We’ve had to wait to see Barrow at The innocent New Lawn after the fixture was postponed earlier in the season due to a frozen pitch. Here’s a run-down of the Bluebirds.
Barrow have been through a few changes this season. After 22 games in charge (including only 2 victories) David Dunn was sacked as manager in December 2020. Michael Jolley was appointed Barrow’s new manager 2 days before Christmas and Jolley has been active in the January transfer window with 5 new faces coming in to the club.
With 2 wins and a draw in his first 4 games in charge things started well as Jolley moved Barrow to the relative safety of 20th place in League 2. But a run of 4 defeats then led to the club sacking Jolley on 21st February. Barrow’s Chairman cited differences about the side’s playing style for the dismissal. Assistant coach Rob Kelly is now in his 2nd spell as interim manager at the club. Barrow are on a run of 3 losses (against Tranmere, Port Vale and Leyton Orient) and are sitting in 22nd place in the table with 46 points. It seems unlikely that either Southend or Grimsby below them will be able to make up the 5 and 6 point difference to overhaul the Cumbrians, especially as Southend only have 2 games left to play. But, stranger things have happened and, mathematically, Barrow could still find themselves making a quick return to the National League.
With 49 goals scored so far this campaign, Barrow are no slouches coming forward . But 56 goals conceded has been Barrow’s weakness. Scott Quigley is Barrow’s leading marksman with 12 league goals goals. Patrick Brough, Dior Angus, and Josh Kay have 6, 4 & 5 goals respectively.
Scott Quigley is Barrow’s top marksman.
Barrow are not great travellers with 5 away victories, 2 draws and 14 losses so far this season. It has been Barrow’s home form that has kept them in the hunt to stay in League 2. The reverse fixture in November ended in a 2-2 draw. Elliot Whitehouse’s 52nd minute goal gave Rovers the lead before goals from Luke James and a penalty by Dior Angus left Rovers needing to rely on a 96th minute Nicky Cadden equaliser to salvage a draw.
Barrow’s crest tells a story – a submarine represents it’s shipbuilding heritage, particularly the building of subs. The red rose represents its historic association with Lancashire (though it has been Cumbria’s 2nd biggest town for a while). There is a bee that looks as though it’s impaled on an arrow (B-arrow). The club was formed in 1901 as the crest tells us and finally, of course, there’s a football. The club might be thinking of adding a wind turbine to the crest sometime soon as Barrow is a hub for energy generation and handling. Offshore wind farms form one of the highest concentrations of turbines in the world, including world’s 2nd largest offshore wind farm, Walney.
As a football club Barrow spent about 50 years in the football league between 1921 and 1972 without any notable success. Almost the next 50 years were spent in non-league football with the club moving between the 5th and 6th tiers on a regular basis. In 2019 Barrow’s odds on winning the National League were 50/1. Defying these odds, the Bluebirds surprised everybody by leading the league until the season was curtailed by the pandemic and Barrow were awarded automatic promotion into the football league.
Barrow’s list of managers doesn’t include many familiar names. But Rovers fans will remember Ady Pennock and Jamie Day. Pennock managed Barrow with Day from October 2017 until May 2018. Pennock is now with Singapore League side Brunei DPMM FC and led them to their 2nd Singapore Premier League title in his first season in charge.