Tag Archives: Barrow AFC

Barrow Live

*** Nb – Unlike the corresponding BBC version of this page, updates with neither appear automatically, nor will the page refresh automatically every two minutes. You’ll have to press F5 yourself. Sorry… ***

16.58    Strangley after a poor result, I’m not as disappointed as I thought I would be. Probably thanks to the fact we are still top of the league, Crawley failed to make us pay being held 1-1 at Darlington. Luton won at Altricham as expected, closing the gap on the top two to vitrually nothing, but I can’t help but think we got away with it a little today. Yes, Crawley still have their game in hand, for what its worth at this stage of the season.

Anyway, its been an interesting experiment with the live blog this afternoon. Thanks for joining me, perhaps I’ll try it again some day, but I really need to start getting back to actually attending away games again…

16.53    FINAL WHISTLE – BARROW 2 AFC WIMBLEDON 0

16.51    We’re playing out four added minutes now. WDON is back…

16.48    WDON went down, It took me about a minute to notice…

16.45    Another unwanted stat. The Dons have so far failed to pick up a point whenever The Anonymous Don has attempted a live blog…

16.43    It sounds very much like events are winding down at Barrow, the Dons are heading for defeat, and I’m starting to think of my closing statements.

16.40    I daren’t mention it for fear of tempting fate, but there has been no change to the scoreline up at Darlington. The Dons still top the league as it stands…

16.36    A miserable afternoon for the Dons seems to have been capped off by a second Barrow goal against the run of play. Like this weekend last year the Dons are 0-2 down at Barrow, surely no way back this time…

16.34    Barrow clear one off the line. Always annoying when that happens when you listen via WDON, as you can tell it didn’t go in by Mikey T’s voice. Right now, despite the scoreline, I’m regretting not making arrangements to be there myself. Mind you it is raining. I’ll take any crumb of comfort I can get right now. Come on Dons.

16.29    Second substitution for the Dons, Wellard makes way for Minshull

16.25    First Dons substitution, Jackson makes way for Luke Moore. I thought Moore was impressive against Ebbsfleet last week, but is he the answer to our problems at rainy Barrow? Then next twenty minutes or so will tell us…   

16.21    Almost as if to prove my point, They’ve scored again. Happy Birthday Anonymous Don. Come on you Dons! I don’t want to be staring forlornly into my pint all evening…

16.20    As if things aren’t bad enough, They’ve scored at Brentford.

16.17     I always find this period, the opening twenty minutes of the second half, is the calm before the storm. There doesn’t appear to be many goals about anywhere at the moment, but most importantly for the Dons (who sound like they are playing a lot better) there is nothing doing at Barrow.

16.13    Luton take the lead. All of a sudden things aren’t looking too good for the Dons despite a more positive start to the second half. Still, plenty of time to go…

16.11    Momentary excitement here as Nwokeji hits the side netting with an effort. Incidentally I’m glad Nokkers is getting a chance to prove his worth rather than being shipped out on loan – Eastbourne were mentioned, but apparently none of our forwards will be leaving until after the cup run is over…

16.09    Just did a little original research to find out when the last time the Dons lost on or around my birthday was – we have to go back to an Isthmian League Cup reverse at Tooting in 2006…

16.07    Sebb Brown forced to make a save. If we go 2-0 down I’m giving up and going down the pub… 

16.04    SECOND HALF KICKS OFF – The Dons are kicking towards the away end, as Ricky Wellard forces a save from Halstead with a fierce effort.

15.59    Having all sorts of technical problems at this end. I presume thats why this sort of live blog, while commonly attempted, aren’t that popular… still, at least I’m having what passes as fun when your team is a goal down, I hope the half dozen of you checking in are too!

15.52   Just realised my BBC feed hadn’t updated itself for twenty minutes… Darlington-Crawley is now 1-1…

15.48    HALF TIME – As I head off for a well-earned break, the Dons failed to build on a promising opening period and eventually succumbed to a goal late in the half. Crawley are currently losing 0-1 to ten-man Darlington, whereas Luton have failed to break down Altrincham… yet.

15.45    Danny Kedwell picks up a yellow card after what sounded like a bit of a melee…

15.42    BARROW 1 AFC WIMBLEDON 0 –  Bollocks. Looks like I spoke too soon. No sooner had I finished writing the previous entry than a muffled roar momentarily drowned Mikey T. Barrow take the lead, as all eyes turn to Darlington and Altrincham…

15.40    As half time approaches, the Dons seem to be coming under more and more pressure. I’m prepared to adopt the standard football supporters away mantra and say I’ll happily take a point right now. As I write Ryan Jackson fires over on the break…

15.38    I don’t care whether I’m at the game or not, I’m not answering the phone to my sister when the footballs on!

15.33    Just spent a few minutes correcting spelling errors below before the sound cuts out again, and I spoke too soon… my connection drops for a quarter of a second,  iStadium kicks me out and someone nips in and takes my place!!!

15.29    The first away goal of the day comes at Hayes, where visiors Grimsby take the lead. That was at least ten minutes ago though, my observational skills are’t what they were… meanwhile Mark Goodfellowcomes close for Barrow, the Dons should be 0-1 down by the sound of it… 

15.26    News filering through that Crawley are losing… Now confirmed by the BBC! Which only means we’ll all get a little excited before they inevitably come back and win it in the last minute…

15.25    My worst nightmare – the feed goes down for a few second, I have a panic attack…

15.24    After listening to both streams for a good two minutes I can’t work out which one is ahead of the other…

15.21   BBC Radio Cumbria for anyone interested – http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/console/bbc_radio_cumbria

15.17    Whenever Mikey T pauses for longer than two seconds I immediately start to panic, assuming the commentary has gone down. I wonder if there is a BBC alternative today??? Meanwhile, Sam Hatton has just picked up a rare booking…

15.15   Just been advised of an interesting stat… the Dons have not been involved in a game featuring more than ten goals when Steven Gregory has started… expect the net to start bulging shortly…

15.13    Fleetwood take the lead against Rushden and Forest Green notch at home to Mansfield…

15.09    Dons Bench – Turner, Moore L, Blackman, Minshull, Gregory – nice and attacking bench there. As I write Sebb Brown makes a save from Nick Chadwick… strange how I’m more nervous listening online as I would be if I were at the game…

15.05    The Villa- Man U game finished 2-2… really? No early goals yet anywhere in the BSP…

15.03   Sounds like a promising start… Sammy Moore hits the first Dons hot in anger…

15.01    BARROW LINEUP (For those of you interested…) – Haltead, Spender, Pearson, Bolland, Edwards, Hulbert, Rutherford, Goodfellow, Owen, Chadwick, Blundell

15.00 KICK OFF

14.56    DONS LINEUP – Brown, Hatton, Bush, Yakubu, Franks, Wellard, Yussuf, Moore S,  Jackson, Kedwell, Nwokeji

14.54   This is actually quite fun… was thinking I should do this every time I can’t make a game, and looking at the fixture list I realised this is actually my fourth consecutive away game missed… not good enough!

14.53    Just realised the BBC score service is not available via the red button thanks to rugby. So my telly will be playing out Have I Got News For You until 4.30…

14.49    More team news coming through – Steven Gregory on the bench paying the price following his recent poor form, although TB’s vow to shuffle his pack may have played a part in that…

14.46    Nice little start to the preamble by Mikey T, where for at least a minute he fails to realise he’s live on air… love the fact that whenever anything goes wrong the veneer of professionalism goes out the window! It gives me a warm feeling inside… very Wimbledon…

14.42    The BBC live text is still currently showing Barrow v Newport, but some team news is filtering through… In place of the ill Jon Main, Mark Nwokeji gets a rare start, and Andre Blackman steps back for Chris Bush. Presumably Andre is being rested for Thursday, as you all know I prefer a Blackman to a Bush any time… 

14.36 Yup, thats me logged in for the day. And with only 86 people currently in, heres hoping I won’t be getting kicked out. Catastrophic equipment failures aside of course… Talking of equipment, the BBC version of this no doubt has numerous live feeds to bring you up to the second information, I have one screen (with freeview) that is currently showing WRC on Dave, and an audio feed that hasn’t started transmitting yet…

14:29    Welcome to the inaugural Anonymous Don live blog. Effectively the next best thing to the istadium – if only because its effectively like not being able to get into the istadium and having someone tell you whats going on. Coming live a mere stones throw away from Kingsmeadow (presuming of course you can throw a stone half a mile…), I’ll be in a position to immediately respond to any events from Barrow immediately. Please ignore any spelling or grammar errors. Talking of the matchday stadium…

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Barrow, Barrow, Barrow…

Not much of a match preview on this one, to be honest I’m currently amidst writing a WUP column, which if all goes to plan you will be able to read at the Kettering game, in which I make up for the datedness of material by only using my A-grade stuff…

And it won’t be much of a match report either, as I won’t be going to the game (clashes with my birthday…). Because of this I’m planning on doing something different – a live blog. I think this might be the first time in Wimbledon football history anyone has attempted a live blog based solely around a radio transmission… but why not??? It’ll be a laugh. And if it’s not a laugh, I’m sure it’ll be a… something… At very least it could be the first instance of a blog that jumped the shark, but its hard to keep up these days with gimmicky rivals such as Maliniok’s blog (written in Polish) or SW19’s (surely the biggest cheat of all as I’m sure fan writing isn’t supposed to actually be readable…).

So come tomorrow at 2.30pm, pull up your computer, crack open a beer, log on to iPlough Lane in one window and keep the Anonymous Don open in another… or just read back after 5PM to catch up with what the fuss isn’t about…

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The Conference Files – Barrow AFC

I feel a strange sort of guilt writing about Barrow AFC, a guilt perhaps shared by some Wimbledon supporters, relating to the manner in which they lost their league place. Its like being asked to write about a person your partner had a relationship before they met you, in your role as a usurper you have no business writing about the usurped. As far as Barrow were concerned it wasn’t Wimbledon who did the usurping, it was Hereford, but there’s still a little hint of recognition there, the manner we stole another clubs league place from under their noses (of course the use of the word ‘stole’ has been brought into context as far as we are concerned over the past few years…).

Although a lot of water has passed under the bridge, I always wonder whether Workington still bear us ill will (after all, it wasn’t our fault, it was the systems…), especially the manner in which the ‘Dons 4 Div 4’ campaign operated, cashing in on our location as a London suburb as well as our playing record. As Alan Batsford himself commented in Niall Coupers excellent collection of memories ‘The Spirit Of Wimbledon’, ‘…my abiding memory of that afternoon was the Workington people. They were devastated. Their whole world had been taken away from them and it was our fault.’

Perhaps it was less of an issue to Workington, who were themselves elected at New Brighton expense in 1951. Barrow spent over fifty years in the Football League, almost half of their history, and fewer and fewer of their supporters will remember them as such as the years go by. For a relatively isolated town of sixty thousand its easy to see where their future supporters will come from, perhaps the next step of returning to the League may become easier if the planned Morecambe Bay bridge is constructed, and better quality players are tempted over from footballs traditional breeding grounds of Liverpool and Manchester.

HISTORY

barrow afcOf course a clubs Football League status, while an important part of their history, isn’t the be all and end all of their history. Barrow were formed back in 1908, and moved to their current ground Holker Street a year later. League football came in 1920, the club placed in the Third Division North, where they survived as perennial strugglers. The main highlight of their 50-year stay occurred in the late 60’s, when a third place finish in the now reorganised Division Four, and in 1969 they achieved their highest league finish of eighth in the Third Division. Remarkably it was only three years later that they lost their Football League place to Hereford.

Being elected out of the League was a very rare experience, and as a young child, despite my team having come from a Non-League background, I didn’t believe there was a route the other way, and simply assumed sides like Workington and Southport had gone out of existence altogether. Fortunately Barrow managed to regroup in the Northern Premier League, and became members of the Alliance Premier League in 1979, winning the FA Trophy at Wembley in 1981, beating Chorley 2-1. Since then they have yo-yoed between non-leagues top flight and the NPL.

Barrows future looked in doubt after Chairman Steven Vaughan (now desperately trying to offload Chester City…) stepped aside in 1999 after being investigated for money laundering. The Bluebirds found themselves forcibly relegated from the Conference, and it wasn’t until a month into the season they were admitted back into the NPL (this fortunately before the days of automatic two division relegations). That Barrow not only survived and consolidated, but eventually repurchased their Holker Street ground and found their way back into the Conference is a credit to the Members Company that took over the club, the fans in general and the town itself.

Sadly, before promotion the only headlines Barrow had made were following the jailing of defender James Cotterill after punching a Bristol Rovers player in an incident only caught by television cameras. But promotion was assured in the summer of 2008, beating Telford 4-0 on aggregate in the play-off semi final before winning promotion beating Stalybridge 1-0 in the final.

A more comprehensive club history can be found on the clubs website here – http://www.barrowafc.com/history_brief.php

LAST SEASON

 Back in national football again, the club achieved its aim of consolidation last season with a strong average attendance of plus-1600. Although like a couple of clubs around them they found themselves pulled into relegation danger towards the end of the season, despite a run of only one defeat in ten games (unfortunately the defeat came at the hands of Woking, and all but three of the other results were drawn…).

But the season would be remembered more for their FA Cup run that saw them see for eventual League 2 champions Brentford at Holker Street in the Second Round, before taking 7,000 supporters over to Middlesborough in the third round, pushing the Premier League strugglers all the way before bowing out 2-1.

THE CLUB

 Barrow find themselves in a situation the management team at Wimbledon seem to be pondering at the moment – how and when to turn professional. While a pro contract should in theory attract a better quality of player to travel around Morecambe Bay, they seem to be looking towards a ‘ramp up’ to professialism. There’s no doubting the town can potentially support a fully professional team, but attendances, whilst impressive last term, cannot be allowed to drop this time around.

The clubs official website, featuring a weekly update, can be found here – http://www.barrowafc.com/index.php

THE GROUND

A few months back on a visit to Gainsborough we drove passed the football ground and it immediately leapt onto my list of ‘grounds I must visit as a Wimbledon fan’ It may be sometime until cup draws are kind enough to allow me to visit Trinity, but checking the photos of Holker Street it strikes me as a typical old-style Northern lower league ground. So naturally Ill be creaming myself in anticipation of our away game (so perhaps best not to sit next to me on the coach/train…), which will undoubtedly take place on a Tuesday night in February, requiring a day off work…

A large home end, smaller away section and big old covered popular side (the kind of terrace I want to see the John Smith Stand converted to at some stage, perhaps it’ll end up more like the one at Stevenage but never mind, so long as its a terrace fit for people who don’t just fall into the ‘stinking of piss’ category).

Plus those huge floodlights! I’m going to look like one of those freaky ground hoppers when I get there, taking photos of turnstiles and sampling all available pie varieties… Naturally I’m jealous, despite the ground having a lower capacity than KM, that’s probably down to us exploiting every inch of space due to well signposted exits and strategically placed yellow markings on the floor. I think this one is going on the ‘must visit’ list! 

ADMISSION

Not yet available, but strongly rumoured to be rising from 08/09 prices. (10/5/09)

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Another side we will be meeting for the first time this season!

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