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Thursday, 28 August 2014

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Bayliss: Hereford encounter a must-win

BARROW AFC manager Dave Bayliss says tonight’s televised home clash against Hereford United is a must-win game (kick-off 7.45pm).

The relegation-battling Bluebirds have won just one out of 10 league matches at Holker Street this season and possess the worst home record in Blue Square Bet Premier.

That victory came two months ago when they beat Southport 3-2.

Since then Barrow have, however, won three cup ties on their own turf, against Tamworth and Guiseley in the FA Cup and Hyde in the FA Trophy, and are currently unbeaten in their last five outings, home and away.

Tuesday night’s 1-1 draw at AFC Telford United, when super-sub Joe Jackson snatched his side a share of the spoils with a stoppage-time equaliser, kept the Bluebirds off the foot of the table by virtue of goal-difference.

But a win tonight against mid-table Hereford in front of the Premier Sports TV cameras would see second-bottom Barrow leap up two places in the table, ahead of the weekend’s remaining fixtures tomorrow.

After tonight the Bluebirds face back-to-back second round cup ties against Macclesfield Town in the FA Cup on Tuesday and Chesham United in the FA Trophy four days later and Bayliss knows the importance of signing off from league duty with a victory.

“It’s a massive game,” said the Holker Street boss.

“To be honest, we would have settled for a point at Telford on Tuesday. Now we are back home, where we are unbeaten in our last three (Guiseley 1-0, Forest Green Rovers 2-2, Hyde 1-0) and it’s a must-win game because we don’t want to be falling behind in terms of the league going into the two cup games that follow next week.

“Hereford are a good side and it’s a game we are really looking forward to.

“When the top sides come to Barrow in midweek it always seems to draw the best out of us and that’s what we want to see happen again.”

On-loan Barrovian teenage striker Jackson, who now has three goals this season, is pushing for a start following his late heroics at Telford, while attacking midfielder Sean McConville will also be hoping for a recall.

Winger Danny Rowe, who has not played since breaking his toe a month ago, could return to the bench.

Hereford, relegated from the Football League at the end of last season, will make their first trip to Holker Street in 14 years on a high after drawing 1-1 at League Two high-fliers Cheltenham Town in the second round of the FA Cup on Monday – a game that was screened live on ESPN.

Should they win the replay at Edgar Street on Tuesday the Bulls will host Premier League giants Everton in a money-spinning third round tie which is also set for TV coverage.

Hereford manager Martin Foyle, whose side have lost just one of their last nine matches, is not expected to rest players ahead of the replay, meaning Carlisle-born top scorer Ryan Bowman will likely lead the line.

Barrow (from): Hurst, Flynn, Hessey, M Pearson, Anderson, Harvey, Baker, Rutherford, Almond, Jackson, Boyes, S Pearson, Skelton, Byrne, Hunter, McConville, Owen, Rowe.

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