From MK, to Wimbledon, Barrow must now face another playoff contender in this weekend’s League Two action.
AFC Wimbledon has spent much of the season on the peripheries of the playoffs, hoping that come April 27th, they’ll find themselves in the top seven. The loss of Al-Hamadi in the transfer window threatened to derail their season, however, they have continued to pick up results, earning four points in their last two matches.
Barrow on the other hand only picked up one win out of five matches in the month of January, however, Pete Wild got his side back on track as they grabbed a 1-0 victory at home against fellow promotion hopefuls MK Dons.
The reverse fixture earlier in the season saw a 0-0 draw, yet that was towards the beginning of Barrow’s impressive unbeaten run.
It is likely that certain key players will play a major part in this weekend’s matchup for both sides. Ronan Curtis has already shown his ability for the hosts off the bench, and this could be the game where he gets his first start in the famous blue and yellow colours.
Cole Stockton’s arrival in Cumbria has gone just as he would have hoped, as the forward grabbed his first goal in last weekend’s 1-0 victory.
A win for Barrow could see them climb into second place in the league and solidify their spot in the automatic promotion places whereas a home victory could see Wimbledon get back into the playoff positions.
“This is a huge game for both of these side’s seasons. January is over, and with that, many clubs in League Two will be looking to get rid of their winter blues and start getting more results to go in the win column. That could mean that a mediocre end of the season may end up punished. Al-Hamadi’s loss to Ipswich Town will have worried Dons fans, however, they need to show now that Johnnie Jackson had not simply set up a team designed for one man, but instead that can pick up results regardless of the 11 chosen.
The Cumbrian outfit would undoubtedly love to follow up their recent victory with another as they travel to Plough Lane and there is no reason why that cannot be the case. Although, their hosts will be no pushovers and expect this to be tight, yet not quite as tight as the 0-0 draw in the reverse.”
AFC Wimbledon 1-2 Barrow
“Barrow arrested their recent slump last time out, recording only their second win in eight but crucially it was three points that took them into the automatic promotion places. Pete Wild’s side have been excellent away from home this season, with the third-best away record in the division. But their blip in form means they are three without a win away from Houlker Street. AFC Wimbledon meanwhile were among a host of clubs last week who missed the chance to move above Notts County in seventh spot. They’ll be hoping that another chance this week yields a more positive outcome.
The Dons will fancy their chances on home turf with five league wins in six, and nine victories in eleven games across all competitions at Plough Lane. Hopefully, this fixture will be more enticing than the drab goalless draw between the sides earlier in the season in the North-West.”
AFC Wimbledon 2-1 Barrow
“Barrow have been one of the surprise packages this season and very few would have expected them to be sat in the automatic places at this point let alone any point in the season. Pete Wild has got his side playing some great football at the minute and they gained a huge three points after a hard-fought battle with fellow promotion-chasers MK Dons. They do however face another tough assignment, this time as they travel to London to face AFC Wimbledon.
The Dons form has fluctuated recently and they may not be the force of old having lost striker Ali Al-Hamadi in January to Ipswich, yet they are still in the fight for a place in the play-offs. The Bluebirds will have to be at their best to take all three points back to Holker Street and I’m not totally convinced that they’ll win this. Both teams have their off days and I don’t think that on the day, there’ll be too much to separate the two, a draw seems the likeliest result.”
AFC Wimbledon 2-2 Barrow