday 4th March, kick-off 3pm
Sky Bet League Two
Walsall were founded in 1888 when the two leading clubs Walsall Swifts and Walsall Town decided to end their rivalry to become Walsall Town Swifts, before renaming and becoming Walsall in 1895.
Walsall became a founding member of Division Three North and over the course of the next six seasons in Division Three (North), one re-election application was survived, and then came four seasons in Division Three (South).
During that period, Walsall played before a crowd of 74,600 in an FA Cup Fourth Round tie at Villa Park, the game having been transferred there from Fellows Park in order to accommodate more spectators - although thousands were still locked out when the gates were closed. It remains the biggest-ever crowd that a Walsall team has played in front of.
In more recent times, Walsall challenged for a top-six place for much of the 2013/14 campaign and there were some notable results, including a 5-1 destruction of Notts County and a deserved 1-0 win at Wolves. Their play-off bid faltered in the latter stages of the season, with the Saddlers falling to a finishing position of 13th.
The club did however reach the 2015 Johnstone's Paint Trophy Final, which saw the club play at Wembley for the very first time. Over 29,000 Sadlers descended on the capital, although they saw their side being pipped to the trophy by Bristol City.
Currently, Walsall sit in 14th place, enduring a thrilling 3-3 draw away to Hartlepool United in their previous fixture.
Walsall moved into the Bescot Stadium in 1990, nowadays the ground holds a capacity of an all-seater 11,300. The first match to be hosted at the ground was a friendly fixture against Aston Villa which brought a crowd of 9,551.
The record crowd to date is 11,409 for The Saddlers' fixture vs Rotherham in May 2004.
Head To Head
Earlier in the season, Barrow defeated Walsall 2-1. Goals early on from defenders Sam McClelland and Tyrell Warren stormed The Bluebirds into an early two-goal lead.
Walsall pulled one back early in the second half through Danny Johnson, but it wasn’t quite enough as Pete Wild’s side survived the late pressure to take all three points.
The man with the whistle at the Bescot Stadium will be Lee Swaybe. He’ll be assisted by Danny Gratton and Danny Hilton; Danny Jarvis has been assigned to Fourth Official duties.
Swaybe’s last refereeing appointment came at Fratton Park as Portsmouth beat Cheltenham 4-0, a fixture which saw him give 6 yellow cards. Portsmouth took a quick 3 goal lead before finishing off the victory in style as Louis Thomson thumped the fourth home in the 92nd minute. Swaybe was also on duty when Bolton Wanderers put 5 past Peterborough earlier last month.
Sawybe hasn’t officiated Barrow this season but he has been in charge of a fixture at the Bescot Stadium, in July he oversaw our opponents beat Hartlepool United 4-0, in a game which saw him dish out two yellow cards.
Advance tickets are now off sale, but Barrow fans can buy tickets on the day at Bescot Stadium.
The Bluebirds Trust are offering coach travel to the game, click here for more info.
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.
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 Adam Johnson and former Barrow assistant manager Alex Meechan 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.