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Club News

Match Preview: Barrow AFC vs Walsall

27 November 2023

Club News

Match Preview: Barrow AFC vs Walsall

27 November 2023

After their ninth unbeaten league game in a row, Pete Wild’s men are now edging closer to the automatic promotion places, now only two points behind second-placed Wrexham.

The Bluebirds’ previous game against Colchester United was an emphatic performance, which saw the Cumbrians comeback from a first-half 1-0 deficit, to come out 4-1 winners away from home. George Ray scored a brace and put out a Man Of The Match performance whilst Kian Spence secured two assists.

The first half was one that was fairly balanced in possession and one that saw Barrow create a multitude of chances and opportunities. However, it was Colchester who took their chance when Cameron McGeehan scored the first goal of the game in the 20th minute, with a left-footed shot from close range. Wild’s men had to wait till the 52nd minute of the game for their first goal. Colchester then began to collapse even more when Jayden Fevrier was given a second yellow card and sent off for a bad foul in the 84th minute. From this point on, Barrow was in the driving seat and scored three goals in eight minutes, to come out the game 4-1 winners and taking all three points back up to Holker Street.

Barrow continued their impressive league form once again, extending their unbeaten run to ten games in a row, which means they’re now up to fifth in the league. They also managed to win by two or more goals for the first time since their FA Cup win against Northampton Town last month.

Team News

After a game that saw the Bluebirds put their bodies on the line in the search for a comeback, midfielder Robbie Gotts suffered an injury that saw him stretchered off at the end of the first half. So, we can expect changes to be made to the midfield, and we wish Robbie a speedy recovery.

Tyrell Warren and Junior Tiensia also remain out with their injuries.

The Opposition

Walsall currently sit 18th in League Two on 21 points, with only eight points between them and a playoff place. Even though there are 11 places between them and seventh in the league, when you take a look at the league table and the points difference, it is still very tight in comparison to the rest of the league. However, when you take a look at their previous five fixtures, they have only picked up three points with zero of the last five games resulting in wins. So, taking this into account they will be more than up for the game, and hoping to change their fortunes. Last season the Brumie side finished 16th in League Two, with the side finishing on 55 points and 20 points behind a playoff place. When taking a look at Walsall’s away form this season, they have won two, lost five, and drawn two. When comparing this to Barrow’s home form, they are yet to lose a home game, having played eight games and won four and drawn four at home.

Taking a look at the opposition in more depth the star man Barrow needs to look out for is striker Freddie Draper, who is also Walsall top scorer with eight goals in the league this season. In July 2023 he made the season-long loan move to League Two side Walsall, and so far in 14 league games has scored eight goals and made two assists. So far this season the young striker has also become the top scorer at the club and the 11th highest top goal scorer in the league. Another key player for the opposition side is Isaac Hutchinson, he is a midfielder with a high work rate with five goals in the league and eight in all competitions. So, going forward in attack, he is someone to be wary of in the opposition side.

Head-to-Head

In the previous six encounters when the sides have faced each other, Barrow has won three and drawn three times, with Walsall yet to beat the Cumbrian side since the Bluebirds’ return to the football league.

Last season when the sides met, the first game was played at Holker Street, and it was Wild’s men who started the better side when Patrick Borough assisted the first goal of the game for Tyrell Warren in the ninth minute. The Bluebirds didn’t have to wait long for their second goal when only three minutes later Ben Whitfield assisted Sam McClelland, who finished his chance from the centre of the box to make it 2-0 in the 12th minute of the game. Going into half-time Barrow was cruising however, in the 46th minute Walsall got one goal back when Tom Knowles assisted Danny Johnson. Ultimately, the game ended with Barrow coming away with all three points and maintaining their unbeaten run against Walsall.

The reverse fixture was played down at Besot Stadium and it saw the two sides meet towards the end of the season. Going into the game, the Bluebirds were the favorites, however, Walsall’s team were more than good enough to compete with Barrow. The game started off with both sides in good competition with Walsall showing more quality. However, it was Barrow who took their chance in the 22nd minute, when Ben Whitfield assisted Billy Waters who scored with his right foot from the centre of the box. Going into halftime Barrow had the advantage with the 1-0 lead, however, Walsall controlled the game, and this was a persistent factor throughout the duration of the second half. As they maintained control of the ball and limited Barrow to any more chances, they ended the game with a total percentage of 68% possession with Barrow finishing with 32%. However, Barrow took the chances they made and ended the game with all three points.

Referee

The man in charge of the game tomorrow is Lewis Smith who has previously refereed the Bluebirds on two occasions. The last time he took charge of a Bluebirds game was at the end of last season when we lost 1-0 away to Grimsby Town with Danilo Orsi scoring the only goal of the game for the Mariners.

Tomorrow he will be joined by Darren Williams, Paul Newhouse, and Simon Clayton who will be the fourth official.

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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