We continue our review of the past season with a look back on the opening month of 2022 as The Bluebirds fought their way through a hectic January.
The New Year began on home soil for Mark Cooper’s men as Bradford City visited The Dunes Hotel Stadium on the opening day of 2022. Sadly, the encounter ended in defeat at The Bantams scored early in both halves – Josh Gordon pulled one back to Barrow, but it wasn’t enough, and City left with three points.
Attentions turned back to the FA Cup the following weekend as The Bluebirds made an exciting trip to face Barnsley in Round Three at Oakwell – and few could have expected what was about to unfold…
When The Tykes were 2-0 up at the break and had a man advantage following Tom Beadling’s sending-off, there weren’t many who gave Cooper’s side a chance in the tie. However, Ollie Banks’ incredible free kick - and ultimate Goal of the Season – restored hope, before debutant Anthony Glennon fired in a leveller on 78 minutes. What followed was simply astonishing.
Devante Cole made it 3-2 to Barnsley on 83 minutes but James Jones levelled three minutes later. The Tykes went back in front on 88 only for Josh Kay to drive home a simply unbelievable equaliser to take the tie in to extra time. Carlton Morris’ second goal for Barnsley finally settled the game but the 5-4 thriller made headlines across the country.
A commanding performance saw The Bluebirds return to league action with a win at Colchester United seven days later. An own goal and a late clincher from Josh Kay were enough to secure three points at The JobServe Community Stadium.
However, Barrow failed to follow up that away success with two games back on home soil as first Mansfield Town and then Salford City helped themselves to victories at The Dunes Hotel Stadium.
During the week, Mark Cooper moved back into the loan market to bring front man Aaron Amadi-Holloway to the Club from Burton Albion, and he made his debut at Newport County. However, an awful start to the game saw The Bluebirds 2-0 down in a flash at Rodney Parade. They did recover a foothold in the game, pulled a goal back just after the hour and probably should have taken at least a point but The Exiles held on for the win.
There was big news on the transfer front before the month was out as promotion hero John Rooney sealed a return to the Club after The Bluebirds completed a deal with Stockport County. Cooper also made a move to bring Bradford City skipper Niall Canavan to The Dunes Hotel Stadium, while Jamie Devitt was freed to join Carlisle United.
Moment of the Month
With Barnsley 2-0 up and boasting a man advantage, The Bluebirds’ FA Cup tie at Oakwell looked done and dusted – until the most remarkable of second halves. There were so many twists and turns that the near-1,300 Barrow fans who were there are unlikely to forget it any time soon. It was unfortunate that it ended in defeat – and it could have been different – but the Bluebirds did themselves proud on an international stage that afternoon.