Salford City end 2018 with a trip up to Barrow’s Furness Building Society Stadium, hoping to end a run of three consecutive defeats.
A blip in form this month has seen The Ammies drop to third with Wrexham taking second spot after their Boxing Day win, but the busy end of year schedule means that Salford have a chance to correct that nearly immediately.
Standing in the way are Barrow though who are enjoying a good run of form.
The Bluebirds are comfortably sitting in mid-table after a tumultuous season in 2017-18 which saw them finish in 20th. They have also had a change of ownership in late October to a consortium made up of local businessmen, and whose ambition is to make the club more self-sustainable.
Ian Evatt took charge in the summer in his first permanent managerial job, having had a brief spell in charge of Chesterfield last season. They made a mixed start to the season and have struggled for consistency until November, and they are currently on their best run of form this season with four wins and two draws in their last six league games.
Barrow are out of both the FA Cup and FA Trophy though having lost at Chorley and against FC Halifax Town in each respectively.
A key part to their current run of form is a solidity at the back, with AFC Fylde’s opening goal on Boxing Day the first league goal conceded since a 3-0 defeat against Eastleigh on November 17th. Prior to this run of six games unbeaten Barrow endured their worst run of five league defeats in a row.
Tyler Smith’s goals had been a significant help in Barrow’s improved run of form, but he was recalled from his loan by Sheffield United in mid-December after 11 goals in 24 appearances.
One to Watch – Jack Hindle
The midfielder signed in May from Colwyn Bay, having come to prominence in four years at Radcliffe Borough. With nine goals in 26 appearances he is now Barrow’s top scorer, and came off the bench to equalise against AFC Fylde on Boxing Day.
Back in August we continued our then-unbeaten home record with a 3-1 win against The Bluebirds. Jason Taylor gave Barrow the lead before Adam Rooney equalised in the first half. Nathan Pond and Danny Lloyd then scored in five second half minutes around the hour mark to give The Ammies the three points at The Peninsula Stadium.