Barrow collected a precious point but could have had all three after coming from behind to lead at Salford City only to be denied with a minute to go at The Peninsula Stadium.
Second half strikes from Josh Gordon and Aaron Amadi-Holloway seemed to have put Phil Brown’s battlers on course for a crucial victory after Ryan Watson’s deflected shot had seen The Ammies lead at the break.
However, City substitute Ian Henderson nabbed an 89th minute leveller for the home side and the near-1000 travelling fans had to be content with a point.
Barrow began on the front foot and could have snatched an early lead when Robbie Gotts’ low cross caused panic in the City area and led to a real scramble before the hosts were finally able to clear.
Patrick Brough’s long ball forward was nodded down by Aaron Amadi-Holloway into a dangerous area inside the box, but nobody could profit, before Josh Kay dragged an effort wide from distance as The Bluebirds dominated the early stages.
Kay again went close on 18 minutes when he was sent clear down the left and cleverly ducked inside on to his right foot to let fly with a low drive which was well blocked by keeper Tom King.
The Ammies were under pressure from every Barrow set-piece and John Rooney’s right-wing corner was only half-cleared to the arriving Connor Brown but his effort under pressure flew wide.
City then put together their first meaningful attack and stole the opening goal. The ball dropped kindly for Ryan Watson who had a swing at it but scuffed his shot, only for it fall back into his path for a second attempt which picked up a deflection to wrong foot Paul Farman and find the net.
Kay had another opportunity when he stretched to reach a ball at the far post but couldn’t find the power to trouble King, while Niall Canavan got on the end of a deep Rooney corner only for his goalbound header to be whacked clear by a defender on the line.
Matthew Lund could have doubled City’s lead on 34 minutes when he took control from a long throw-in from the left but, after finding space for the shot, he wastefully steered the effort too high.
The Bluebirds almost got back level four minutes after the break in ridiculous circumstances. Tom Beadling chased on to a loose ball down the middle and, in trying to clear, Corrie Ndaba contrived to hook the ball on to his own cross bar and over from 25 yards in a real let-off for the home side.
Brough then came within a whisker of levelling things up when he got across his man at the near post to meet Rooney’s left-wing corner, but his glancing header flashed agonisingly wide of the far post.
City’s first attack of the second period came when Ndaba drove forward towards the edge of the box before stabbing an effort just wide of Farman’s upright.
The game was all-square on 66 minutes as Josh Gordon made an instant impact from the bench. The front man had been on less than a minute when he met Rooney’s wicked free kick in from the left to bring The Bluebirds back on level terms.
With seven minutes left, Phil Brown’s men hit the front for the first time. George Williams dribbled masterfully at the home defence before timing the release of his pass perfectly to set Amadi-Holloway through on goal and he planted a firm finish into the net to send the visiting hordes wild with delight.
The Ammies then laid siege to the Barrow goal and were denied on numerous occasions before a real scramble inside the six-yard area on 89 minutes saw Ian Henderson deliver a decisive touch which was adjudged to have crossed the line and brought City level.
Brown’s side tried to go again, and Gotts lashed a powerful drive from 20 yards which flashed wide as the clock ticked through to full time.
Full Time: Salford City 2 Barrow 2
Salford City: King, Love (Henderson 85), Touray, Lowe, Ndaba (Bolton 85), Watson, Lund, Turnbull, Smith, Shephard (Thomas-Asante 65), Vassell.
Subs not used: Torrance, Hunter, Burgess, Kelly.
Barrow: Farman, Brown (J Jones 79), Platt, Canavan, Brough, Hutton (Williams 62), Rooney, Gotts, Beadling, Kay (Gordon 66), Amadi-Holloway.
Subs not used: Lillis, Grayson, Banks,
Booked: Beadling, Brown.
Referee: Andy Haines
Attendance: 2,575 (918 Barrow)