Phil Yelland dips into the archives to find out how Rochdale have fared during previous visits to Barrow ahead of Saturday's League Two encounter.
Saturday will see the 54th meeting between Barrow and Rochdale here at The Dunes Hotel Stadium in a variety of different competitions over the years.
This will be Dale’s first league visit to Barrow since the 1969/70 season when we were relegated from Division Three. The game took place just before Christmas in 1969 when we won 2-0 thanks to two goals from new signing Bob Ledger who had joined from Mansfield Town. The win was special in that it ended a run of 17 league games without a win stretching back to the end of August when we had recorded a 3-1 home triumph over Fulham. However, by that time we were relegation favourites and at the end of the season, despite the return of Don McEvoy as Manager to replace Norman Bodell, we dropped into Division Four.
Just five seasons ago, Rochdale visited us twice in cup competitions. In January 2017 Keith Hill brought Rochdale (then in League One) to Holker Street for an FA Cup Third Round tie. Football Focus was presented by Dan Walker from the Cross Bar and, before the game, the Main Stand was re-named the Brian Arrowsmith Stand in recognition of the service he had given to the Club. Sadly, the performance on the afternoon was disappointing as the visitors won 2-0.
That game saw a capacity crowd inside the ground. There were rather fewer in the ground seven weeks or so later when Rochdale returned and won a Lancashire Senior Cup tie 3-1 with the Barrow goal coming from Jack Thomas, who was on loan from Mansfield Town.
The first league meeting between the teams in Barrow took place in the Lancashire Combination Division Two in November 1908 at Little Park, Roose when the visitors won 1-0. Our first home win over Rochdale took place almost exactly three years later when a goal by Harold ‘Daisy’ Bell gave us a 1-0 victory in the FA Cup Fourth Qualifying Round at Holker Street. We lost in a home replay in the next round to Watford.
Our biggest home win over Rochdale came in Division Three North on Boxing Day 1935. 24 hours earlier, we had drawn 1-1 at Spotland and now we won 6-2 in a game in which there was a hat-trick for Harry Rowbotham, two goals for Tommy Reid and one for Arthur Baker.
Rochdale’s highest score at Holker Street has seen them score three goals three times – each time they have won 3-1 – apart from the Lancashire Senior Cup tie mentioned earlier they managed the feat in Division Three North in seasons 1925/26 and 1927/28.
Barrow have defeated Rochdale 29 times at Holker Street and that includes a run of 10 successive home wins in Division Three North and Division Four between the 1950/51 season and the 1960-61 season. Barrow scored 28 goals during that run and conceded just nine.
So, going into Saturday there have been 9 draws and 15 defeats in addition to Barrow’s 29 successes. Here’s hoping for win number 30 on Saturday.