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On The Road: Barnsley

7 January 2022

Phil Yelland takes us on a journey down Memory Lane as he looks up how The Bluebirds have fared on previous visits to Oakwell ahead of this week's FA Cup trip.

Saturday’s FA Cup Third Round tie with Barnsley at Oakwell will be the 11th time the teams have met in competitive action. Previous meetings have come in Division Three, Division Three North, Division Four and in the FA Cup.

Our last trip to South Yorkshire ground was in the FA Cup in December 1969 when both clubs were in Division Three. We had not won in the league since the end of August and had scraped through the FA Cup First Round at the fourth attempt against Alfreton Town of the Midland League. Barnsley had defeated Darlington of Division Four in Round One and they triumphed 3-0 on this occasion. They lost in Round Three to another Division Three side – Mansfield Town – 3-2 at Field Mill.

Our last league trip to Oakwell had been exactly two months earlier when we went down to our seventh defeat in succession with Mick Hartland scoring a consolation goal in a 2-1 defeat. That was only our second goal in those seven games.

It had been so different in August 1968 when we won on the opening day of the season 3-2 at Oakwell with goals from debutant striker George Mclean, Mick Hartland and Jim Mulholland. Our only previous win at Oakwell had come in our previous trip two seasons earlier as we won promotion from Division Four. That was another 3-1 triumph in August 1966 with goals from Mulholland (2) and Brian Pilkington.

Before that, we had suffered six successive defeats in South Yorkshire. It began in Division Three North in April 1933 with a 3-0 loss, and we scored our first goal at the ground through Jimmy Shankly a year later in a 3-1 reverse as The Tykes claimed the title. Our third trip, in September 1938, saw us lose 4-0 as again Barnsley won the league.

We didn’t visit Oakwell again until April 1954 when Barnsley were back in Division Three North and ended as runners-up to Port Vale by some distance. Our last away game of the season in April 1954 saw us run them close, losing 3-2 with goals from Alan Layton and Joe Armstrong. The following year Barnsley won the title again and we lost 3-0 at Oakwell in September 1954.

The final defeat came at Oakwell in the 1965/66 season when we travelled there in September and lost 3-0.

So, Saturday gives us a opportunity to reach the FA Cup Fourth Round for the first time and the chance to win at Oakwell for the first time in just over 53 years. Fingers crossed!

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