MOTORS slid to a disappointing home defeat against Barrow, having started their Boxing Day match at Rivacre Park in the ascendancy.
Both sides created a host of opportunities, with home skipper Tom Field twice going close with driven efforts. The first just cleared the angle of crossbar and upright and the second flew just wide on the other side.
At the other end, Motors keeper Andrew Murphy pounced on an early shot from Andy Bond, who had done well to make space on the right side of the hosts’ defence.
The Bluebirds took the initiative on 23 minutes when Matt Henney raced through the inside-right channel before firing beyond Murphy for the opener.
Visiting striker Jason Walker wasted a great chance to double the lead after good work by the impressive Bond before Barrow stopper Tim Deasy pulled off a superb save to his left to keep out Paul Taylor’s rasping right foot shot.
After half-time, Motors wasted a glorious chance to level the score on 54 minutes when Jonathan Egerton was brought down in the box as he attempted to play a one-two. But Deasy continued his heroics by saving Taylor’s spot kick.
As the contest approached full-time, Barrow wrapped up the points courtesy of a harsh penalty awarded by the senior assistant referee, who had taken over the whistle in the 75th minute when the referee suffered a hamstring injury.
The deputy adjudged that Murphy brought down Walker when the keeper seemed to have played the ball first in a 50/50 challenge.
Up stepped ex-Motorman Steve McNulty to confidently convert his spot kick, firing well to Murphy’s left from 12 yards.
Vauxhall: Murphy, Owens, Marsh-Evans, Field, Holmes, Brannan, Heler, Griffiths (Hitchen 57), Wignall (Wright 60), Egerton, Taylor. Subs: Reed, McMahon, Dames.