The cliche of ‘a game of two halves’ might never have been more true, as a fantastic second half showing from The Bluebirds helps overturn a 2 goal deficit to secure all three points at the One Call Stadium.
Mansfield started the game the more lively, with returning Bluebirds goalkeeper Paul Farman called into action after just a couple of minutes.
Farman, starting his first game since 17th December, blocked Stephen McLaughlin’s low driven shot and managed to snuff out the rebound at his near post.
The hosts broke the deadlock just 7 minutes later, when Stephen McLaughlin’s free kick found its way through the Barrow wall, and past Farman. The Barrow ‘keeper’s outstretched hand wasn’t enough to keep out the well-hit strike.
The Bluebirds launched a couple of attacks, but couldn’t find a way to produce anything to challenge Christy Pym in the Mansfield goal.
Nigel Clough’s side doubled their lead with 25 minutes on the clock, when Stephen Quinn beat George Ray to set up a one-on-one with Paul Farman; Quinn slotting a ball underneath Farman to grab the hosts’ 2nd of the afternoon.
Barrow thought they’d earned a way back into the game, when Billy Waters was brought down inside the area, but referee Neil Hair disagreed with Waters’ cries.
Billy Waters injected some life into the affair in first half injury time though, when he unleashed a skilful strike to find a way past Christy Pym, from a tight angle.
A double change at the break for Pete Wild, and a reversion to the usual formation, saw Josh Gordon head home an equaliser just three minutes into the second half. Tyrell Warren’s pinpoint cross found the head of the Barrow forward, leaving the One Call Stadium stunned, as a two goal lead had been taken away.
The 76th minute, some fantastic attacking play from Elliot Newby and Josh Gordon resulted in Billy Waters come antagonisingly close to firing his side into the lead. A ball from Josh Gordon fell just behind Waters.
That didn't matter though, as just a few moments later, Mansfield’s Ollie Hawkins got an unfortunate (or fortunate!) touch on another well placed ball into the box from Tyrell Warren to put Barrow into the lead.
Strong defending from the Barrow back four ensured the hosts never really got an opportunity to get back into the match.
Full Time: Mansfield Town 2-3 Barrow
Attendance: 6,081 (148 away)
Mansfield Town: Pym, Gordon (Knowles 87’), Hewitt, Perch, McLaughlin (Law 85’), Maris, Boateng, Quinn (Lapslie 75’), Oates, Hawkins, Swan (Bowery 75’)
Unused Subs: Flinders, O'Toole, Anderson.
Barrow: Farman, Warren, Brown (Whitfield 46’), Ray, Canavan, Brough, Neal, White (Foley 71), Gotts (Newby 71’), Waters, Bennett (Gordon 46’).
Unused Subs: Moloney, Stevens.