Date: 10th September 2021
Ground: Holker Street
Ground: Holker Street
Location: Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria
My seventh new ground of 2021 was on Friday 10th September at Holker Street in Barrow, Cumbria. The game was Barrow vs. Colchester United in Football League Two.
Holker Street is located close to the centre of Barrow. The grounds sits adjacent to roads on the eastern and northern with housing and wasteland respectively beyond this. The southern side is across from a supermarket while the western edge is additional land used by the club including a supporters bar building. Approximately half a mile north west of the town's railway station, the ground has been home to the club since 1909.
The Brian Arrowsmith Stand is the main stand at the venue and is an all-seater structure on the southern flank. This takes up the middle half of this side and has around 1,000 seats with three supporting pillars to hold up the roof. There is uncovered standing either side of this with the western end moving from flat to a concrete terrace round the south-west corner. The eastern end, known as the Holker Street End, has been renovated since Barrow's promotion to the Football League in 2020 and is segregated between home and away fans. Part of this including adding a roof with a large number of supporting pillars. The away section has 130 seats with the rest of this end being terracing.
The other substantive structure is the Popular Side in the north. This has a covered terrace for the middle half (again with numerous supporting pillars) with a TV gantry on top. There is then uncovered terracing either side of this stand for the remainder of the northern side. The western end is the most basic as it is an uncovered area with flat standing at the front and some terracing attached to the building behind which doubles as the player dressing rooms.
The game was initially quiet until the hosts took the lead in the 25th minute after a defensive mix-up from the visitors. Tommy Smith attempted a backpass to goalkeeper Shamal George along the six-yard line but the pass was significantly underhit with Jordan Stevens nipping in to tap into an empty net. The U's managed a quick-fire turnaround later in the half with the equaliser arriving in the 35th minute. A ball down the right found Freddie Sears in space and he crossed for Alan Judge to slide the ball home from six yards out. Sears then turned from provider to goalscorer three minutes later after Frank Nouble's header forward split the Barrow defence and the Colchester man just got to the ball before the Barrow goalie to lift the ball into the net. The visitors looked on top until the 68th minute when Luke Chambers was sent off for a second bookable offence after a high foot on Offrande Zanzala. On 76 minutes the Cumbrians drew level from the penalty spot after an unnecessary foul by Luke Hannant. Ollie Banks struck a well taken penalty into the top corner of the net out of the reach of Shamal George. It looked like Barrow were going to go on and win it but with ten minutes to go Colchester retook the lead. This came when a rare away attack resulted in a corner and sloppy marking allowed Tom Eastman to head in from 12 yards out. There was still time for a little more drama in this exciting encounter as another red card was produced, this time for James Jones who picked up two quick bookings for incidents with Frank Nouble, the second a late tackle on the U's attacker when he was advancing on goal.
Result: Barrow 2-3 Colchester United
Division: Football League Two