Jamie Devitt curled home a wonderful free kick six minutes from time to clinch a potentially priceless win for Barrow over Newport County at The Progression Solicitors Stadium.
The midfielder, who spent the first half of the season on loan with The Exiles, broke his former teammates’ hearts with a beautifully taken set-piece as The birds came from behind to earn three points.
Scott Quigley had earlier brough Rob Kelly’s men back on level terms with an eye-catching finish of his own to cancel out Scot Bennett’s opener for the visitors but it was Devitt who stole the headlines.
There was a good tempo to the game in the early stages as both sides attempted to get their foot on the ball and play, though it took a little time for opportunities to start arriving.
There was a half chance for Jamie Devitt on eight minutes when he tried his luck with a curling, dipping shot from the edge of the box but it just didn’t come down enough to find the top corner.
At the other end, Josh Sheehan attempted to catch Joel Dixon out with a cheeky shot from long range but the keeper got across to cover it as it flashed wide.
Devitt whipped a dangerous free-kick in from left but Scott Quigley’s looping headed didn’t trouble County keeper Nick Townsend, while Padraig Amond lobbed a tame effort over Dixon’s bar moments later.
The deadlock was broken just after midway point in the first half when Matty Dolan’s wicked free kick caused problems in the Barrow box and Scot Bennett drove an effort on goal which took a deflection as it flew past Dixon for 1-0.
The Bluebirds were almost on level terms on 27 minutes when Bobby Thomas’ long throw led to panic in the County box only for Luke James goalbound drive to be well blocked by a defender.
The visitors then came close to grabbing a second goal when Sheehan got away down the right and fizzed a dangerous ball low across the area which found the arriving Aaron Lewis but his first time shot was just wide.
Barrow seized on some hesitant play from Newport and the ball was fed inside for Devitt and he intelligently slipped Quigley through on the right side of the box but the front man fired over.
Devitt again let fly as the first half came to an end as he produced a clever turn twenty yards out but his powerful shot went just the wrong side of the upright.
Barrow began the second half in encouraging fashion when James galloped away down the right-hand side but his shot from a tight angle was well held by Townsend.
The Bluebirds were level on 56 minutes though. Jason Taylor brilliantly broke up play on the halfway line and slipped the ball through for Quigley. The striker showed superb composure to but inside away from the scrambling County defenders and left fly with a left-footed finish which picked up a deflection on its way into the net.
Quigley got through again not long afterwards as Barrow continue to show their teeth but this time keeper Townsend stood tall and made a good block to deny the centre-forward.
County were on the back foot and James Jones stole into the box to get on the end of another tempting Devitt delivery but the defender could only prod his effort wide of the front post.
The visitors mounted a rare attack as Sheehan slalomed his way through the Barrow defence to fire a low shot on goal but Dixon got on quickly to make a tidy save.
Star man Devitt then produced a moment of magic six minutes from time. As referee Lee Mason blew his whistle, the midfield star quickly strode on to a free kick on the edge of the area and curled a sumptuous effort over the ball and beyond the despairing dive of Townsend.
Things got worse for County in the final minutes as Mickey Demetriou was shown a second yellow card and The Exiles were forced to play the closing stages a man down.
Full Time: Barrow 2 Newport County 1
Barrow: Dixon, J Jones, Thomas, Ntlhe, Barry, Brough, Banks, J Taylor, Devitt (Beadling 88), Quigley, James.
Subs not used: Moloney, Eardley, Kay, C Taylor, Andrew.
Newport County: Townsend, Labadie, Dolan, Bennett (Collins 88), Demetriou, Ledley (Ellison 88), Shephard, Lewis, Sheehan, Amond (Maynard 76), Taylor (Scrimshaw 88).
Subs not used: King, Longe-King, Hartigan.
Booked: Labadie, Demetriou.
Referee: Lee Mason
Attendance: Behind Closed Doors