We continue our review of the past campaign, and this instalment sees us move into December and study how The Bluebirds fared during the festive period.
December began with all eyes on the FA Cup as Barrow made the trip to face Ipswich Town in the Second Round of the famous competition at Portman Road. Few gave The Bluebirds a chance of progression, but they were roared on by a noisy travelling contingent of over 200 fans and came away from East Anglia with a creditable goalless draw.
A proposed midweek meeting with Salford City was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch so attentions turned to a meeting with Swindon Town on home soil the following weekend. Barrow produced one of their best showings of the season to simply brush aside The Robins at The Dunes Hotel Stadium. Penalties from Ollie Banks and Josh Gordon did the damage, but The Bluebirds were good value for the three points.
Remarkably, the FA Cup draw at Ipswich was the only Second Round tie which went to a replay, so Mark Cooper’s men found themselves once again selected for television coverage and were live on the box for a third time in the campaign. And they entertained the nation with a brilliant first half display which blew the League One visitors away, Jordan Stevens and Robbie Gotts both scoring to give The Bluebirds a 2-0 lead. Ipswich never recovered and Barrow celebrated one of the best results in their history to progress to Round Three.
There was further postponement frustration for The Bluebirds as their final game before Christmas – a trip to Northampton Town – was called off following a spate of COVID-19 cases within the home side’s squad.
That meant all eyes moved to a Boxing Day assignment at Tranmere Rovers where a patched-up Barrow line-up was beaten 2-0 by the in-form Birkenhead outfit. The final game of the month was also frustrating for Mark Cooper’s side as they were held to a goalless draw at home to Oldham Athletic.
Moment of the Month
Victory over Ipswich Town in front of the ITV cameras was a real highlight of not just the month but the entire 2021/22 campaign. The visitors rarely looked in the game as The Bluebirds produced a powerful display which provoked a wonderful atmosphere as they went on to enjoy a thoroughly deserved 2-0 triumph.