When Barrow AFC defeated Dover Athletic 2-0 at the Crabble Athletic Ground back in September, not too many fans who made the 360-mile trip would have believed they’d be returning to that part of Kent next season.

Thanks to one of the Bluebirds’ most dominant displays of the season, Dover had notched up their tenth game without a win and were languishing at the bottom of the National League with just seven points to their name.

Manager Chris Kinnear departed just over a week later, leaving replacement Andy Hessenthaler with a huge job on his hands after he departed Eastleigh to begin his second spell in charge.

It is to his immense credit, however, that, after dragging the Whites into full-time status, he has been able to not only haul them out of the relegation zone but have them on the brink of survival with four games of the season left.

Ahead of them making the (very, very) long journey for tomorrow’s match at Holker Street, Hessenthaler’s charges are nine points clear of fourth-from bottom Havant & Waterlooville.

That means they will be safe if they better the Hawks’ result and they’ll be looking for a performance as resolute as the one they produced in their 0-0 draw at home to in-form Chesterfield last Saturday.

Hessenthaler told the club’s website: “We’ve had to do a lot of work and it’s not just about picking the team and the training.

“We’ve had to turn the club around a little bit, in terms of going full-time, finding a training ground, having trouble with players that were part-time becoming full-time.

“It wasn’t a case of just coming into a full-time club and just getting on with it and trying to change results, we’ve had to change everything, so credit to the staff and everybody.”

With Barrow and Dover both being involved in goalless draws last weekend, it can only be hoped the game will have more incident than this fixture in March last season, which also ended 0-0.