Match Preview | Barrow (A)

For the second time in seven days, Newport County hit the road as we take on Pete Wild’s promotion-chasing Barrow. Graham Coughlan hopes to build on Saturday’s exceptional performance away at Wimbledon, make it back-to-back away wins, and make it five wins in seven on our travels.

The gaffer has not been shy to ring the changes in recent weeks, with Offrande Zanzala being handed a start ahead of Luke Jephcott, who had been drafted in for Seb Palmer-Houlden the previous week. Coughlan has several in-form players up front to choose from and will look to continue their hot streak on Saturday. 

Manager’s Comments

"Barrow are flying," began Coughlan.

"Barrow are doing brilliant. Pete [Wild] is a top man and a good manager as well, he sets his teams up really well.

"They'll be disciplined, they'll be organised and one thing we know about Pete Wild's team is that they will be hard-working!" he explained.

"They will carry some size and have some presence and that's Pete's team in a nutshell.

"Barrow will have experienced players and I have no doubt it'll be yet another tough league two encounter.

"We've watched Barrow recently, and one thing we can see is that they will create chances, so saying that I am expecting a game similar to last week's, we'll need to defend our box well and take our chances at the other end.

"We'll need to more than match them, if we don't match them, we'll be in trouble," concluded Coughlan.

You can watch Graham Coughlan's full pre-match press conference by clicking HERE.

Opposition Form 

Pete Wild’s Barrow have been one of the surprise packages of League Two this season. The Bluebirds have battled it out in and around the top five for the bulk of the campaign and will have a playoff spot firmly in their sights as the end of the season approaches. 

The team will come into Saturday’s clash on a mixed run of form. They have won two, drawn two, and lost two of their previous six, with the draws coming in their last two games. Their home form has been impressive, winning four of their last six, with losses to Forest Green and Crewe blemishing their record. 

Former Exile Dom Telford is likely to feature in the match-day squad, but the striker has been on the bench in recent weeks. Burton loanee Cole Stockton and Emile Acquah have been Wild’s preferred partnership, with the former grabbing four goals in his first ten games for the club. 

Last Time Out 

Our last game with Barrow ended in a 1-1 draw back in September. Shane McLoughlin fired us in front in superb fashion in the 40th minute before a Ryan Delaney red card three minutes later changed the game. Despite a committed performance in the second half, Barrow finally broke through our defence in the 69th minute, with Dean Campbell stepping up to convert a penalty and ensure the points were shared. 

You can watch the match highlights by clicking HERE.

Head to Head 

We have faced Barrow in both non-league and league football over the years. Our first encounter with the Bluebirds was in 1962, a 6-0 triumph, which remains our biggest win against them. 

Since then, we have played each other 21 times, with nine wins, eight losses, and four draws. Since their return to the Football League in 2020, we have clashed six times, winning two, losing three, and drawing one. 

Played for Both 

There are several players who have played for both Newport County and Barrow that will be on the field this weekend. 

In our camp, Offrande Zanzala has links with the Cumbrian club. He spent time there in the 21/22 season, playing for the Bluebirds 19 times and scoring three. 

One man who will need no introduction to Newport fans is Barrow’s Dom Telford. Telford was prolific for us during the 21/22 season, scoring 26 times in 52 games. He would then leave to Crawley before joining Barrow last summer.