Barrow moved close to clinching League Two survival after John Rooney’s second half goal ensured a brilliant 1-0 win over Sutton United at The Dunes Hotel Stadium.
The midfield ace volleyed home on 68 minutes and that proved the decisive moment and set-up wild scenes of celebration at the final whistle though there was a wait for confirmation of their EFL fate after Oldham Athletic's game against Salford City was delayed.
A strong wind made things difficult, and chances were at a premium for both sides during a scrappy first half which was punctuated with very little flowing football.
John Rooney’s fierce corner from the right was met by Matt Platt eight yards out but his header looped up in the air and could have caused a problem but for some decisive goalkeeping from Dean Bouzanis.
Another Rooney delivery, this time from a left-wing free kick, was flicked on by Aaron Amadi-Holloway, but this time Bouzanis was able to watch it drop wide of his post.
Sutton quickly broke down to the other end and some hesitant Barrow defending presented Omar Bugiel with the best chance of the half, but he blazed a volley well over the bar.
The Bluebirds remained patient and some good work on the edge of the area from Amadi-Holloway helped engineer a shooting chance for Robbie Gotts, but his drive was off target.
There was a different feeling to the second half with Barrow enjoying the wind behind them and Rooney came close to opening the scoring within four minutes of the restart when his goalbound volley was superbly blocked by Ben Goodliffe.
From the resultant corner from the left, Rooney’s wicked in-swinging delivery almost went directly in at the near post, but Bouzanis did just enough to keep it out and Sutton cleared.
Sutton responded and could have broken the deadlock when Rob Milsom whipped a dangerous free kick across from the right which flashed just beyond Farman’s far post.
Midway through the second half the first goal did arrive. Brilliant play down the right from Josh Gordon – on in place of the injured Amadi-Holloway – fed Remeao Hutton into the box and his cross was gleefully volleyed home by Rooney.
There was a black mark on the goal as, following the celebrations, the referee produced a second yellow card for Josh Kay who was sent-off to leave The Bluebirds with ten men.
With 15 minutes left, Sutton were handed a lifeline when the referee awarded them a penalty, but Milson’s powerful effort was brilliantly parried away by Farman who had flung himself full-length to his left. A wonderful save.
Gordon could have made it 2-0 in sensational fashion on 84 minutes when he hooked the ball over his own head from the left touchline before running on to it himself and firing a powerful strike which flashed just over the bar.
There were unsavoury scenes from within the crowd during the closing stages which helped create stoppage time of 10 minutes during which Sutton pressed for a leveller.
However, despite even sending the keeper up for a corner, The U’s could not find a way to goal and The Bluebirds hung on for a crucial victory.
Full Time: Barrow 1 Sutton United 0
Barrow: Farman, Brown, Platt, Canavan, Brough, Hutton, Rooney, White (Grayson 78), Gotts, Kay, Amadi-Holloway (Gordon 62).
Subs not used: Lillis, J Jones, Banks, Williams.
Booked: Kay, Brown.
Sutton United: Bouzanis, Goodliffe, John, Ajiboye, Davis (Bennett 85), Bugiel, Olaofe (Wilson 82), Boldewijn (Randall 73), Kizzi, Milson, Smith.
Subs not used: Nelson, Barden, Wyatt, Rowe.
Referee: Ben Toner
Attendance: 3,019 (91 Sutton United)