Barrow were narrowly beaten in South Wales as Newport County claimed all the points from a scrappy encounter at Rodney Parade on Saturday.
In a game punctuated by a collection of niggly fouls and stoppages, The Exiles clung on to the win handed to them by Ryan Taylor’s clinical finish just after half-time.
David Dunn opted to make one change to his starting line-up, drafting in Luke James to partner Dior Angus in attack – Jack Hindle had to be content with a place on the bench.
It was Newport who started the brighter and they set about dominating possession in the opening ten minutes, though Scott Twine’s curling free-kick just wide of the upright was all they mustered in terms of efforts on goal.
The Bluebirds began to settle as time wore on and Brad Barry got away brilliantly down the right after exchanging passes with Tom Beadling but Dior Angus couldn’t quite apply the finishing touch in the middle and the chance was gone.
The deadlock was broken on 19 minutes when the dangerous Ryan Haynes whipped a cross in from the left which Barrow couldn’t deal with and, when it was laid back for Liam Shephard, he drilled it low in to the bottom left corner of the net.
Barrow could have been back on level terms within a couple of minutes when Angus bullied his way in to possession on the edge of the Newport box to feed Luke James; he teed up Tom Beadling whose deflected shot was parried away by keeper Nick Townsend.
It was all square on 28 minutes though. A lovely move down the right from Barrow saw James pick up the ball on the right corner of the box and he laid it back to Lewis Hardcastle and the skipper whipped a venomous strike beyond Townsend and in to the corner of the net for 1-1.
The Bluebirds almost stole in front on the stroke of half time when more enterprising work from Barry down the right opened a door for Angus; the front man collected the ball on the right edge of the box before swivelling brilliantly to let fly with a curling effort which just beat the bar.
County restored their lead just three minutes in to the second half – but they were given a big helping hand. Sam Hird received the ball under pressure and his pass was intercepted by Ryan Taylor on the edge of the box and the front man finished clinically to make it 2-1.
The second half descended in to a scrappy affair, with both sides giving away needless fouls and hosts managing proceedings well by playing for time on occasions.
Dunn’s men were struggling to find the dangerous areas as much as they had during the first half and it was the home team who continued to look the more likely to trouble the scorers further – though Dixon’s goal was rarely under enormous threat.
Appeals for a Barrow penalty were waved away when Hindle took a tumble moments after his introduction as a substitute, as Dunn made changes to try and find a way back in to the game.
However, County held on to their advantage to claim the three points and their third home victory already in the new campaign.
Full Time: Newport County 2 Barrow 1
Newport County: Townsend, Haynes, Howkins, Cooper, Willmott, Sheehan, Twine (Labadie 86), Janneh, Demetriou, Taylor (Abrahams 76), Shephard (Baker 86).
Subs not used: King, Amond, Bennett, Collins.
Booked: Howkins, Abrahams.
Barrow: Dixon, Barry, J Jones, Hird (Gribbin 67), Nlthe (Wilson 22), Brown, Beadling, Hardcastle, M Jones, James, Angus.
Subs not used: Lillis, Taylor, Biggins, Hindle.
Booked: M Jones, Brown, J Jones.
Attendance: Behind Closed Doors
Referee: Robert Lewis