Club Historian Phil Yelland takes a look at how Barrow have fared against Fleetwood Town along the years, ahead of Tuesday evening’s Papa John’s Trophy clash at Highbury Stadium.
Fleetwood were one of the first sides we met in the Northern Premier League when we lost our Football League place in 1972.
However, the current club was founded in 1997, and down the years we have met them in the Lancashire Junior Cup/Marsden Trophy/United Co-operative Trophy, FA Cup and in what is now the National League.
Our first meeting against them came in the Lancashire Junior Cup, then known as the Marsden Trophy, at Holker Street in January 2005. We lost 3-2 and our goals came from Graham Anthony. Two years later at the same stage of the competition at Highbury Avenue, we also lost 3-2 , with our goals both being scored by Colin Potts.
It was October 2007 when we next met – this time in the FA Cup Third Qualifying Round at Holker Street. We sneaked home 2-1 in a tousy tie, thanks to goals from Matt Henney and Chris Thompson - with Darren Sheridan collecting a red card. Almost exactly 12 months later, we were again victorious at Holker Street in a Setanta Shield tie. Barrow won 3-2, thanks to a Jason Walker hat-trick that included two penalties.
After The Cod Army won promotion to the National League, we played them four times before they moved up to League Two. In the 2010/11 campaign we lost 2-0 at home with Barrow-born Wayne Curtis on the scoresheet. In April 2011 we lost the return game 1-0 over the Easter weekend.
The following season, we entertained Fleetwood in August and turned in perhaps the performance of the season when we won 4-0. There was a hat-trick for Andy Cook, with the other coming from an own goal scored by former Bluebird Paul Edwards.
As a direct response to that hammering, Fleetwood went out and bought Jamie Vardy from FC Halifax Town… and the rest, as they say, is history.
The return game in January 2012 saw Town gain revenge with a 4-1 win – with Vardy himself netting a brace. There were two debutants in the Barrow side that night on loan from Burnley – Alex-Ray Harvey, who went on to play over 200 games for the Club, and striker Joe Jackson, who netted our consolation goal.