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MATCH PREVIEW: Barrow return to Brunton Park

Eagerly anticipated Cumbrian derby

1 October 2020

There was all sorts going on at the top of Division Four in April 1964 when these two sides last met in a competitive fixture.

Things were so tight that five teams, Carlisle amongst them, were neck-and-neck for the right to take one of the four promotion spots, with the title also still up for grabs.

Things were a little bit more academic at the other end. A system of re-election was still in place, but the Bluebirds were doing everything they could to avoid bottom spot.

In the end Carlisle held their nerve, finishing second behind Gilingham despite having recorded a whopping 113 league goals.

Unfortunately a run of poor results, particularly at home, meant that Barrow did indeed pick up the dreaded wooden spoon.


Carlisle wins


Barrow wins





FA Cup









That was 56 years ago, with goals from Joe Livingstone (2) and Jonny Evans (2) easing United to a 4-1 win in that last encounter, despite a fine finish from Tommy Thompson in reply.

Fast forward to now, and newly installed boss David Dunn brings his side to Carlisle looking for their first league victory since his club returned to the ranks of the Football League courtesy of their National League title-winning push last term.

It was a busy summer for the Bluebirds, with striker Luke James, midfielder Mike Jones and defender Tom Beadling all joining on two-year deals before the end of July. 

Forward Scott Quigley was rewarded for his efforts (20 goals as part of the promotion surge) with a new three-year deal that same week, and Dunn used his Blackburn contacts to bring defender Matty Platt in on an undisclosed fee.

Into August and Altrincham defender James Jones put pen-to-paper, with former Manchester United midfielder Callum Gribbin also signing up just a few days later. 

The procession continued as defenders Kgosi Ntlhe and Bobby Burns headed to Holker Street, from Scunthorpe and Hearts respectvely, along with Harrison Biggins who came in from Fleetwood on-loan.

Burnley youngster Scott Wilson went to Barrow following his release from Turf Moor, and the latest recruit was keeper Josh Lillis who joined the club as a player-coach, completing the backroom line up with Rob Kelly having been appointed as assistant manager.


Barrow will probably hope never to see a penalty shoot-out again having been dumped out of the Carabao Cup at Pride Park following a more than creditable 0-0 draw in their first outing of the 2020/21 season. The spot kicks ended 3-2 in Derby's favour.

Three days later and their first EFL Trophy group game was a trip to Blackpool. That also ended 0-0, with the Seasiders winning 5-3 on penalties. 

Into the league and a 12th minute Dior Angus penalty looked to have given the Bluebirds their first victory following their 48-year absence, but Stevenage grabbed a point as Inih Effiong netted a late equaliser. You guessed it - it was from the spot. 

Goals either side of the break for Newport were enough to consign Dunn's men to their first away defeat a week later, so it was back home last weekend for a tough game against Colchester. 

A first senior goal for Noah Chilvers gave the U's the lead, but a stunner from Mike Jones made it a second share of the spoils of the season.


Midfielder Mike Jones needs absolutely no introduction. 

He made 158 appearances for the Blues, scoring three absolute beauties along the way, and became a real favourite with the fans thanks to his hard-work ethic. 

Steady and reliable in midfield, he left Brunton Park in the summer to join the Bluebirds on a two-year deal.


Click HERE to purchase a match pass which will allow you to watch this game in full HD via our streaming iFollow service.

With match commentary also provided by BBC Radio Cumbria, this is a fantastic way to follow your team through these unprecedented behind closed doors fixtures.

Match passes are available for ALL EFL league games during this restricted attendance period. Click HERE to find out more about this season’s iFollow United service.

Codes will be issued to those who are eligible to watch this fixture free. More details on free codes, and how to redeem them - and on how to purchase a match pass - are HERE.


Referee - Ben Toner
Assistant Referee 1 - Paul Newhouse
Assistant Referee 2 - Gary Hilton
Fourth Official - Chris Isherwood

Our referee for this fixture is Mr Ben Toner.

Ben has taken charge of five games so far this season showing 17 yellow cards and no reds.

A regular with us over the years, he was with us for the festive visit to Walsall in December 2019. All of the goals came in the second half, with Nathan Thomas and Harry McKirdy [with an injury time winner] doing the real damage as the Blues won 2-1. Jamers Clarke was sent off for the Saddlers and Aaron Hayden went in the book for us.

He was our main match official at the start of the 2019/20 campaign for our Carabao Cup meeting with Barnsley at Oakwell. Goals from Harry McKirdy, Jack Bridge [pen] and Nathan Thomas sealed a comfortable victory and no Carlisle names were taken on the night.

Our first meeting with him during the 2018/19 season was for the 2-1 victory over Port Vale at Brunton Park in August. A Danny Grainger penalty and a Tom Parkes header were enough to see the Blues earn the three points with no cards shown

The Checkatrade Trophy fixture at the Stadium of Light was the second United game he oversaw that term, with the Black Cats running out as 3-1 winners. Ashley Nadesan got the United goal and, once again, the cards stayed in his pocket.

New Year's Day 2019 took us to Morecambe, Jamie Devitt and Jack Sowerby got the goals, and Kelvin Etuhu and Anthony Gerrard had their names recorded in the book.

And last, but not least, was our 2-1 home victory over Swindon in March 2019. Hallam Hope and Callum O'Hare scored our goals with Gary Liddle going in the book for a late challenge. 


This is a behind closed doors fixture. 

Please see above for details on how to purchase a live streaming match pass to see all of the action via our iFollow streaming service.

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