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40 Years of National League. Barrow v Yeovil

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oldtimer
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40 Years of National League. Barrow v Yeovil

Post by oldtimer » Fri Jul 05, 2019 4:29 pm

This has been alluded to on another thread, but how many of us were there at Holker Street on Saturday 18 August 1979 ? Barrow 2 Yeovil 0. Att 2.027.

The first day of the Alliance Premier League ( now National League), a league into which Barrow had just scraped due to Southport deciding not to enter due to the anticipated costs. Barrow, as usual, were deemed favourites to be relegated in that first season, but in the end survived for the first 4 seasons.

Of the 20 clubs who set out 40 years ago, 4 clubs are here to start the 2019/20 season. Barrow, Yeovil, Barnet and Gravesend (Ebbsfleet).

I clearly remember Colin Cowperthwaite scoring our first goal with a diving header at the Crossbar end and believing that better days were just around the corner. A lot has happened since then. But 40 years to the same weekend, life for Barrow and Yeovil has come full circle.



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Jonty
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Re: 40 Years of National League. Barrow v Yeovil

Post by Jonty » Fri Jul 05, 2019 5:05 pm

Interesting to look back at how the 2 club’s fortunes have panned out last 40 years. Yeovil were relegated back to southern league in 1985 and returned to the National league 3 seasons later. I saw us beat them at HS in the Wilkie years. Again they got relegated and then back up again late 90’s, very yo-yo ish at that time a bit like us. However fortunes really took off for them around 2000 when Gary Johnson became manager and they won they won the fa Trophy in 2001, then smashed the league the following season. In comparison, these were tough times for us. They have enjoyed some notable successes since then, reaching league 1 and establishing themselves as a league club. Now back with us. Crux of all this. Just getting that moment, things coming together at once, the right manager and a good side and things can take off.
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Re: 40 Years of National League. Barrow v Yeovil

Post by HenneysKnee » Fri Jul 05, 2019 6:11 pm

Might be nice for the club to invite God (and others from that team) along to the game........

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Re: 40 Years of National League. Barrow v Yeovil

Post by Colin Appleton » Fri Jul 05, 2019 7:11 pm

Years later I got to know some of the Yeovil backroom staff and I mentioned I'd been at that first game in what was then called the Alliance. I remember the game because George Courtney was the ref. He'd been in charge of the Charity Shield Wembley Final only the week before. The Glovers official said the match had stood out for him for two reasons. The first, Yeovil had either forgot their shorts or they clashed with Barrow's ( I can't remember what was the exact reason he gave) but Yeovil were forced to wear Barrow's Reserve team shorts which were orange. I remember at the time thinking what an awful kit they were playing in. The second after the match the teams were given Pie and Peas and he said one of the players accidently split it over one of the officials.

Yeovil of course were playing in the CHAMPIONSHIP not long ago. They've also played Man Utd twice in the FA Cup in recent years how they find themselves back in Non League Football is very sad.

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Re: 40 Years of National League. Barrow v Yeovil

Post by Hadrian » Fri Jul 05, 2019 9:55 pm

Good memories! I can remember I went to that game and... er ...that's it.

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Re: 40 Years of National League. Barrow v Yeovil

Post by DIXIE » Fri Jul 05, 2019 10:18 pm

i was there for the first APL game. it was a good day, but now i am dreaming of FL again.
We would be much better off in the EFL, Similar travelling but lots of money from the EFL
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Re: 40 Years of National League. Barrow v Yeovil

Post by blumooncrab » Sat Jul 06, 2019 9:40 am

I was there too- a Cowps double I seem to remember ?

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Re: 40 Years of National League. Barrow v Yeovil

Post by mall » Mon Jul 08, 2019 8:00 pm

I was at that game too and remember right back Micky Richmond who sadly died a couple of years or so ago.
Last edited by mall on Tue Jul 09, 2019 10:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 40 Years of National League. Barrow v Yeovil

Post by Shaun » Mon Jul 08, 2019 8:30 pm

Might've not been to that game. Don't know.Can't remember shit Susan.
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Re: 40 Years of National League. Barrow v Yeovil

Post by Hadrian » Mon Jul 08, 2019 10:40 pm

Barrow were fortunate to gain a place in the APL that season, having finished 16th in the NPL the previous season. A number of teams in the NPL, Southern and Isthmian Leagues didn't want to be part of the APL and teams like Barrow got in as a consequence.

Barrow's team: Thomas K, Richmond, Wynn, Thomas R, McDonald N, Taylor M, Worswick, Taylor R, Cowperthwaite, Busby, Diamond (no sub listed). Both goals by Cowperthwaite. Attendance 2027 by several hundred the best of the season. The majority were in three figures.

In the event Barrow did well to finish 14th. Altrincham were winners, Weymouth second and Worcester City third. Bottom three were 18: AP Leamington, 19: Stafford Rangers, 20: Redditch United.

Barrow lasted three more years at that level before finishing 21st (two additional places were added to the league the previous season) seven points ahead of Stafford Rangers. Barrow - to the surprise of some - bounced back the following season, finishing twenty points ahead of Matlock Town in the NPL yet attendances in the second half of the season were still poor, many in the 5xx and 6xx range.

(Stats from 'The Definitive Barrow AFC')

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Re: 40 Years of National League. Barrow v Yeovil

Post by Gasser » Tue Jul 09, 2019 4:21 pm

My first ever visit to Holker St
Only went because my mates were going, don't think I was even aware Barrow had a team up till this point.
Little did I know what I was getting in to.

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Re: 40 Years of National League. Barrow v Yeovil

Post by pjdaly » Tue Jul 09, 2019 7:06 pm

I remember this match so well, far more vividly than hundreds of matches that followed for years afterwards. It must be to do with the way memory operates . . . this match and this occasion was such a massive standout moment that it still burns brightly 40 years on. After 10 years of decline and uselessness it was hard to believe that we had made it into the start of nation-wide non-league football, with northern and southern teams at last starting to compete together. This had not seemed possible only three years earlier as Barrow continued to inhabit the very depths of the Northern Premier League. But Brian McManus came in as manager and somehow started to get us more towards mid-table in the NPL, which proved enough to get us entry into this new league in August 1979.

The first goal against Yeovil particularly seems like yesterday. A short-corner was played at the recently demolished West Terrace and our late, great right full-back, Mick Richmond, swung a cross over towards the penalty-spot where a full-length diving Cowps powered a header into the top corner. Cowps later added a second. The attendance was just over 2,000 which seemed unbelievable, given that during the early and mid-70's home attendances had sometimes been as low as a couple of hundred. That didn't last though and by the time we were about two or three home games in the attendance had dropped to about half of that, closer to the 1,000 mark.

One interesting feature was that a very young Barry Diamond was playing for us, more in a midfield role, and I recall him missing a sitter at the HS end. Barry soon disappeared but little did we know that the diminutive Scot would return at a later date and was transformed into a striking goal-machine in Vic Halom's team of 1983-84.

The impatience that we see today with football managers was prevalent even then though and only a few months in our miracle-worker, Brian McManus, was replaced by Mickey Taylor who steered us to safety. And so it was that we stayed in this top-flight of non-league until getting relegated in April 1983.

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