Barrow AFC will be up against one of the form teams in the National League when they take to the field against Eastleigh tomorrow, so it’s a good job they’ve been no respecter of reputations this season.

The Spitfires have been on a tear since the turn of the year, winning eight games out of ten to give them a great chance of reaching the play-offs.

They rose up to sixth on Tuesday, as they defeated second-from-bottom Maidstone United 2-0 on what was a scrappy game played on a difficult surface at the Silverlake Stadium.

Goals from Chris Zebroski and Mark Yeates proved enough for the hosts, who weren’t at their best on the night.

Their manager Ben Strevens admitted to the Southern Daily Echo after the game: “We’ve probably played a lot better and not won, but it was a professional performance and three points is all that matters at the end of the day.”

Those points allowed them to leapfrog both Gateshead and Harrogate Town in the table, after the former were defeated at Solihull.

If they were to finish in the top seven, it would be the second time they have reached the play-offs in the National League, having done so in their first season at this level, in 2014/15.

With Strevens’ side in such good nick, it’s a good thing the Bluebirds are travelling down to Hampshire in a confident mood themselves, after their outstanding 3-1 win at Wrexham.

That is in contrast to the reverse fixture at Holker Street in November, which AFC went into off the back of five straight defeats, in all competitions.

Their mood wasn’t improved by the end of the afternoon either, as they were handily defeated 3-0, still their heaviest defeat of the season. They’ve lost just three of their 18 league games since.

A similar outcome to last season would be most welcome, after goals from Byron Harrison and Jimmy Dunne gave Barrow a 2-0 victory in the corresponding fixture, in November 2017.