After their fifth consecutive win last weekend, the Bluebirds are now just two points behind Notts County who currently occupy an automatic promotion place in League Two. Pete Wild’s side will now be hoping to continue this run of form away to Colchester United this Saturday.
The Bluebirds' previous game against Crawley Town was a complete performance, and a game in which Barrow were more than deserved winners. Wild’s men kept another clean sheet, whilst Dom Telford combined with Emile Acquah to score another important goal on Blue and White Day. That was Telford's fourth goal in his last five league games.
Barrow also continued their unbeaten run at home in the league which has now been extended to eight matches and they kept their sixth clean sheet of the season, with their last coming during their 1-0 victory over rivals Morecambe. Another positive to take from the Crawley match is that the win was Barrow's fifth win in a row in all competitions, which Wild will be hoping to build on this weekend.
Barrow came through the weekend without any additional injuries so Wild will once again have a large squad to pick from.
Junior Tiensia and Tyrell Warren remain the only long-term absentees for the Bluebirds.
Colchester United currently sit in 17th place on 20 points in League Two, 11 places below the Cumbrians.
Last season the Essex-based side finished in 20th in League Two, so they naturally would’ve been hoping to improve on that result this season. Colchester this season have played nine games at home, and in those nine they’ve won three, drawn two, and lost four.
In comparison, Barrow’s away form has been very successful. They have played 10 games and won four, drawn three and lost three. So, the home/away form table going into the game, swings in Barrow’s favour who stand in good stead away from home.
Taking a look at the opposition in more depth, the star man Barrow needs to watch out for is midfielder Arthur Read, who’s on four goals and four assists in the league this season. He’s an experienced player at League Two level and someone who’s influential in the way the side plays. Another player the Bluebirds should look out for is attacking midfielder Cameron McGeehan, a player who they only just signed in the summer, and he is a player who brings vast experience to the team, having played the majority of his career in League One and the Championship. Since making the switch from Belgian side Oostende to Colchester in the summer, McGeehan has featured 12 times in the league this season, scoring three goals and assisting one.
In the six previous matches the sides have faced each other, Colchester has won one, Barrow has won two and the other three games have ended in draws.
Last season when the two sides met, the first game was played at home for the Bluebirds, up at the SO Legal Stadium. Barrow started the game well after Billy Waters tapped home from close range in the 22nd minute. Only three minutes later we doubled our lead when George Ray headed the ball across to Waters from another corner, who again had a right-footed shot from the center of the box fly into the back of the net. Just seconds into the second period Niall Canavan turned provider from another corner when he made a headed pass in the direction of in-form striker Waters, who slotted home the third goal with his left foot. With Colchester down and out, they managed to pull one back, Alan Judge played the ball through to attacker Freddie Sears, whose right-footed shot to the center of the goal beat Paul Farman in the 91st minute.
The reverse fixture was played down in Essex at the JobServe Community Stadium. Barrow started the game well but was made to wait until the 56th minute of the game to break the deadlock when Rory Feely crossed the ball into the box and it fell to Ben Whitfield, who headed the ball into the bottom left corner. After the goal, the Bluebirds defended well and stopped Colchester from creating too many chances. With the game heading into 10 minutes of stoppage time, there wasn’t long left for Colchester to put things right, until the 96th minute when Colchester won themselves a corner. It was crossed into the box for striker Kwesi Appiah, who brought the ball down and took on a right-footed shot from the left side of the area which beat Farman to level the game.
Declan Bourne is the man in charge of Saturday’s trip to Colchester United and he has previously refereed the Bluebirds on three occasions. Last season he officiated us on one occasion when we lost 2-1 away to Rochdale with Niall Canavan scoring for the Bluebirds, while former Barrow cult hero Scott Quigley got on the scoresheet for the opposition with Liam Kelly scoring the other goal that day.
At the weekend he will be joined by Andrew Aylott, Adrian Tranter, and Stuart Kane will be the fourth official.
Wheelchair and Carer tickets will need to be arranged with Colchester on the phone Monday to Friday 10-2 on 01206 755161 (it is recommended a ticket account is created before calling www.colutickets.com )
Please note all tickets are to be printed at home or shown on a smartphone/device.
Car Parking can also be booked at www.colutickets.com
For coach travel to all away games head to the Bluebirds Trust for more information.
Words by Dylan Whitbread