Barrow claimed a richly-deserved point as Matt Platt’s last-gasp header earned them a 1-1 draw against League Two pacesetters Cambridge United at The Abbey Stadium.
The Bluebirds looked set for their second consecutive 1-0 defeat on the road after Joe Ironside’s early second half goal had put the hosts in the driving seat.
However, an enormous amount of pressure told in the 96th minute of stoppage time when Platt got up highest in the area to bullet an unstoppable header in to the bottom corner to prompt wild celebrations which included David Dunn making an ecstatic dart up the touchline.
Barrow began on the front foot and were dictating play in the opening stages, moving the ball around quickly and trying to get at their high-flying opponents.
A breakthrough almost arrived on 16 minutes when Harrison Biggins lifted a 25-yard free-kick over the wall but it crashed back off the post and The U’s survived.
At the other end a deep cross from the right found Joe Ironside on the stretch but the front man could only a direct his header in to the side netting.
The Bluebirds created their own problems when a risky ball out of defence was intercepted by Cambridge’s Idris El Mizouni, who drove forward dangerously but saw his low drive held by Joel Dixon.
Luke James was causing issues for the home defence and a lovely turn on the halfway line set him away in to space and he made his way towards the edge of the box before his shot was deflected wide.
Barrow came closest of all to opening the scoring three minutes before the break when more good work from James freed Josh Kay down the right and his menacing low cross was deflected up and off his own cross bar by a defender before bounding out to safety.
Luke Hannant tested Dixon with a powerful drive moments later before the final chance of the half went Barrow’s way when Biggins got in behind down the left and flashed a ball across goal which just evaded the arriving Dior Angus.
Barrow began the second half in similarly confident fashion and could have gone in front within two minutes when Kay’s cross found the arriving Biggins but his header was well blocked by a defender.
However, it was Cambridge who stole in front on 56 minutes when top scorer Paul Mullin closed down Dixon, forcing the keeper in to a hurried clearance which only reached Ironside 25 yards out and he showed great composure to fire it in to the unguarded net.
The Bluebirds reacted positively and could have been on level terms almost immediately but Kay’s clipped effort from the left corner of the area but just too high and then Biggins also fired over after cutting inside from the right.
Dixon came to the rescue for Barrow just afterwards when Mullin escaped through on goal but the Bluebirds keeper darted from his line to smother the Cambridge front man’s effort.
Scott Quigley made a difference from the bench and almost snatched a leveller three minutes from time when he did well to find an angle on the edge of the box but his powerful left foot shot flashed just too high.
The drama arrived right at the death when Sam Hird saw a goalbound deflected agonisingly over the bar and, from the resultant corner, the ball was hung in to the area for Platt to deliver a wonderful header right in to the bottom corner to rescue a point.
Full Time: Cambridge United 1 Barrow 1
Cambridge United: Mitov, Knoyle, Digby, Taylor, Darling, Hannant (Davies 80), Mullin, Dunk, El Mizouni (Iredale 69), Ironside (Cundy 88), Boateng.
Subs: Burton, Iredale, Dallas, May, Knibbs.
Booked: Boateng, Taylor.
Barrow: Dixon, Hird, Platt, Brough (Ntlhe 83), Barry, Kay, M Jones, J Taylor, Biggins (Reid 88), James, Angus (Quigley 64).
Subs: Lillis, Brown, C Taylor.
Referee: Josh Smith
Attendance: Behind Closed Doors