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Club News

Match Preview: Gillingham vs Barrow AFC

12 April 2024

Club News

Match Preview: Gillingham vs Barrow AFC

12 April 2024

Pete Wild’s men are hoping for a change in form as they head into the final five games of the season, starting with an away trip to play off chasers, Gillingham.

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 last 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 raised by 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 on Saturday afternoon.

The Opposition

Saturday’s opposition, Gillingham currently sits in 13th place in the Sky Bet League Two table under the guidance of manager, Stephen Clemence.

Gillingham is onto their second manager of the season, and since the appointment of Clemence in October 2023, he has managed 31 games, winning 11, drawing eight, and losing 12. He’s maintained a win percentage of 35.5%, whilst averaging 1.3 points per game.

In their previous five league encounters, they have picked up five points, having won once and drawn twice. You’ll have to go all the way back to the 24th of February to find their last home win when they ran out 1-0 winners against high-flying Wrexham.

A star player to watch out for is striker and top scorer, Connor Mahoney. Since joining The Gills on loan in August 2023, he has made 39 appearances, with 36 coming in the league. He has gone on to score six goals and create four assists in this time.


Barrow has played Gillingham just three times since our return to the EFL, with two of those games ending in victory for the Bluebirds and just one game ending in a draw.

The previous game between the two sides at the Priestfield came in October 2022, on a day in which the Cumbrian side dominated the proceedings, but Pete Wild’s men were forced to settle for a 1-1 draw. That day a goal from Josh Kay helped The Bluebirds take a point back to Holker Street.

The two sides have already faced each other this season in March 2024 at Holker Street when the game ended 2-0 to the Bluebirds. Goals from James Chester and Emile Acquah picked up all three points for the Cumbrians as they began their unbeaten streak in March which saw them collect 14 points from six games.


The man in the middle for Saturday’s fixture is Dean Whitestone. Whitestone has taken charge of 23 matches this season, with 22 of these coming across the EFL leagues. He has most frequently officiated Championship matches this season so this will only be Whitestone’s third League Two fixture this season. He has handed out a total of 90 yellow cards in the fixtures he’s officiated and has handed out three red cards.

Whitestone has never refereed a match featuring the Bluebirds, with his last match officiating in League Two coming back on the 9th of March when MK Dons faced Salford City at Stadium MK.

Alongside Whitestone, he will be joined by Daniel Leach and Lee Venamore, who will be assistant referees this weekend. With David Rock taking the role of Fourth Official.

Words by Dylan Whitbread  

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