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Club News

Match Preview: Barrow AFC vs Bradford City

8 April 2024

Club News

Match Preview: Barrow AFC vs Bradford City

8 April 2024

The Bluebirds are aiming to bounce back from Saturday’s defeat against Swindon Town as they host Bradford City tomorrow night.

During their latest runout, the Bluebirds suffered their second defeat in a week at the hands of Swindon. The Robins ran out 2-0 winners at Holker Street on Saturday, thanks to goals from Williams Kokolo and Paul Glatzel.

The Bluebirds did have chances, especially in the first period after they had a number of shots blocked on the goal-line. Cole Stockton even had the ball in the back of the net but a late flag from the linemen denied him an eighth goal for Barrow.

But it wasn’t to be for Barrow who in the end were well beaten by the side they had previously defeated 3-0 earlier in the season.

Team News

Niall Canavan, Dean Campbell, and Luca Stephenson could all make returns to the squad tomorrow night.

The Opposition

Tuesday’s opposition, Bradford City currently sits in 14th place in the Sky Bet League Two table under the guidance of former Scunthorpe United boss Graham Alexander.

Bradford is onto their second manager of the season, and since the appointment of Alexander in November 2023, he has gone on to manage 29 games, winning 12, drawing seven, and losing nine. He’s maintained a win percentage of 44.8%, whilst averaging 1.6 points per game.

In their previous five league encounters, they have picked up seven points, having won twice and drawn once. You’ll have to go all the way back to the 9th of March to find their last away win when they ran out 3-0 winners away to Accrington Stanley.

A star player to watch out for is striker and top scorer, Andy Cook. Since joining The Bantams initially on loan in January 2021, he has made a total of 125 appearances and scored 61 goals. So far this season, Cook has been an influential player to the Yorkshire side, scoring 15 league goals in 36 appearances while creating five assists.


Barrow has played Bradford a total of seven times since our return to the EFL, with four of those games ending in victory for the Bluebirds, two for Bradford, with just one game ending in a draw.

The previous game between the two sides at Holker Street came in August 2022, on a day in which the Cumbrian side was victorious 3-2, with goals from Ben Whitfield, Josh Kay, and Josh Gordan collecting all three points for the home side.

During that match, the Bluebirds took the lead three times, with Andy Cook and Jake Young scoring for the Yorkshire side.

The two sides have already faced each other this season in November 2023 at Valley Parade when the game ended 1-2 to the Bluebirds on Graham Alexander’s first match in charge of the Bantams. Goals from Dom Telford and George Ray picked up all three points for the Cumbrians as they headed back up to Holker Street and continued an excellent run of form.


The man in the middle for Tuesday’s fixture is Ross Joyce. Joyce has taken charge of 29 matches this season, with all of these coming across League One and League Two. He has handed out a total of 125 yellow cards in the fixtures he’s officiated and has handed out nine red cards.

His last match officiating the Bluebirds came back in August 2021 when Barrow faced Bristol Rovers at Holker Street. In a game in which statistically the away side dominated, with 64% possession, the Bluebirds created countless chances to score and potentially win the game. But Bristol gained the lead when Sam Nicholson scored minutes before half-time. Minutes later, Oliver Banks netted at the end of the first half to get the Bluebirds back on level terms and ultimately win a point for the home side.

Alongside Joyce, he will be joined by Alan Clayton and Lewis Raper, who will be assistant referees on Tuesday night. With John Mulligan taking the role of Fourth Official.

Words by Dylan Whitbread 

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