Bring on Sunderland for Barrow AFC
Last updated at 09:45, Thursday, 10 December 2009
SUPER skipper Phil Bolland and his brilliant Barrow AFC team-mates were in dreamland last night after securing an FA Cup third round tie at Premier League Sunderland.
Centre-half Bolland – wearing the captain’s armband in the absence of Paul Jones – scored his first goal for the club as the underdogs beat Oxford United 3-1 in a second round replay.
It is the first time in the club’s non-league history they have made the third round in successive seasons.
Last term the Bluebirds and their 7,000-strong travelling army went to Middlesbrough, this time round it will be Sunderland – and another massive pay day – on January 2.
A bumper crowd of nearly 2,800 watched the Bluebirds shock Conference Premier leaders Oxford at a bouncing Holker Street.
Bolland – a former Oxford player – scored the first of three AFC goals – the others coming from Carlos Logan and Marc Goodfellow – before the visitors grabbed a late consolation.
“Scoring my first goal in such an important game was brilliant,” said 33-year-old summer signing Bolland. “You want to play against a Premier League club at any age, but I’m getting towards the end of my career now so these days will be few and far between. I’m just made up.
“We’ll be playing against players you watch on the television. It’ll be a bit surreal really. I have actually been to the Stadium of Light when I was at Chester in a League Cup match. It’s a lovely stadium and it should be good day for everyone involved with Barrow.”
The Bluebirds camp had led some sections of the media to believe top-scorer Jason Walker would miss the game through injury.
That proved not to be the case and Barrow-born Walker – the man who famously scored AFC’s goal when losing 2-1 at Middlesbrough – said: “I was a little bit of a doubt, but I think it was also a little bit of mind games from the managers!”
On the prospect of facing Sunderland he added: “They are a great team, but we’ll go there and give them a run for their money.”
Asked about the prospect of going up against Sunderland centre-half Anton Ferdinand – brother of Manchester United’s Rio – Walker laughed: “I’ll have him in my back pocket!”
In-form Barrow have now lost only one game in their last 16 in all competitions.
This latest win came on the same day joint-boss Darren Sheridan celebrated his 42nd birthday.
“It’s been an amazing night, we fully deserved the win,” he said.
“Everyone saw how many fans we took to Middlesbrough, let’s hope we can take even more to Sunderland. It’s just brilliant for the whole town. It being my birthday just tops it off!”
One person sure to be making to journey east to the Stadium of Light is Shaun the Sheep, the Barrow directors’ lucky FA Cup charm, who once again came up trumps last night.
First published at 12:58, Wednesday, 09 December 2009
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
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Just read the comment from Gordon McMillan above, well done Gordon, now thats what you call support. come on you Bluebirds, well done Dave, Shez and the boys.
Dave Sheridan and Tony Bayliss have put Barrow back on the map thanks to everyone at Afc for making my christmas. I am One very excited boy
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