Our prediction for this League 2 match:
Southend United will be aiming to keep their survival hopes alive when they take on Barrow at Roots Hall on Matchday 23. The Seasiders are stuck at the bottom of the table, but they have been showing signs of improvement of late. Southend United defeated the likes of Colchester, Grimsby, and Scunthorpe in the previous three home games in the League Two, which is surely giving fans a reason for optimism ahead of the visit of Barrow.
The newcomers have been producing fine displays in recent festive fixtures, with the team beating both Cheltenham Town and Port Vale, while sharing the spoils with Tranmere Rovers. Southend want this win more than Barrow, and that is the main reason why we are tempted to put our money on the rock-bottom side. The two sides have never met before in the English fourth tier. Midfielder Harrison Biggins is banned for the visitors.
Highlighted Player (Mark Oxley):
Born in Sheffield, England, on the 2nd of June, 1990, Oxley's football journey started as a Rotherham youth product. The English International signed his first professional contract with the Millers in 2007 but failed to make a single appearance for the club during that season.
The following season, he signed for Hull City, who, in turn, sent him out on successive loans to clubs like Walsall, Grimbsy Town, Oldham Athletic, and Hibernian. The 6ft 3-inch goalkeeper's professional debut meanwhile, came on the 27th of February, 2010, playing for Grimbsy in a 2-0 away loss to Dagenham in League Two. Oxley's performance during his six-month loan period with Hibernian earned him a permanent deal. He signed a two-year contract starting with the club in July 2015. In his time at the Scottish outfit, he made 90 appearances and kept 35 clean sheets. Oxley then joined his current club Southend in July 2016 on an initial two-year deal.
He had a fantastic first season, winning both fans' player of the year and players' player of the year awards. As of August 2018, Oxley has signed a contract extension and also got given the captain's armband. On the International forefront, the 29-year-old is a former youth International having capped once for England at the under-18 level.
Highlighted Team (Barrow):
Founded back in 1901, Barrow is an English club that competes in the League two, the fourth tier of the English football system. The Bluebirds are well known for their blue shirts with white details, but yellow is the dominant colour of their away jersey. Barrow play home games at Holker Street, the stadium which can hold up to 5,045 spectators.
The venue was opened in 1909, and it has to be noted that no fewer than 16,874 people attended the FA Cup match between Barrow and Swansea in January, 1954. The Bluebirds have won two FA Trophies (1989/90, 2009/10), with the team lifting the Lancashire Senior Cup trophy in the 1954/55.
The likes of James Bell, Jim Collins, Andy McLaren, Jimmy Mulholland, Jackie Robertson, Barry Diamond, and George King are the most notable footballers who played for Barrow in the past. It has to be noted that the Bluebirds have never competed in the English top flight.