Josh Kay’s fourth goal of the season saw Barrow get back to winning way with a battling triumph over Scunthorpe United at The Progression Solicitors Stadium.
The winger’s classy finish across the keeper just before the hour mark proved the game’s decisive moment as The Bluebirds moved level on points with the visitors near the base of a congested League Two table.
Michael Jolley moved to a back four and made three changes to his starting eleven as Neal Ardley was handed a debut at right-back, James Jones returned in central defence and Harrison Biggins was restored to the centre of midfield after suspension.
A scrappy start to the game set the tone for the first half, though Matt Platt had a half chance when he got on the end of Eardley’s left-wing corner, but he couldn’t force the ball home and the visitors smuggled it clear.
Eardley’s delivery from free-kicks and corners was a feature of the opening period, and another deep ball into the box from the debutant found Platt in space but he could only prod a volley wide, though the offside flag spared his blushes.
Barrow began to grow into the game as it went on and enjoyed more possession, putting together a decent move down the left to free Josh Kay but his fierce delivery took a deflection and found its way into the hands of Iron keeper Mark Howard.
Some more good football involving Luke James, Scott Quigley and Biggins saw the latter teed up to swing a searching ball into the far post where Kay arrived on the slide but just couldn’t apply the finishing touch.
The second half started in equally sluggish fashion but burst into life on 58 minutes when a ball down the right found James who did well to hold it up before feeding it into the path of the onrushing Biggins. The midfielder charged into the box and then knocked it square for Kay to fire a clinical finish into the bottom corner of the net for 1-0.
Barrow lost James to a nasty looking head injury midway through the second half and, after a long stoppage for treatment, it was the visitors who looked to get on the front foot.
First Jem Karacan let fly with a sweetly struck volley from the edge of the area which was well held by Dixon, before the midfielder then nodded wide at the far post after more good play from The Iron.
The recovery mission got harder for the visitors with four minutes of normal time remaining when Junior Brown – already on a booking – got involved in an off-the-ball tussle with Quigley and the referee showed him a second yellow.
Scunthorpe could have levelled almost immediately afterwards though when Abo Eisa found space on the right side of the box, but his low drive was well parried by Dixon and Barrow were able to clear.
However, The Bluebirds had to negotiate a whopping 15 minutes of injury-time to see it through to the full-time whistle and celebrate their first three points of 2021.
Full Time: Barrow 1 Scunthorpe United 0
Barrow: Dixon, Eardley, J Jones, Platt, Brough, Kay, Beadling, Biggins (J Taylor 98), Hardcastle (C Taylor 93), Quigley, James (Angus 75).
Subs: Lillis, Brown, Hird.
Booked: Platt, Quigley, Kay.
Scunthorpe United: Howard, Clarke, McGahey (Onariase 46), Taft, Gilliead, Brown, Hippolyte (Green 89), Spence, Beestin (McAtee 89), Karacan, Loft (Eisa 61).
Subs: Watson, Bedeau, Rowe, McAtee.
Booked: Brown, Clarke.
Referee: Christopher Sarginson
Attendance: Behind Closed Doors