Phil Yelland takes a closer look at our previous record when it comes to games at Carlisle United.
When the fixtures for this season were published, this was a game which every Barrow fan was looking forward to. It is over 50 years since we last played United in a competitive game and, whilst many may have seen pre-season encounters with them, I doubt many will recall our last meetings or our last win at Brunton Park.
This will be our 34th trip to the north of the county.
Our first came in Division One of the Lancashire Combination in the 1907/08 season – United had been promoted the previous season and we drew 1-1 with them at Little Park on the opening day. Our trip to Carlisle on the final day of the season took us to Devonshire Road and we lost 4-0, to complete a dismal season which saw us relegated.
United moved to Brunton Park in 1909 and our first trip there was during the 1919/20 season when we lost 2-0 in an FA Cup Fourth Qualifying Round replay, having drawn 0-0 at Holker Street.
United did not join Division Thee North until the 1928/29 season and the following campaign saw us finish bottom of the table and suffer our biggest ever defeat at Brunton Park – 7-1, with Billy Millar, later to win two caps for Northern Ireland whilst playing for us, scoring our consolation goal.
Just over six months later at the start of the 1930/31 season we headed north and recorded our first win at Carlisle, thanks to a goal by Jimmy Reid.
After World War Two, there were some titanic clashes between the teams in Division Three North and the FA Cup.
The 1947/48 season was our best against United. We did the double over them in the league, winning 2-1 at Brunton Park thanks to two goals form Eddie Miller and then winning the return game at Holker Street 2-0, with Jim Kendall and Bill Rogers finding the net. In the FA Cup First Round we won 3-2 at Brunton Park in front of 14,801 fans, with two goals form Alf Burnett and one form James Mullen. We won at Runcorn in the Second Round of the competition before losing 5-0 to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in Round Three.
The biggest crowd to watch a game between the sides came in the 1950/51 season at Brunton Park, again in the FA Cup First Round. We lost 2-1, with George King netting our consolation goal in front of 17,002 fans – close to the current Brunton Park capacity.
Our last win at Carlisle came almost 61 years ago – on 21st November 1959 in Division Four, when Johnny Kemp scored the only goal of the game. We completed the double that season with a 5-1 win at Holker Street in March, with two Ben Clark penalties and goals from Tommy Bannan, Bill Murdoch and Jackie Robertson.
Our last trip to Brunton Park came on 17th April 1964. We were destined to finish bottom of Division Four, whilst United were set to finish runners-up in the division to Gillingham. We lost 4-1, with Tommy Thompson scoring our consolation goal.
So, we head to Brunton Park with seven wins, 9 draws and 17 defeats in our competitive meetings - let’s hope we can make it eight wins this weekend.