We continue our look back on the past campaign with a focus on October, a month which began in positive fashion but developed into a bit of a struggle.
The Bluebirds followed up an impressive home win over Newport County with an eye-catching away win at Mansfield Town on the second day of October. Ollie Banks rammed home the only goal from the penalty spot as The Stags finished the game with ten men following Farrend Rawson’s late red card for hauling down Josh Gordon as he ran through on goal.
However, the three points brought home from One Call Stadium provided no hint at the struggles to come for Barrow as they went on to take just three points from the remaining five games in the month of October.
David Dunn returned to the Club in midweek as Assistant Manger of Fleetwood Town, managed by Simon Grayson – the father of Barrow’s summer signing, Joe. There was no room for family sentiment though and the League One side ran out 3-1 winners in the Papa John’s Trophy group game.
On the Saturday another home game provided a 1-1 draw with Leyton Orient at The Dunes Hotel Stadium. Robbie Gotts gave The Bluebirds the lead with his first goal for the Club, but Omar Beckles grabbed a leveller, and the points were shared.
The trip to Port Vale the following weekend looked a daunting one, but Barrow dug their heels in and made things difficult for Darrell Clarke’s men. Indeed, The Bluebirds went in 1-0 up at half time when Ollie Banks’ free kick proved too hot to handle for Vale keeper Lucas Covolan. However, the hosts came out revved up at the start of the second half and were 2-1 up within 11 minutes before adding a third goal near the end to secure victory.
Robbie Gotts came to the rescue when Barrow returned to home soil in midweek. The midfield ace, who had been outstanding since his move from Leeds United, scored with ten minutes left to snatch a point from the contest against Scunthorpe United.
There was late drama at Walsall the following weekend when Barrow again came from behind to grab a draw – with former Saddlers man Josh Gordon at the centre of the excitement. George Miller scored twice either side of George Williams’ well taken equaliser for The Bluebirds and Walsall looked all set for three points until Gordon managed to force the ball home from close range in the dying seconds of injury time to set off wild celebrations in front of the 224 travelling fans.
October ended in disappointing fashion though as Barrow were beaten on home soil by Rochdale. Mark Cooper’s men looked the favourites to go on and win when Ollie Banks cancelled out Jake Beesley’s first half opener – but Beesley scored again with 18 minutes left to take the points.
Moment of the Month
Josh Gordon’s last-gasp leveller against his former club Walsall was a moment to savour – not just for the former Saddlers front man but for all Bluebirds supporters behind the goal into which he scored. It felt like a winner, and it took quite some time for the smile on Gordon’s face to fade!