Phil Yelland casts his eye over Morecambe’s previous visits to Barrow ahead of Saturday’s derby at The Progression Solicitors Stadium.
Saturday’s meeting with The Shrimps will see the first competitive game between the clubs here at The Progression Solicitors Stadium since September 1998. That last meeting was the only fixture between the clubs here in the top-flight of non-league football - then the Nationwide Conference.
That game followed a 3-2 defeat at Christie Park three weeks earlier and, on that occasion, we gained revenge with a 2-1 win thanks to goals in quick succession in the second half from Neil Morton and Andy Mutch. Prior to that, we had lost three successive home games to Morecambe in the UniBond/Northern Premier League Premier Division.
Our first competitive meeting here during our non-league era came in September 1972 as we looked to climb the table. We had recorded our first home win of the season against Lancaster City three days earlier but ended up on the wrong side of a 1-0 defeat to The Shrimps.
The first ever meeting between the two senior teams in a league game here took place in the Lancashire Combination during our 1920/21 championship winning season when we won 4-0.
After the defeat in September 1972, we played eleven games here in all competitions against The Shrimps without losing, winning seven times and drawing four. That sequence came to an end when we lost the Lancashire Junior Cup quarter-final to Morecambe here in February 1986 – the tie finished 4-0 and the Morecambe side that night included a number of former Barrow players.
It was another cup tie that brought us our biggest ever win over The Shrimps at Holker Street, in an October 1988 FA Cup Third Qualifying Round replay. The teams had played out a dire 0-0 draw at Christie Park on the Saturday but we turned on the style to win 5-1 with five different scorers. Colin Cowperthwaite, Neil Doherty, Bob Hulse, Kenny Lowe and Kevin Proctor all hit the net during a satisfying victory. That win set The Bluebirds on their way to a game in the First Round Proper against Rotherham United at Millmoor.
Overall, 23 games in league and cup competitions between the clubs here have seen 11 wins for Barrow, six for Morecambe and six draws.
Let’s hope we can make it win number 12 this weekend.