Phil Yelland looks through the history books to examine our previous visits to The Abbey Stadium ahead of this weekend's trip.
Saturday sees us making our eighth visit to The Abbey Stadium to play Cambridge United. It has not been a particularly happy hunting ground for us in the past but some of the meetings have been eventful.
Our first visit was in January 1971. This was United’s first season in the Football League and at the end of November we had defeated them to claim our first home win of the campaign in front of just 1,031 fans. At their place we took a welcome point in a 3-3 draw, which included an unusual hat-trick. Eddie Garbett claimed the treble - but he scored twice for us and once for The U’s! Jim Irvine who had netted twice in the home win, and he scored our other goal that day too.
The following season, in April 1972, we headed to United with just two weeks of the season left. We were looking for points to avoid a re-election application and regular goalkeeper Harry Thomson had failed a fitness test. With back-up keeper Joe Dean also injured and the only other goalkeeper on the Club’s books an untried teenager by the name of Peter Husband, Bobby Knox kept goal and performed well - but we lost 1-0.
We had to wait until August 2008 for our next visit, and that turned out to be memorable as we lost 2-1 – a result which ended an unbeaten run which had stretched back to the end of January when Stalybridge Celtic had won at Holker Street in Blue Square North. The sequence had taken us to promotion through the play-offs and two wins back in Blue Square Premier – a total of 22 games. Our last away defeat had come at Burscough on 5th January 2008.
Our only win at The Abbey Stadium came on the opening day of the 2009/10 season. On a glorious sunny day, we won 2-0 thanks to second half goals from Carlos Logan (a sublime free-kick) and Jason Walker from the penalty spot in injury time. One of the debutants that day was defender Sean Newton, who was sent off before Barrow scored. He has gone on to be a fixture with two of his subsequent clubs, Wrexham and now York City.
Our most recent visit to The Abbey was in April 2013 when we lost 2-1 despite a penalty from Richie Baker. That defeat condemned us to relegation from the National League after five seasons at that level.
So, it’s one win, one draw and five defeats so far at Cambridge. ime to improve that record.