We continue our review of the last campaign as we move into November, a month in which saw The Bluebirds prosper in the cups but continue to stutter in the league.
November kicked-off with a televised date against Banbury United as the ITV cameras descended on The Banbury Plant Hire Community Stadium hoping for an FA Cup First Round upset.
Mark Cooper’s men had been paired with the Southern League Premier Division table-toppers in the Round One draw and it was an obvious selection for live coverage – though The Bluebirds did not stick to the script.
An early goal from Josh Gordon settled any nerves, while Barrow upped the ante after the break and further strikes from Offrande Zanzala, Ollie Banks and Jordan Stevens secured safe passage to the next round of the competition.
There then followed midweek success in the Papa John’s Trophy as Stevens again got his name on the scoresheet – this time in spectacular fashion as his long-range strike lit up a largely dull encounter with Leicester City’s youngsters at The Dunes Hotel Stadium.
When The Bluebirds returned to the EFL in 2020/21, it was one of the frustrations of the pandemic that crowds were unable to attend the Cumbrian derbies against Carlisle United. Of course, that changed last term and an incredible 1,600 Barrow fans made the trip to Brunton Park the following Saturday. Sadly, the game didn’t quite live up the hype and it finished goalless – though Barrow probably had the better of the chances during a largely scrappy affair.
Crawley Town had lost six in a row in all competitions prior to their visit to The Dunes Hotel Stadium. However, the visitors produced a resilient display to collect all three points with a 1-0 win at Barrow’s expense.
It was the first of three successive defeats for The Bluebirds as they were also beaten 2-0 away at Forest Green Rovers in midweek before falling to a 1-0 loss at Sutton United four days later.
Off the pitch, Barrow striker Luke James raised over £2,000 for men’s health causes by taking part in Movember – though it has to be said that his moustache was not the strongest effort we’ve seen!
Moment of the Month
Jordan Stevens’ superb goal in the Papa John’s Trophy meeting with Leicester City was a memorable moment in that it not only illuminated a poor game but also prevent the world’s most pointless penalty shootout. Both teams were already knocked out of the competition before kick-off so to have gone to penalties to decide an extra point would have been an excruciating watch!