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We've Met Before: Cheltenham Town

17 December 2020

Phil Yelland dips in to the history books to take a look at Cheltenham Town's previous visits to Barrow ahead of this weekend's encounter.

The Robins visit us for the first time in nearly five years on Saturday, but you have to go back to February 1980 for the clubs’ first meeting which was in the FA Trophy.

On that occasion, Town were in the Southern League and we were in the newly formed Alliance Premier League and we eased to a 2-0 victory thanks to goals form Colin Cowperthwaite and Mickey Worswick.

The first league meeting here took place in the Gola League in September 1985 as we were struggling to get any sort of result. That afternoon we drew 2-2; Colin Cowperthwaite was again on the mark and our other goals came from former England, Liverpool, Ipswich Town and Everton striker David Johnson who, a few short weeks later, became caretaker manager. We were relegated at the end of that season.

Our next meeting came in the 1988/89 campaign in the FA Trophy once again, and it threw up a situation that would not happen nowadays with penalty shootouts. The first game at Whaddon Road ended 0-0, the replay here after extra time was also goalless and we then won the toss to host the second replay when that man Cowperthwaite again got the winner for us.

The following season we met again in the league, towards the end of the season. as we were looking to secure our place in the Conference whilst looking ahead to Wembley. Yet again it was Colin Cowperthwaite who got our goals in a 2-1 win. That took his tally to five goals in five games here at Holker Street against The Robins.

Sadly, that game was our last win against them here.

The next two meetings on home soil ended in draws before we were relegated and, when we met here in March 1999, we were battling against relegation whilst The Robins were going for the title. We took a point in a 1-1 draw, with another local striker finding the net – Brian Dawson.

Our last meeting here was in February 2016. Town had been relegated form the Football League the previous season and were on their way to making an immediate return. We were trying to climb the table under Paul Cox. We lost 2-1, with our goal from Simon Grand looking to have earned us a point before The Robins netted a late winner. That was their first win here.

So, nine meetings have yielded three Barrow wins; five draws and one defeat. Let’s hope we get an early Christmas gift with win number four this weekend.

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