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Club News

Match Preview: Barrow AFC vs Grimsby Town

28 March 2024

Club News

Match Preview: Barrow AFC vs Grimsby Town

28 March 2024

The Bluebirds are looking to end March and their sixth fixture of the month unbeaten, as they are back at home on Good Friday as they host Grimsby Town.

In their previous fixture, Barrow ran out 1-0 winners against Newport County in what was a strong performance from the Bluebirds.

A constant throughout the game was the weather with both teams having strong winds to contend with, but the Bluebirds stood firm and continued to create chances throughout the game. Pete Wild’s men pushed all game to find goals and were rewarded when Cole Stockton bagged his fifth goal in blue and white as he won all three points for the Cumbrians.

The game also saw Paul Farman keep another clean sheet this season, his 14th of the league campaign and his 11th at Holker Street. The match also saw George Ray put in another stellar performance in defence, earning himself another Man Of The Match Award.

Team News

Niall Canavan will remain unavailable for Saturday’s game, as he still remains sidelined with a calf injury.

Luca Stephenson also remains doubtful for tomorrow’s clash after he took a knock in last week's win over Newport County.

The Opposition

Grimsby currently sits in 21st place in Sky Bet League Two, under the current guidance of form Crewe Alexandra manager, David Artell.

Artell has been in charge at Blundell Park for four months, when he took up the position after Paul Hurst was sacked in October 2023. In his final season for The Alex, Artell finished the year with Crewe being relegated back to League Two after finishing bottom of the League One table in 2021/22. Since joining The Mariners, Artell is averaging a 21.1%-win percentage from the 19 fixtures he has managed and is averaging 1.1 points per game. In their last five games, the Lincolnshire side has picked up six points from one win, three draws and one loss. Their most recent fixture ended in defeat, as they played third-placed Wrexham at Blundell Park, with the Welsh side winning 3-1 and picking up the three points.

One to Watch in the Grimsby side is Grimsby-born and bred, midfielder Harry Clifton. Clifton made his way through the Mariners academy and signed his first professional contract in 2015. He then made his full debut for Grimsby against Doncaster Rovers in the EFL Trophy. He has since gone on to make over 200 appearances for the Lincolnshire side since 2017. So far this season, Clifton has made 40 appearances with 36 coming in league competition. This season he has netted four goals and assisted three times, with three of the goals and all of the assists coming in league games.


The two sides have already faced each other this season back at Blundell Park in October 2023, with the Bluebirds that day dominating possession throughout the game and creating more chances than the home side, Wild’s men amassed an xG (expected goals) of 2.32.

The game saw the home side strike first when striker Danny Rose made a breakthrough in 37 minutes from a Michee Efete cross. The game then looked like it was all in Grimsby’s with the Mariners scoring a second goal with 15 minutes remaining, with Donovan Wilson being the one to get on the end of the ball from Jamie Andrews. The Bluebirds were eventually rewarded for their efforts with 10 minutes remaining when Ged Garner played it through to Sam Foley who bagged his first goal of the campaign. However, it was not to be for the Cumbrians, and Grimsby went on to win 2-1 and pick up all three points at Blundell Park.


The man taking charge of Saturday’s match is Oliver Langford. Langford has taken charge of 26 fixtures this season, all of which have come across the EFL, with 23 of these coming in the EFL Championship. He has also handed out a total of 83 yellow cards and six red cards this season.

He is the last match officiating the Bluebirds came back in March 2023, when the Cumbrian side faced Sutton United at Holker Street. In a game that was statically evenly matched, the Bluebirds created multiple chances throughout, with both sides defending resolutely. The Bluebirds came closest to scoring in the first half, when striker Jake Young had an attempt on goal which was blocked superbly by the Sutton defender, with the game ending with both sides sharing a point at Holker Street.

Alongside Langford, he will be joined by Richard Wild and Blake Antrobus, who will be assistant referees in Good Friday’s clash. With Sebastian Stockbridge taking the role of Fourth Official.

Words by Dylan Whitbread

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