Phil Yelland takes a look at Cambridge United’s previous trips to Barrow ahead of this weekend’s meeting at The Progression Solicitors Stadium.
Saturday sees the eighth meeting between the clubs in Barrow and it’s fair to say that now would be a good time for us to improve our record of just one win in the previous seven against The U’s.
That win took place back in the first meeting between the teams here in November 1970. United had been elected to Division Four that summer in place of Bradford Park Avenue. We were having a dreadful season – we had won our first game of the season at the start of November and had yet to record a home win. On this occasion, we broke our duck thanks to two goals from Scottish striker Jim Irvine, who had been signed from Heart of Midlothian in the summer.
The following season, exactly a year on from the previous meeting, we snatched a point in a 1-1 draw thanks to a goal from John Rowlands, but the attendance for that game was just 1,031 – our lowest in the Football League, as far as I am aware. We failed to gain re-election at the end of that season.
The clubs didn’t meet again until the 2008/09 season in Blue Square Premier and, over the following five seasons, United won on every visit to Holker Street.
Our last meeting here was in September 2012 when we lost 4-1. There were mitigating circumstances, as goalkeeper Danny Hurst was injured and, with no back-up keeper on the bench, defender Matt Flynn kept goal for the rest of the game. To compound our problems, James Owen was sent-off. Our goal that day - the only goal he scored for us in two seasons - came from current Carlisle United Assistant Manager, Gavin Skelton.
Hopefully we can improve things on Saturday with our second win.