Barrow v Crawley Town preview: Reds defence will be key in long away trip for the Reds

It’s a long trip up to Cumbria for Crawley Town on Saturday as they go to League Two strugglers Barrow, who are fighting for their lives to remain in League Two for at least another year.

Thursday, 18th March 2021, 7:12 am
Rob Kelly

​The Bluebirds have started to pick up their form recently and saw themselves move out of the relegation zone last week when they defeated Walsall 1-0 at the Bescott Stadium.

With two or three games in hand on most teams Barrow have a good chance to move themselves away from the drop zone in the coming weeks.

Since promotion from the National League last season Barrow have seen themselves go through a few managers, after Ian Evatt left for Bolton Wanderers in the summer. First in charge was David Dunn, who oversaw 22 games, winning just two which saw him depart in December.

Rob Kelly was put in temporary charge and won two out of his three games in charge when Michael Jolley was appointed. Jolley was a huge disappointment and he only lasted 60 days in charge of Barrow before departing, winning just one game in this time.

They’ve put Rob Kelly back in charge who seems to have Barrow playing well again and prior to their trip to Cheltenham on Tuesday night they have got themselves back-to-back wins against Mansfield and Walsall, which is vital for their survival chances.

Scott Quigley was the main man for Barrow in the National League and continues to be in League Two, with eight goals to his name. The striker can be a real handful for defences to deal with as his height and physicality can be a nuisance.

However, he is also very good with his feet for a big man, which allows Barrow to play different brands of football into their main man.

Quigley will be a handful for the Crawley defence but they themselves have been in excellent form recently with the back four of Archie Davies, Jordan Tunnicliffe, Joe McNerney and George Francomb being collectively solid and have got their rewards with clean sheets against Salford, Tranmere and Mansfield.

Crawley fans probably wouldn’t have expected this run of clean sheets when Tony Craig and Tom Dallison picked up injuries against Colchester but the players who have come into the back line have been fantastic for Crawley with Glenn Morris being equally as good in goal.

Crawley need to keep this solidness at the back as John Yems has said many times “strikers win you games, defenders win you leagues”. Yems certainly deserves a lot of credit for the way he has set up Crawley recently with the tactics being spot on. The Reds have been able to beat teams who play different styles, which is a testament to Yems and Bradbury’s work on the training ground with the players.

The recent run has really started a dream of the Reds nicking a play-off place at the end of the season but there are still plenty of points to be played for, which could see Crawley finish well or see them tail off.