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Match Previews

Preview: Barrow

18 December 2020

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It's destination Barrow this weekend for Cheltenham Town as the Robins face last season's National League winners (kick-off: 3pm).

Saturday's encounter will be the first Football League meeting between the two clubs who have come head-to-head in non-league circles previously.

With the frustration of a late defeat to Bolton Wanderers on Tuesday still in the memory, Saturday's game at the Progression Solicitors Stadium is a chance to put things right ahead of the Boxing Day home fixture at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium against a managerless Barrow side.

Watch Saturday's match in full online by purchasing an iFollow match pass.

Team news

Only Sean Long and Conor Thomas remain definitely out of action, though both are making good progress at the training ground.

Chris Clements is closer to a return and could be in the squad against a club he spent time on loan with at the beginning of the 2017/18 season.

See what Michael Duff had to say before the game, while midfield man Liam Sercombe has also been previewing the trip to Cumbria.

Opposition

Earlier this week Barrow parted company with manager David Dunn. The former Blackburn Rovers and Birmingham City midfielder only took over in the summer, but with the Bluebirds occupying a lowly position in League Two they've taken the decision to go down a new path.

In the meantime Rob Kelly, who was Dunn's number two, is in caretaker charge as they look to appoint Dunn's successor.

Up until 1972 Barrow had been regular members of the Football League since the 1920s. But after nearly half a century in the non-league game they made a return to this level for the start of this season after a fantastic campaign last season saw them win the shortened campaign National League title.

It's taken them time to get going, picking up plenty of draws early on. The inability to turn those draws into three points though has cost them. They've only won twice in the campaign and they were back-to-back wins in the same week at the end of October. Heading into Saturday they've lost their last five League Two matches.

Team wise Joel Dixon is their man to look towards in goal. The former Sunderland youngster has been at Barrow since 2015.

In defence the experienced Sam Hird, a former teammate of Charlie Raglan's at Chesterfield, offers leadership, while 20-year-old Scott Wilson came through the youth system at Burnley working under Michael Duff.

Jason Taylor will be a familiar face for Robins fans in their midfield. He joined Cheltenham in 2013 and then left in a loan move to Northampton in January 2015.

Other options in their midfield include 24-year-old Josh Kay, former Oldham Athletic man Chris Taylor and Austrlian Tom Beadling who joined Saturday's opposition after two years in Scotland with Dunfermline Athletic.

Leading their line Scott Quigley is still hoping to bring the goal scoring touch he had in their National League season last year to their League Two commitments. He's netted twice in 13 games so far.

Luke James is an experienced forward who can name Hartlepool and Peterborough United among his former employers. Youngster Jayden Reid is on loan from Championship Birmingham City, while Harrison Biggins is another loanee who could feature. He's on loan from Fleetwood Town.

The caretaker manager: Rob Kelly

A highly experienced coach, Rob Kelly is in caretaker charge having been number two to the recently departed David Dunn.

The 55-year-old was appointed in September having returned to English football following a spell as assistant manager at German second tier side Fortuna Düsseldorf where he had worked alongside Uwe Rosler.

Kelly started his management career with a year in charge of Leicester City between 2006 and 2007, but from then on he's worked as part of a backroom staff, filling in as a caretaker manager on a number of occasions at a range of different clubs.

This has included temporary spells in charge at Preston North End, Sheffield Wednesday, Nottingham Forest and West Brom.

He's also worked as a first team coach or assistant at the likes of Blackburn Rovers, Fleetwood Town, Bury and in Sweden with Malmö FF where again he was number two to Uwe Rosler.

One to watch: Dior Angus

Midlands based forward Dior Angus joined Barrow initially on loan in 2019 from Port Vale, but after a successful spell it turned into a permanent stint and he helped them gain promotion to League Two last season.

Up until 2018 when he signed for Vale he'd spent his time playing non-league football around the Midlands, starting at Solihull Moors, and then briefly with Kidderminster Harriers.

Spells at Daventry Town and Stratford Town were followed by a transfer to Redditch United where his goal scoring exploits caught the eye of Port Vale who offered him an opportunity in League football for the first time.

This season he's netted five times in all competitions and has made 21 appearances.

Watch the match on iFollow

You can catch the whole 90 minutes of action by purchasing a match pass and watching the game on iFollow.

A match pass is available to buy for £10 online. Subscribe before the game to view the action.

Coverage

Follow @CTFCofficial on Twitter for updates and team news. You can also check out the club's Facebook page and Instagram account for team news and information on when the goals go in.

The club website post-match will have a report looking back on events, while you'll also be able to see reaction from Michael Duff to the final score.

Watch extended highlights from Cumbria exclusively on iFollow after the match.


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