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League Two | Gameweek 21
Mar 5, 2024 at 7.45pm UK
The Dunes Hotel Stadium

2 - 0

Chester (40'), Acauah (55')
Stockton (4'), Spence (9'), Campbell (66')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Coleman (39'), Williams (66'), Masterson (90+6'), Hutton (90+6')

Preview: Barrow vs. Gillingham - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Tuesday's League Two clash between Barrow and Gillingham, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

On the back of successive postponements, Barrow bid to upset the League Two playoff apple cart when they welcome Gillingham to Holker Street on Tuesday night.

Pete Wild's men have not been in action since losing 5-3 to Salford City on February 17, while their visitors coincidentally overcame the Ammies 2-0 on Saturday.

Match preview

Barrow manager Pete Wild celebrates after winning the penalty shoot out on August 9, 2022© Reuters

After their proposed showdown with Bradford City was postponed with just over an hour to go before kickoff - a decision lambasted as farcical by manager Wild - cancellation lightning struck twice for Barrow over the weekend, when a waterlogged pitch prevented them from taking on Crawley Town.

As a result, it has been over a fortnight since Tuesday's hosts last took to the field in a competitive setting, suffering their third straight League Two defeat in an eight-goal extravaganza with Salford City, despite Cole Stockton's praiseworthy brace at the Peninsula Stadium.

The 5-3 loss to the Ammies succeeded dampening defeats to AFC Wimbledon and Forest Green Rovers for Barrow, who have lost their grip on a playoff spot in the League Two table during their two-week hiatus and now occupy eighth place in the rankings.

However, Wild's men still have their post-season destiny in their own hands, as upcoming foes Gillingham and Walsall are both just one point better off having played two games more, although an abysmal sequence of two wins from 11 since Christmas has done the hosts no favours at all.

Barrow's winter collapse came after the Bluebirds prevailed in seven straight fixtures from October 31 to the end of November, but an unforeseen two-week break could go a long way to helping the hosts revert to their previous victorious ways on Tuesday.

Gillingham manager Stephen Clemence before the match on January 6, 2024© Reuters

Capitalising on Barrow's pair of postponements, Gillingham have navigated their last three fixtures without conceding a goal to sneak into the playoff positions, coming away from their meetings with automatic-promotion chasers Stockport County and Wrexham with an impressive four points to their name.

Stephen Clemence's men followed up their 1-0 success over the Red Dragons with a straightforward 2-0 beating of Salford on Saturday, where Shadrach Ogie and Timothee Dieng breached the Ammies' backline, and not even a fearsome hailstorm could quell the Gillingham juggernaut.

The fourth and final playoff position currently belongs to Clemence's side, although Barrow's games in hand means that a top-seven place is still out of Gillingham's hands, and one slip-up on Tuesday could see them drop below the coveted dotted line.

Consistency on the road has often been hard for Gillingham to come by this season, but they travel to Holker Street on the back of four victories from their last six League Two away fixtures and have a few wrongs to right against one of their bogey teams this week.

Indeed, Gillingham took just one point from their two League Two meetings with Barrow in 2023-24, losing 2-1 at Holker Street after a 1-1 draw on home soil, and they have not got the better of the Bluebirds in a competitive setting since 1969.

Barrow League Two form:

Gillingham League Two form:

Team News

Gillingham's Jake Turner reacts after Sheffield United's James McAtee scores their third goal on January 6, 2024© Reuters

During Barrow's 2-0 defeat at the hands of Wimbledon on February 10, Barrow striker Jamie Proctor was dismissed for an off-the-ball incident with Kofi Balmer, and having also behaved improperly towards a match official, his three-game ban was extended to four.

Proctor will serve the third of that four-match suspension this week, and the hosts also remain without left-back Junior Tiensia due to his serious ankle injury, although the 23-year-old is expected to resume full training in the near future.

Former Wales defender James Chester was nowhere to be seen during Barrow's loss to Salford on February 17 either, and it is unclear whether the 35-year-old will be back in the fold at Holker Street.

Also setting up in a conservative 5-3-2 system, Gillingham have no new injuries to take into account from their recent beating of Salford, although midfielder Dom Jefferies is weeks away from returning from a torn thigh muscle.

Head coach Clemence gave 40-year-old goalkeeper Glenn Morris his second consecutive League Two start on Saturday, and as his decision was vindicated with another clean sheet, the Gillingham boss should see no reason to bring Jake Turner back into the side just yet.

Barrow possible starting lineup:
Farman; Warren, Canavan, Ray, Ogungbo, Feeley; Spence, Foley; Gotts; Stockton, Acquah

Gillingham possible starting lineup:
Morris; Hutton, Ogie, Ehmer, Masterson, Malone; Coleman, Dieng; Williams; Hawkins, Nadesan

SM words green background

We say: Barrow 1-1 Gillingham

Barrow may enter Tuesday's game as something of an unknown quantity given their lengthy break from League Two football, although Wild and co would have been afforded ample time to dissect their team's recent defensive woes.

In contrast, Gillingham need no lessons in shutting up shop, but Barrow's fresh legs can wear down a jaded Gills backline and nick a point for their fans upon their return to football.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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