Barrow v Port Vale preview: can the Valiants make it eight unbeaten when they travel to Barrow on Tuesday night?
Image: “File:HolkerStreet.png” by Barrovian is licensed under CC BY 3.0
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Teams: Barrow v Port Vale
Competition: League Two
Venue: Holker Street Stadium
Kick-off: Tuesday 20th April, 7pm
The Valiants made it seven games unbeaten as their magnificent run of six straight wins came to an end at Carlisle. Barrow’s form has lifted them into League Two safety. However, it’s dipped in recent games with just one win in four although their form at home remains decent.
Port Vale team news:
Hmm, this could be interesting as Darrell Clarke has hinted at changes after the team’s winning run came to an end at Carlisle. The Valiants have a lot of players out of contract in the summer and Clarke rightly wants to take a look at how some of them fare. How many and what those changes will be is open to debate. On Saturday, the likes of Mark Cullen, David Amoo, Harry McKirdy and Tom Pope all came on as subs. But what other changes could take place? Will Clarke take a look at rookie keeper Tom Scott? Will any of the youth teamers on the fringes of the side get a look in? What about loanee Mustapha Olagunju, out of contract in the summer, is he worth another look with a view to a potential move? We’ll have to wait and see…
Possible Starting XI:
Brown – Smith, Legge, Brisley – Gibbons, Joyce, Conlon, Taylor, Worrall – Rodney, Cullen
One to watch:
It’s a tricky one to call if Darrell Clarke does indeed make changes but it’s been good to see James Gibbons back in action. Fans will be hoping the popular full-back will build on some promising performances after his return from injury.
Rob Kelly was appointed caretaker manager after the departure of David Dunn earlier this season. Barrow then appointed Michael Jolley. However, on 21 February 2021, Barrow parted company with Jolley and Kelly was once again named as Barrow’s caretaker manager, this time until the end of the season. Kelly has very decent stats from his two spells with eight wins from sixteen games.
Vale fans will know about top-scorer Scott Quigley. In recent games, Quigley has been joined on the scoresheet by left-back Patrick Brough who has scored in two of the last three games. Joel Dixon has been the regular keeper this season ahead of former Vale trialist Neal Eardley and Gareth Barry’s nephew Bradley Barry. In midfield, Barrow have experienced former Chesterfield man Ollie Banks while fellow midfielder Josh Kay has weighed in with five goals this season. Up front Quigley and Calvin Andrew will need no introduction to Vale fans.
The Valiants are expected to come up against former loanee Scott Quigley who is the club’s top scorer this season with thirteen League goals. Quigley may be partnered by another former Valiant. No, not Dior Angus, who has left for Wrexham but former promotion winner Calvin Andrew who played his part in the 2012-13 promotion campaign.
Sadly, the Vale will not come up against another former loanee as Lewis Hardcastle was forced to retire from the game this season after being diagnosed with a serious heart condition. We wish him well.
There is another former Valiant, of sorts, in the Barrow line-up. Full-back Neal Eardley was a former trialist at Vale Park. Michael Brown opted to let Eardley leave and he subsequently earned promotion with Lincoln City while Brown signed Lawrie Wilson instead!
Port Vale’s goalscorers on the last visit to Barrow – Jimmy Hill (left) and Jimmy Goodfellow (right) sit either side of legend Roy Sproson
during the club’s second tour of Czechoslavakia. Photo courtesy Mick Cullerton.
Last time we met:
The two sides met at Vale Park earlier this season when it finished as a comfortable 2-0 victory for Barrow. This will be Vale’s first trip to Holker Street since October 1966 when it finished in a 2-2 draw. The Vale scorers that time were Jimmy Goodfellow and Jimmy Hill. The two sides have met seventeen times in total with nine Vale wins, three losses and five draws.