Scunthorpe United scored in injury-time to claim three points at Sands Venue Stadium and consign Barrow to a fifth successive League Two defeat.
The Bluebirds looked all set to pick up a point after Scott Quigley’s close-range header had immediately cancelled out Abo Eisa’s opener for the home side.
However, Jordan Clarke was left free at the back post to head home a deep free kick right at the death as Barrow left North Lincolnshire empty-handed.
Rob Kelly, in caretaker charge, opted to make four changes to his starting line-up as Dior Angus, Harrison Biggins, Patrick Brough and Chris Taylor were drafted in to the team.
Barrow made a sprightly start and almost freed Quigley a couple of times in the opening minutes as the front man took up some dangerous positions to stretch the home defence.
And it was Quigley who could have opened the scoring when he cleverly turned inside on Patrick Brough’s left-wing throw-in before flashing a curling effort just wide of the gar post.
The Iron’s first threat came down the left when the pacey Eisa raced away in to space before delivering in to the front post but the arriving Alex Gilliead couldn’t convert under pressure from Brough.
Barrow were working hard to close down their opponents and they forced an error on the edge of the box which saw Dior Angus nick the ball and feed Quigley through on goal but his shot from a tight angle was well saved by home keeper Mark Howard.
The hosts went in front on 13 minutes when Ryan Loft nodded the ball down to the dangerous John McAtee on the right. The wide man jinked inside before laying a pass across the edge of the box for Eisa who took a touch before rifling a clinical finish in to the bottom right-hand corner of the net.
However, The Bluebirds were on level terms within three minutes when Scunthorpe made a meal of clearing away a corner and, when Harrison Biggins returned it in to the box, it looped up menacingly and Quigley reacted quickest to nod it home from close range to make it 1-1.
Matt Platt could have put Barrow in front just moments later when he ran on to a low delivery from a right-wing corner to strike a shot on goal which was well parried away by Howard.
McAtee almost produced another moment of quality to help The Iron get their noses back in front but, after finding space inside the box, his low ball flashed across goal with nobody and claret and amber able to get a decisive touch.
Barrow could have grabbed an early lead in the second half when Platt arrived to meet Josh Kay’s free-kick in to the box from the right but he got underneath it and volleyed it just over the bar.
The Iron enjoyed the better of it in the early part of the second half after that, McAtee coming close with a sizzling long-distance drive which flashed past the post with Joel Dixon looking concerned.
Kay then tried to provide some threat for Barrow down the left, finding space to drive in to the Scunthorpe penalty area but his low shot was blocked and cleared by a defender.
The encounter fizzled out and became scrappy during the final twenty minutes with neither side really finding their teeth and it looked as though the points would be shared.
However, in the first minute of stoppage a deep free kick from the left found Jordan Clarke at the far post and The Iron skipper looped a superb header back over Dixon and in to the net to nick the points for Scunthorpe.
Full Time: Scunthorpe United 2 Barrow 1
Scunthorpe United: Howard, Clarke, Bedeau, Onariase, Gilliead, Loft (Jarvis 87), Eisa, Hippolyte, Spence (Cordner 90), Beestin, McAtee (Hallam 76).
Subs not used: Watson, Green, Rowe, Pugh.
Booked: Clarke, Bedeau.
Barrow: Dixon, Brough, Hird, Platt, Wilson (Beadling 60), C Taylor, J Taylor, Kay, Biggins, Angus (James 60), Quigley (Reid 82).
Subs not used: Lillis, Zouma, Gribbin.
Referee: Will Finnie
Attendance: Behind Closed Doors