After the kick-off was delayed by an electrical failure, neither side were able to find a decisive spark as Barrow and Stevenage played out a goalless draw at The Dunes Hotel Stadium.
The Bluebirds played most of the second half a man light following a red card for Aaron Amadi-Holloway, while the visitors were also reduced to ten in injury time when Luke Prosser saw red.
Barrow were first to get on the front foot and good work from Robbie Gotts made space for Tom White to whip a cross in from the right which struck a Stevenage defender, but the referee turned down the Bluebirds’ appeals for a penalty.
On 11 minutes, Paul Farman had to be at his best, pulling off a great reaction save to prevent Scott Cuthbert’s powerful header from a corner putting the visitors in front.
Some sloppy play at the back allowed Stevenage to pinch possession in an advance position but Chris Lines’ low drive was comfortably collected by Farman down to his right.
The lively Gotts then burst through a gap between two Stevenage men before releasing Connor Brown down the right, but the defender’s ferocious cross flashed across goal without anybody able to apply the decisive touch.
Ollie Banks wandered into space 25 yards out and Stevenage failed to close him down so the Bluebirds skipper took the chance to drive a shot on goal which keeper Christy Pym did well to tip round the post.
There was an even more convincing Barrow appeal for a penalty on 26 minutes when Gotts went down under a challenge from Bailey Clements but again the referee frustrated the crowd.
Moments later, John Rooney went for the spectacular once again when he curled an imaginative effort on goal with the outside of his right boot, but he didn’t generate enough bend to bring it back inside the post.
Jake Taylor then created the best chance of the half for the visitors when he slipped Luke Norris through on goal and the front man clipped a neat finish over the advancing Farman only for Patrick Brough to get back to clear the effort off the line.
On 32 minutes Barrow came just as close at the other end when Aaron Amadi-Holloway got the ball into his feet back to goal eight yards out before spinning to shoot only to see his drive cannon off the post and stay out.
Banks and Rooney both sent efforts over the bar before the latter then hit the woodwork direct from a left-wing corner which almost went straight in.
There was a key moment ten minutes after half time when Amadi-Holloway went in strongly on Lines on the halfway line and the referee produced a straight red card for the front man to reduce The Bluebirds to ten men.
Brough tried to take matters into his own hands with a barnstorming run into the Stevenage box which was halted by the challenge of a defender amidst further calls for a penalty, but the referee remained unmoved.
The Bluebirds seemed to be using the debatable red card as motivation and they put Stevenage under a spell of pressure with the visitors struggling to clear their lines, only being let off the hook when Banks struck a volley wide of the target.
Cooper’s men could have snatched victory on 86 minutes when a free kick into the edge of the box was flicked down by Matt Platt to fellow substitute Luke James whose first-time shot was superbly blocked by Stevenage keeper Pym.
Deep into injury time, Prosser then launched an unnecessary lunge on James as he looked to escape on the break, leaving the referee with little option but to reach for a second yellow and reduce the visitors to ten for the final few seconds.
Full Time: Barrow 0 Stevenage 0
Barrow: Farman, Brown (Hutton 72), J Jones, Canavan, Brough, Glennon (Platt 82), White (James 61), Banks, Rooney, Gotts, Amadi-Holloway.
Subs: Taylor, Williams, Harris.
Stevenage: Pym, James-Wildin, Cuthbert, Prosser, List (Carter 52), Taylor (Reid 70), Norris, Westbrooke, Lines, Clements, Bostwick.
Subs not used: Walker, Andrade, Vancooten, O’Neill, Read.
Referee: Darren Handley
Attendance: 3,001 (38 Stevenage)