Impressive Barrow clinched a third successive League Two triumph as they upset the bookies to pull off a brilliant win at league-leaders Cheltenham Town on Tuesday night.
The Robins started the night as out and out favourites but Rob Kelly’s side delivered another performance full of energy, spirit and determination to claim a precious three points in Gloucestershire.
James Jones’ first goal for the Club just two minutes in set The Bluebirds on their way before an instinctive finish from Scott Quigley sealed the home side’s misery midway through the second half.
Caretaker boss Kelly freshened things up as Josh Kay and Ollie Banks were handed starts, while Neal Eardley returned to the eleven in place of the injured Brad Barry.
There was a sensational start for Barrow as they went in front less than two minutes into the contest when James Jones bundled his way inside from the right after a short corner and delivered a cross towards the far post which evaded everyone and crept into the net.
The home side reacted positively when Finn Azaz found space to clip a shot on goal from the left corner of the box but it flashed just wide of the Joel Dixon’s upright.
While the hosts were setting the pace, Barrow possessed a real threat on the break and Scott Quigley could have doubled the lead after running clear down the right but his powerful shot hit the side netting.
Josh Kay was also proving a nuisance for The Robins’ defence and he could have scored his second in as many games when he spun cleverly 25 yards out but his low drive was held by keeper Josh Griffiths.
Barrow then had Neal Eardley to thank for keeping the lead intact. A wonderful counter-attack from Town saw the ball brilliantly threaded through for Sam Smith who clipped the ball over the advancing Dixon only for Eardley to superbly clear off the line.
Liam Sercombe then drew a strong save from Dixon at his front post after a low drive from the right edge of the box as the home side continued to press with menace.
However, they could have been caught out at the other end when some good football from Rob Kelly’s men saw Quigley slide the ball into the net at the far post only for the flag to go up for offside against the front man.
Dixon then made another good save at his front post as Sercombe tried to catch him out from a free kick wide on the left, before full-back Chris Hussey’s volley from twenty yards bounced through the area and cannoned back off the post.
The Bluebirds keeper then made a stunning reaction save to deny the hosts before Alfie May’s low strike on the rebound was superbly cleared off the line by Patrick Brough.
There was a ferocious tempo at the start of the second half too as Cheltenham continued to press and look for a route back in to the game, though Barrow were defending with determination.
Kelly’s side managed to limit the hosts to very few moments of excitement inside the box and then grabbed an astonishing second goal on 66 minutes. Half time substitute Bobby Thomas hurled an enormous throw-in in from the right and, when it bounced back off keeper Griffiths, Quigley was in the right place to force it over the line.
A crunching tackle from Jamie Devitt on the halfway line gave Luke James the opportunity to seal victory five minutes from time as he drove towards the edge of the box but his shot took a deflection and was gathered by Griffiths.
That mattered little though as Barrow ground it out through to the final whistle to claim their first ever away win over The Robins and complete a League Two double.
Full Time: Cheltenham Town 0 Barrow 2
Cheltenham Town: Griffiths, Long, Hussey, Tozer, Thomas (Wright 70), Smith (Williams 59), May, Blair, Freestone (Chapman 70), Azaz (Vassilev 59), Sercombe.
Subs not used: Flinders, Horton, Chamberlain.
Barrow: Dixon, Eardley, J Jones, Davies, Brough, Nlthe (Thomas 46), C Taylor (Devitt 64), J Taylor, Banks, Kay (James 64), Quigley (Sea 92).
Subs not used: Lillis, Ndjoli.
Booked: Kay, Davies.
Referee: James Bell
Attendance: Behind Closed Doors