It’s been a long, winding road since our season opener at Holker Street. Now it’s our turn to play host as Barrow come to us. With fewer than 10 matches now left for us in League Two this campaign, we’re on the home straight. Unlike our guests this weekend, we have the joy (relatively speaking) of not being in a scrap for survival right now. But that’s certainly not a reason for us to start coasting towards the finish line. At the very least we don’t want to be giving the Bluebirds a chance to haul us back into the mire.
The Details: Stevenage v Barrow
Where’s the game?
Back at the Lamex, where we want to be…
Can I watch Stevenage v Barrow?
This is the last Boro’ match before the Rule of Six is back in force, which means you can go out and see real-life, actual people again. Hooray! But we won’t be quite there yet this weekend. And the weather still isn’t that warm or sunny anyway. So, our advice would be to stick it out for just a little while longer. To help pass that time, how about you watch the action with an iFollow Match Pass. A tenner is a small price to pay for the pleasure, innit?
How is Boro’s form looking at the moment?
Well, ain’t this a jolly old run we’re on? Our 3-1 home win against Carlisle United last time out now leaves us on nine unbeaten. And let’s face it – here we have an excellent chance to round it up to 10. The one bum note from last week is that we let the 10-men Cumbrians in to end a run of six straight clean sheets. We were only two away from a potential new club record. We reckon we’ll get over that disappointment.
As Barrow are from the same neck of the woods as our guests last week, it’s only fair we look for a repeat performance. Last week’s three-goal haul finally took us past 30 League Two goals for the campaign. And some more here would do us nicely as we get closer to the 50-point mark. There’s still some work to do before we get to that point. But three points here and we’ll move onto 49 and that particular job will be all but done.
… and how are the Bluebirds doing right now?
Now, we’re on a good run and a return of 14 points from a possible 24 is nothing to sniff at. But it’s not quite as good as the Bluebirds’ form lately. With 15 points from the possible 24 we mention, it’s been even better for them of late. There are two reasons for this, sure. One, we drew games we could’ve perhaps won. And two, Barrow won four on the bounce to lift put some daylight between themselves and the relegation zone.
If you’re only good as your last game, however, then we should be spotting an opportunity here. Barrow lost 1-0 at home to Grimsby in midweek. They may well still have a six-point buffer between them and the bottom two. But it does little to ease their fears of going back to the Conference. Quite the opposite, in fact. And a return of 16 points from 18 games on the road so far (joint second worst in the league) should give us even more confidence.
Our story with Barrow so far
Our head-to-head record against the Bluebirds is a long-running one – if not a particularly busy one. In total, we’ve met eight times since the start of the 1998-9 campaign. With four wins to our name, the balance of power sits with us at the moment; Barrow managing two wins and the other two (obvs.) ending all square.
The opening day of the current season saw us go up against Barrow for the first time in a decade. It was their first Football League match for a long, long time – and an Inih Effiong penalty made sure it wasn’t a triumphant return. And that’s totally fine with us; our last match as a non-league side ended in an ill-tempered defeat in the 2010 FA Trophy final.
This is the fourth time that Barrow have visited the Lamex. And we hope this one will end much like our 3-0 and 4-0 wins in 2009 and 2010 respectively – not our 2-1 defeat in April 1999. It’s not like we’ll now have long to find out.
Last Time Out: Barrow 1-1 Stevenage, 12 September 2020
Who’s the referee in charge?
Ah, Mr Adcock. It’s been a while. And rightly so after you let the Bees get the better of us back in 2015. In truth, we’re a bit surprised it’s been that long. But you can’t dispute facts. And perhaps we’re best off in his company after all; Boro’ unbeaten at home so far on his watch (three wins, two draws). In fact, that Barnet match is the only time we’ve been the wrong side of the result. Let’s not turn that into a habit, eh?
If truth be told, the Nottinghamshire ref isn’t having the busiest season. This is only game number 12 for Mr Adcock; his most recent outing being Bradford City’s 1-0 home win over Leyton Orient on 23 February. And, before that, you have to go back to late November. We don’t know why he isn’t the first ref the EFL call. That’s between him and them. But what we do klnow is that he’s averaging two yellow cards a game (22) and has shown two red cards.
Last Time Out: Barnet 3-2 Stevenage, 19 September 2015
Stevenage v Barrow: Our verdict?
This has the feel of a potential banana skin if we’re not careful. But, if we keep doing what we’ve been doing, it shouldn’t be too much of a problem. Our instinct is telling us 2-1.