Barrow suffered frustration in the derby at Morecambe as a controversial early red card for Sam Hird contributed to a 1-0 defeat at The Mazuma Stadium on Tuesday evening.
The Shrimps had already taken the lead through Carlos Mendes Gomes’ neat finish when Hird was shown a straight red card on 15 minutes for an alleged handball which gave The Bluebirds a mountain to climb.
They kept themselves in the game and created the better of the chances after the break but could not find a route to goal and were left to contemplate defeat in their first EFL meeting with their rivals.
The hosts began at a high tempo and they engineered a couple of early chances as first Kelvin Mellor’s drive was well blocked by Joel Dixon before Nathaniel Knight-Percival volleyed just over from the resultant corner.
Barrow showed their teeth on seven minutes when Scott Quigley turned swiftly just inside the Morecambe half and drove towards the edge of the box before sending a low drive just wide of the right-hand post.
The home side continued to look the most threatening though and Dixon had to save superbly at the feet of Adam Phillips after he went through on goal, while Matt Platt produced a great block to prevent Cole Stockton from scoring in the aftermath.
The breakthrough arrived on 12 minutes though as Carlos Mendes Gomes was fed through on goal and he showed great composure to round Dixon before slotting the ball in to the net.
It turned in to a double setback for The Bluebirds on 15 minutes when Sam Hird went to ground under pressure from Mendes Gomes but was adjudged to have deliberately handled as he fell. After consultation with the linesman, the referee showed a red card to the Barrow centre-back.
There was a definite edge to proceedings after that and a high challenge from Shrimps man Harry Davis left Luke James needing treatment to his shin and prompted the referee to flash yellow when some were calling for a red.
Morecambe should have doubled their lead three minutes before the break after the stormed away down the left wing and crossed to the arriving Mellor but he nodded a header wastefully wide.
Quigley came close to levelling things up just before the interval when he again did well to find space on the edge of the area with a determined run but his shot was deflected wide by a defender.
The sides exchanged blows at the start of the second half when Cole tested Dixon with a powerful drive from the left corner of the box which the keeper did well to parry, before Quigley worked his way in to the right side of the box to hit a low shot which was saved by Shrimps stopper Mark Halstead.
There was a huge shout for a penalty on the hour as Quigley once again caused problems for the Morecambe rear-guard and he appeared to be tripped as he chopped inside but the referee was well placed an uninterested.
David Dunn threw the dice just afterwards, bringing on Dior Angus and Jayden Reid – and the pair immediately combined to engineer an opportunity on the right corner of the penalty area but Angus drilled an effort across goal and wide.
Quigley came close again midway through the second half when he turned on goal 20 yards out and hit a powerful low shot which grazed the base of the left-hand post on its way wide.
With Barrow pressing to try and find a leveller it left gaps for Morecambe and they came close a couple of times on the break when substitute A-Jay Leitch-Smith fired wide and then Stockton headed over.
Platt had an opening with three minutes remaining when he got on the end of a left-wing corner in to the box but he got underneath it and sent his close-range header too high.
Full Time: Morecambe 1 Barrow 0
Morecambe: Halstead, Mellor, Hendrie (Cooney 72), Knight-Percival (Leitch-Smith 56), Lavelle (Diagouraga 86), Davis, Stockton, Mendes Gomes, O’Sullivan, Phillips, Songo’o.
Subs not used: Turner, Slew, Kenyon, Pringle.
Booked: Davis, Songo’o
Barrow: Dixon, Barry, Hird, Platt, Brough, Kay (Wilson 19), C Taylor, J Taylor, Biggins (Reid 61), James (Angus 61), Quigley.
Subs: Lillis, Brown, Gribbin.
Referee: Martin Coy
Attendance: Behind Closed Doors