Phil Yelland takes a look at how Colchester United have got on during previous visits to Barrow ahead of this evening's League Two encounter.
It's just under a year since Colchester United visited us – and they took a first half lead before a spectacular equaliser from Mike Jones, which was his first goal for the Club.
United are one of those sides who we did not meet until after the creation of Division Four and their first ever trip to Holker Street came in March 1962.
We were enjoying a decent season but The U’s were going for promotion something that they achieved at the end of the season. Their visit to Furness ended in defeat in front of 3,672 fans. The 4-0 loss was a surprise, with goals coming from four separate scorers – Stan Howard, Jackie Maddison Johnny Kemp and Jackie Robertson - in a game which saw a Football League debut on the right side of defence for Brian Arrowsmith.
The clubs did not meet again until the 1965/66 season when, following relegation, United were to win promotion back to the Third Division at the first attempt. However, their trip to Holker Street early in the season ended in a 3-0 defeat. Barrow were in the process of building the team to win promotion the following season and the goals came from two players who took part in that triumph – Alex Alston and Jim Mulholland - whilst the third scorer Bobbie Tait moved to Chesterfield in the summer of 1966. 5,378 fans watched a 3-0 win.
By the time Colchester travelled to Furness again, both teams were in Division Three. Barrow’s early home form had been poor, but they followed up their 4-0 triumph over Northampton Town at the start of November 1967 with a 5-0 trouncing of United. Dave Storf struck a hat-trick – one of two he scored during his time with the Club - with Jim Mulvaney and a Terry Price own goal completing the story in front of 5,685 fans. The U’s were relegated at the end of the season.
The clubs next met in Division Four over Barrow’s final two seasons in that spell in the Football League. Colchester picked up their only win to date on August Bank Holiday in 1970 when they won 2-0 in front of 2,422. This was the fourth game in a run of 17 before the first league win of the season.
The following season, the visit by The U’s in early November 1971 was an entertaining affair. Barrow led twice through defender Bert Patrick and Jim Irvine, but they were pegged back twice and a 2-2 draw in front of just 1,890 fans was about right.
Following our jousts in the Football League we met twice in the Vauxhall Conference after Colchester’s relegation.
They came to Holker Street that September and played out an entertaining encounter with Ray Wilkie’s side, who were starting an unbeaten run which was to stretch to seven games. The game ended 2-2 (like the last Football League meeting), with both goals from Colin Cowperthwaite in front of 1,414 fans.
Our last meeting here came in August 1991 at the start of a season which was to see us relegated and United confirmed as Vauxhall Conference champions. It was our first home game of the season and ended 1-1 with Colin Cowperthwaite again on target in front of 1,480 fans.
So, can we make it four wins in nine games against United here on Friday night? Let’s hope so.