Michael Jolley collected a point in his first game in charge as Barrow came from behind to draw 1-1 with Tranmere Rovers at The Progression Solicitors Stadium on Tuesday night.
The Bluebirds were behind midway through the first half to James Vaughan’s pinpoint header but Scott Quigley scored for the fourth game in succession to bring them level.
Barrow finished the game with ten men after a second yellow card for Harrison Biggins but they still held on to claim a point and extend their unbeaten run to three games at the end of 2020.
Jolley opted to make one change to his starting eleven, with fit-again Lewis Hardcastle handed his first start since October in place of Chris Taylor in The Bluebirds midfield.
After a slow start, it was Barrow who shoed their teeth first when Scott Quigley collected the ball back to goal, produced a wonderful turn and then sent a low shot on goal which looked destined for the bottom corner until a full-stretch intervention from keeper Scott Davies down to his right.
At the other end, Joel Dixon produced even greater heroics to deny James Vaughan. The ball dropped kindly to the Rovers front man just six yards out and he drilled a shot on goal which Dixon somehow managed to deflect over the bar much to the astonishment of players on both sides.
However, Dixon was powerless to stop Vaughan opening the scoring on 23 minutes when he got on the end of Liam Feeney’s whipped cross from the left and sent an unstoppable header in off the far post.
Barrow responded well to the setback and came close to levelling when Lewis Hardcastle almost marked his return from injury with a goal, only for his twenty-yard free kick to take a nick off the wall on its way in to the side-netting.
Quigley was proving a handful for the visiting defence and he got the space to let fly with another shot after great work from Connor Brown to win the ball high up the pitch, but again Davies was equal to the effort.
Barrow’s first opening of the second half was created by Hardcastle’s determined running down the left, taking the ball to the edge of the area and slipping it inside for Luke James but the forward dragged his shot wide of the near post.
The Bluebirds came agonisingly close to levelling when some great football saw Josh Kay get the ball to feet and drive a low cross in to the area where Biggins arrived to meet it at the front post but his effort was deflected just wide.
The equaliser arrived just after the hour when Quigley got hold of the ball back to goal ten yards out and, as he twisted and turned in an attempt to find an angle for a shot, he was fouled from behind by Rovers defender Sid Nelson and a penalty was awarded. The striker got to his feet, kept his composure and knocked home his fourth goal in as many games to bring Barrow level.
The joy on the terraces turned to anger moments later as a collision between Biggins and Vaughan off the ball led to the referee producing a yellow card for the Rovers man and a second yellow for the Barrow midfielder, reducing the hosts to ten. Jolley reacted by replacing James with Jason Taylor.
Tranmere were encouraged by the man advantage and could have gone in front again 11 minutes from time when Peter Clarke got on the end of a ball in to the box but again Dixon reacted well to pull off an excellent save.
Despite being up against it, Barrow could have stolen a winner themselves on 84 minutes when Tranmere failed to fully clear a ball in to the box and Hardcastle hit a stinging drive which Davies did well to parry and it was whacked away to safety.
Full Time: Barrow 1 Tranmere Rovers 1
Barrow: Dixon, Brown, Hird, Platt, Brough, Kay (J Jones 91), Beadling, Hardcastle, Biggins, James (J Taylor 70), Quigley (Angus 94).
Subs not used: Lillis, Wilson, Reid.
Booked: Brough, Biggins.
Tranmere Rovers: Davies, MacDonald, Clarke, Nelson, Ridehalgh, Spearing, Lewis, Morris (Banks 90), Feeney, Ferrier (Woolery 76), Vaughan.
Subs not used: Murphy, Blackett-Taylor, O’Connor, Lloyd, Smith.
Booked: Feeney, Vaughan, Ridehalgh.
Referee: James Bell