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Club News

The Conference Years: Barrow

15 May 2014

Remembering where we once were.

Having already featured the times we met ALTINCHAM and BARNET, we now take a look at another side Rovers played during their five year spell in the Football Conference.

Rovers’ first ever away point in the Conference came when they drew 2-2 with The Bluebirds at Holker Street on a Tuesday evening in August 1998.

The two sides hadn’t faced each other since a fourth division meeting in January 1972. In fact, all games previously had been in the league – stretching back to 1923.

Colin Sutherland’s own goal put the hosts in front in Cumbria, watched by a crowd of just over 2000. Ian Snodin’s side restored parity however, through Tunisian striker Dino Maamria – who went on to be a crowd favourite with the Rovers fans.

Shaun Goodwin’s penalty eight minutes from time – his second in two games – looked to have secured all three points for the South Yorkshire side, but they had to settle for a point to take home when Marc Coates levelled five minutes later.

The return fixture, at Belle Vue on a November Tuesday night, saw Rovers overcome the Cumbrians; Glenn Kirkwood (7) and Maamria (73) had put Rovers in to a two goal lead, before Coates (80) pulled back a consolation goal.

It was to prove a poor season for Barrow, whose 19th placed finish, was compounded when the Conference demoted them two divisions for entering administration.

Promotion to the Conference North (2003) was followed just five years later by returning to the Conference.

Their defining moment possibly came when they reached the third round of the 09/10 FA Cup and took over 7,000 fans to the Riverside Stadium for their tie against Middlesbrough.

The 12/13 season saw Barrow relegated along with Stockport County and both now reside in mid-table in the Conference North.

*Dave Penney's driven free kick rebounds off the defensive wall during Rovers' 2-1 win over Barrow at Belle Vue - 17th November 1998.


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