Phil Brown’s first game in charge of The Bluebirds ended in defeat as two second half goals ensured three points for in-form Leyton Orient at The Breyer Group Stadium.
A superb strike from Paul Smyth and another from danger man Ruel Sotiriou did the damage as The O’s enjoyed their third successive victory to ease their own relegation fears.
Brown made two changes for his opening game as Jason Taylor returned to the starting line-up and Remeao Hutton was also drafted back into the side in East London.
The game started slowly but it was The Bluebirds who carved out the first opening of merit when Ollie Banks’ free kick from the right found Josh Gordon, but he sent a header too high.
John Rooney then tried a typically cheeky effort from a free kick wide on the left, whipping it in towards the front post but Orient keeper Lawrence Vigouroux was wise to it and claimed.
The dangerous Ruel Sotiriou then got into shooting space on the edge of the box and his effort deflected kindly into the path of Aaron Drinan, but Paul Farman was out quickly to save.
Sotiriou got in behind the Barrow defence a few minutes later, taking a lovely first touch to settle himself for the shot on the right side of the area before blazing wastefully over the bar.
There was a worrying period for the home side when Barrow forced a series of corners midway through the first half – one of them caused chaos in the Orient area as it pinballed around for a few seconds before finally being cleared.
Barrow were causing problems though; Aaron Amadi-Holloway got on the end of a long ball forward to nod down towards Josh Gordon, but it flashed across his strike partner’s path before he had time to react.
Banks then threaded an incisive ball through to Robbie Gotts, who turned in an instant to find space for a shot, but he didn’t get the cleanest connection and his effort didn’t have the power to trouble Vigouroux.
Sotiriou then took centre-stage with a wonderful free kick from 25 yards which crashed back off the crossbar, before then getting on the end of a ball back into the box only to see his header palmed over by Farman.
An Orient corner from the right was only half cleared to Drinan whose drilled effort was superbly blocked by Amadi-Holloway as it hurtled towards goal.
And the Bluebirds front man had a presentable chance of his own at the other end in first half stoppage time when he got across his man at the front post to meet a right-wing cross only for his glancing header to flash wide of the far post.
The O’s had the last opening of the first period when a dangerous in-swinging cross from the right was met on the volley by Drinan, but it went just wide as Matt Platt did enough to put the Orient man off.
Orient came out looking more determined after the break and found the breakthrough on 52 minutes when Connor Wood played a ball in behind for Paul Smyth to chase. The O’s man got there ahead of Paul Farman on the left of the box and then turned to lift a brilliant shot over the head of the retreating Bluebirds keeper and into the net.
It got worse for Barrow just after the hour when a free kick from the right wasn’t dealt with and Sotiriou was able to turn on to his left foot and drill home Orient’s second from ten yards.
Brown’s men pressed for a route back into the game but came up against a robust Orient backline – Gotts did manage to get a shot off on 72 minutes, but it was fielded comfortably by Vigouroux.
Substitute Josh Kay was then freed in behind on the left by a flighted ball from Banks but, after taking a touch to set himself, his low effort from a tight angle was gathered by Orient’s keeper.
Full Time: Leyton Orient 2 Barrow 0
Leyton Orient: Vigouroux, Wood, Thompson (Ray 86), Smyth (Khan 86), Archibald (Smith 81), Drinan, Pratley, Beckles, Sotiriou, Ogie, Kyprianou.
Subs not used: Sargeant, Nouble, Young, Coleman.
Booked: Pratley, Beckles.
Barrow: Farman, Hutton, Platt, Canavan, Brough, Taylor (White 67), Banks, Gotts (Glennon 82), Rooney, Amadi-Holloway, Gordon (Kay 67).
Subs not used: Lillis, J Jones, Sea.
Booked: Brough, Taylor, Canavan, White.
Referee: Simon Mather
Attendance: 6,032 (382 Barrow)