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On the road again

Brian Caffarey - 10th August 2017

On the road again Barrow AFC v Woking
Vanarama National League
3pm on Saturday 12 August 2017

The Cards will need to lick their wounds after their defeat at Tranmere Rovers on Tuesday evening in readiness for another long and difficult away trip this weekend. But Barrow, with a defeat and a goalless draw so far, ought not to be quite as tough a proposition as Tranmere and, if Anthony Limbrick’s side can learn a few lessons from Tuesday’s reverse, they ought to be capable of getting at least the point achieved last season. Barrow, though, are traditionally very strong in their own backyard, so most observers will be expecting a home win.

WOKING

Cards fans won’t be too downhearted about the loss at Tranmere, which was very much to be expected against the favourites for automatic promotion. An important plus point was that the team did not cave in after going two goals down and, indeed, rallied with Charlie Carter’s fine strike. But, as Anthony acknowledged in his post-match interview, the side needs to be more careful in possession and not give the ball away as easily as it did at Prenton Park. He was disappointed, too, with the defending for the first and third goals.

It will be interesting to see if Anthony makes any changes for Saturday’s trip. The fact that Jason Banton wasn’t on the bench on Tuesday suggests he isn’t yet ready for action, but the introduction of Jamie Philpot as a substitute did seem to make a bit of a difference, providing the hard-working, but outnumbered, Inih Effiong, with some support. Inih would no doubt love to show the Barrow management and fans a thing or two following his release from the club at the end of last season.

BARROW

The Bluebirds, owned since November 2014 by ambitious Dallas-based businessman, Paul Casson, won the Conference North title in the 2014-15 season. Casson then targeted immediate promotion to the Football League and manager Darren Edmondson paid the price in November 2015 for an unpromising beginning to the campaign. Former Mansfield manager Paul Cox was appointed the next day and eventually led the side to an 11th place finish in that campaign. Last season Barrow fell short of the play-offs by seven points, ending in 7th place.

Like nearly every other Conference National side, Barrow’s squad has undergone major changes during the summer, with some dozen arrivals. Paul Cox released several players, including Inih Effiong, and lost three of his best players to League clubs: striker Richie Bennett joining Carlisle United, England C winger Jordan Williams joining Rochdale and left back Nick Anderton signing for Blackpool. Other departures included Ross Hannah and Paul Turnbull, both joining Chester.

But Cox looks to have made some promising signings by way of compensation. They include striker Adi Yussuf, joining from Grimsby but with experience at Leicester City, Burton Albion, Lincoln City and Mansfield Town amongst other clubs; Dutch defender David Nieskens, most recently with a Belgian third-tier side; French midfielder Bedsente Gomis, well known for his recent successful spell with Sutton United but previously with Southend United; highly experienced midfielder Asa Hall, most recently on loan at York City from Cheltenham Town, where he was part of their promotion-winning side, but with substantial spells at a number of other League clubs; 22-year-old keeper Stuart Moore, joining after six years at Reading, where he had loan spells at Peterborough United and other clubs; 19 year-old French midfielder, Donovan Mahoma, an U16 international joining from RC Lens’s U19 Academy; fellow compatriot Thierry Audel, a 30 year-old defender released by Notts County, following spells at Macclesfield Town, Crewe Alexandra and Lincoln City; defender Dan Jones, a long throw specialist, signing from Grimsby Town but with loans at Gateshead and AFC Fylde last season, following 37 appearances for Hartlepool United; Jimmy Dunne, a 19-year-old central defender, originally with Manchester United’s Academy but on loan till January from Burnley; Bradley Bauress, a goalscoring midfielder originally with Blackburn Rovers but joining from Witton Albion; 6’4” striker Jordan White, top scorer for Wrexham last season and previously with various Scottish clubs; winger David Fitzpatrick, who was with AFC Wimbledon but with loan spells at Tonbridge Angels and Torquay United; and defender Jack Barthram, a former Spurs Academy player who made 70 appearances for Cheltenham Town after joining from Swindon Town. The most recent arrival is 6’5” keeper Sam Ramsbottom on a one-month contract.

Among players remaining from last season are giant defender/midfielder Moussa Diarra, defender Liam Hughes and midfielder Alex Ray-Harvey.

David Fitzpatrick was injured in pre-season and is out for eight weeks, while Andy Parry, Joel Dixon and Byron Harrison are all recovering from long-term injuries.

Barrow lost their opening fixture, 2-1 at Dagenham and Redbridge, Dan Jones scoring. On Tuesday evening they drew 0-0 at home to Halifax.

GETTING THERE

Barrow AFC
The Furness Building Society Stadium
Wilkie Road
Barrow-in-Furness
Cumbria
LA14 5UW

Official website: www.barrowafc.com

The Barrow website has a page of advice for visiting Woking fans: http://barrowafc.com/5680-2/

By coach

The Cards Trust is not running a coach to this game. The next coach will be to Wrexham on Saturday 26 August. Book your seats at the Eastleigh or Leyton Orient games.

By car

Leave the M6 at J36, taking the A590 (signposted Barrow). Follow A590 all the way to the outskirts of Barrow, entering via industrial route towards the town centre. Passing the fire station on the right, take the next left into Wilkie Road. The ground is on the right-hand side. The AA estimates that the trip would take just over five hours from Woking.

By train

Nearest station: Barrow-in-Furness. Trains are from London Euston on the half hour, with a change of about half an hour at Lancaster. Possible trains are 08.30 (12.23), 09.30 (13.26) and 10.30 (14.36). Trains back, also with a change at Lancaster, are at 17.20 (21.33) and 18.30 (22.42).

The ground is about a 10-minute walk from the station. On leaving the station, exit onto Holker Street and then turn right; the ground is on the left after about half a mile. Here is a link to a map of the area: https://www.google.com/maps/@54.122945,-3.236792,16z?hl=en-US

ADMISSION PRICES

Seated: Adults £18, Over 65s £14, Young Adult (18-22) £10, Youth (12-17) £8, U12 Free with Adult or £8 if unaccompanied.
Standing: Adults £15, Over 65s £12, Young Adult £8, Youth £5, U12 Free with Adult or £5 if unaccompanied. Enter via E or F away turnstiles for both seated and standing areas.

LAST TIME WE MET

Barrow 2 Woking 2
Vanarama National League
8 April 2017

Few probably fancied the Cards’ chances in this match, with the Bluebirds only three points off the play-offs, but Woking twice took the lead and, controversially, had a goal ruled out right at the death.

Barrow applied a lot of pressure from the outset, with the home side’s midfield dominant. Chances came and went, with Woking also going close on occasions, but right on the stroke of half-time a Jake Caprice break saw the ball played to Jamie Lucas. He seemed to mis-hit the cross but he beat the keeper, with Paul Turnbull handling on the line. Lucas converted and Turnbull was dismissed.

Though down to ten men, Barrow came out strongly and equalised on 51 minutes through a thunderous free-kick from Jordan Williams. With their tails up, the Bluebirds had chances to go in front, but Keiran Murtagh curled a shot home on 70 minutes to make it 2-1 to the Cards. However, on 83 minutes the influential Moussa Diarra headed down for Richie Bennett to equalise from close quarters.

With 90 minutes up, Delano Sam-Yorke thought he had scored the winner, bundling home after getting a touch from a corner. But, much to Garry Hill’s fury, the assistant referee flagged for an offence and, in the remaining time, Barrow themselves nearly grabbed all three points.

Barrow: Jon Flatt, Shaun Beeley (Ross Hannah 73), Nick Anderton, Danny Livesey, (c), Moussa Diarra, Liam Hughes (Matt Platt 46), Alex-Ray Harvey, Paul Turnbull, Richie Bennett, Jordan Williams, Lindon Meikle (Jack Thomas 46). 

Unused subs: Akil Wright, Inih Effiong.

Scorers: Williams 51, Bennett 83.

Woking: Michael Poke, Jake Caprice, Terell Thomas, Joey Jones, Brian Saah, Ismail Yakubu (c), Keiran Murtagh, Nathan Ralph, Delano Sam-Yorke, Kane Ferdinand, Jamie Lucas (Gozie Ugwu 63).

Unused subs: Brandon Hall, Charlie Carter, Fabio Saraiva, Connor Hall.

Scorers: Lucas 45, Murtagh 70.

Attendance 1,326 (26 away fans).

COMING UP

The Cards have two enticing home games coming up: first, against Eastleigh this Tuesday (15 August) and, then, against Leyton Orient on Saturday 19 August. The latter could be one of the games of the season, so pull out all the stops to be there!

Come on, you Cards!
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