DEFEAT and two red cards marred the first home match of the new season for Vauxhall Motors in what was an entertaining encounter.
The Motormen were trailing to a 17th-minute goal from Barrow's Steve Ridley when, just before the half-time interval, striker Leighton McGivern and visiting centre-back Jonathan Smith were sent off for an off-the-ball incident.
Despite an impressive second-half display, Vauxhall were unable to find an equaliser, and boss Owen Brown lamented his side's misfortune.
'We can take great heart from this performance,' he said.
'We didn't do ourselves justice in the first half but in the second period we pressed the ball well and played some good stuff.
'If we put in performances like that for the rest of the season I'll be happy.
'The fitness levels of the lads are very good, we competed well and we created chances. Their keeper made some good saves and we were just unlucky.
'On another day we'd have scored four or five and if we play as well as
that at the weekend then we will beat Redditch.'
The Motormen started brightly but fell behind when Barrow's Graham Anthony and Neil Tarrant combined well to find Steve Ridley on the left,
who fired a fierce drive past Tim Dittmer at his near post.
Barrow dominated the remainder of the first period and Dittmer was forced into action on a number of occasions, making great saves from both Tarrant
and Gavin Knight.
The second-half brought with it a revitalised Vauxhall and Paul Addo nearly provided an immediate response, but he shot wide at the near post from a tight angle.
With Barrow penned in their own half, the Motors surged forward, but a combination of poor finishing and last-ditch defending kept them at bay.
Robbie Lawton, Phil Brazier, Addo and Steve McNulty were all guilty of spurning glorious opportunities to level the match as Vauxhall continued to press.
With time running out, Simon Bishop produced a match winning save, diving at full stretch to turn Wayne McDermott's injury-time thunderbolt past the post, and maintain Barrow's 100% start to the season. nA depleted Vauxhall side still managed to maintain pre-season form with an opening-day win at Alfreton Town on Saturday.
The Motors escaped from Derbyshire with a 2-1 victory, with Leighton McGivern and Sam McNulty on the mark. nThe Motormen entertain Redditch United tomorrow (3pm).