By Gerry Prewett.
Looking back at previous meetings between the Gas and the Cumbrians there are just three League meetings and a fairly recent FA Cup tie at Barrow. The first game took place on 2 October 1967 in a Third Division game and newly promoted Barrow won the Monday night fixture, 1-0 at Holker Street in front of a 6,380 crowd. Dave Storf scored for home team’s goal.
In the Barrow lineup was an FA Cup Final captain, Colin Appleton, who had lead Leicester City when they went down 3-1 to Manchester United in the 1963 Final. Appleton also managed the team for two years. Also featuring was ex-Newcatle United star Ron McGarry who scored 41 goals for the Magpies in 121 appearances.
The following season, on 21 April 1969 Tony Morrin (2) and George McLean scored to give the home team a 3-0 in Cumbria the largest margin between the teams. McLean, a former Rangers striker was very experienced at this level, having plied his trade at Grimsby, Exeter and Workington before his single season at Barrow.
In 1969-70 season on 29 November 1969 Rovers gained a 1-1 draw at Holker Street with goals by substitute Jim Mulvaney for the home team and Bobby Jones for Rovers.
Rovers last visit to Barrow was on 11 November 2006 for an FA Cup tie. Richard Walker put Rovers ahead on 35 minutes, lofting the ball over Barrow keeper Jaime Speare and sent Rovers in at half-time with the lead. Craig Disley extended the lead from close range just after the hour mark.
Byron Anthony looked to have made the game safe when he headed in Sammy Igoe's corner just five minutes later. A Tom Pope header only two minutes after Anthony’s goal and a scrambled effort from Nick Rogan on 77 minutes left for an uncomfortable finish for Rovers.
However it was Rovers Sean Rigg who was most uncomfortable. Just before Walker’s goal Barrow defender James Cotterill punched Rigg from behind in an off-the –ball incident. In the Barrow team that day was Andy Bond, who went on to play 5 games for Rovers between 14 September and 12 October 2013, during which Rovers drew 3 and lost 2 games.