Barrow AFC 2 Eastleigh 0

The match was about as pretty as the conditions at Holker Street, but Barrow AFC won’t care how the result came, as they got themselves off the mark against Eastleigh.

The decision to change formation from manager Ian Evatt paid off as the Bluebirds showed they can do the ‘ugly’ side of the game with a much-improved defensive performance in the wind and the rain.

The whole team took stick after Tuesday’s disappointments against Harrogate, although this response showed why no-one at AFC was panicking despite losing the first two games of the season.

The defenders certainly answered a few critics and the same can be said for striker Scott Quigley, who got himself off the mark to seal the victory after earlier setting up John Rooney’s opener.

There was one change to the starting line-up to the one that flopped against Harrogate, with Quigley coming in for Lewis Hardcastle, but more significantly there was a change in formation.

Evatt reverted to playing three at the back, with Patrick Brough teaming up with Sam Hird and captain Josh Granite, as he looked for more stability in his side.

He almost had the early goal he will have craved as some neat play in the middle of the park led to Brad Barry putting Dior Angus in behind and he charged into the penalty area before being denied by Max Stryjek.

The Eastleigh goalkeeper then got lucky when he missed Rooney’s hanging free kick, only for the ball to bounce off Hird before Cavaghn Miley could clear for the visitors.

The visitors then had their first big chance halfway through the first half when Mike Green sent in a first-time cross from the left that Scott Rendell should have at least directed on target with his head.

AFC then had some big appeals for a penalty turned down when Andrew Boyce lunged in to challenge Josh Kay, who was again looking lively, in the area but was deemed to have got enough of the ball.

The Spitfires then had another good opportunity to take the lead as Barrow failed to deal with a long throw before Ben Williamson shot straight at Joel Dixon from point-blank range.

Back came the Bluebirds, with Rooney bending a shot just over before placing a first-time effort from the edge of the area narrowly wide after an excellent ball inside from Barry.

After ending the first half well, AFC picked up in the same vain at the start of the second and it brought them some reward five minutes after the restart.

Quigley, who was proving to be a real handful, sent in a low cross from the left that was helped on by Rooney, but Stryjek should have done better as the ball squirmed through him.

Barrow continued to look the more threatening, but a lack of a final ball prevented any clear-cut chances being forged, meaning the match was still in the balance going into its final quarter.

Eastleigh weren’t really threatening an equaliser, however, despite having several chances to test the hosts from set-pieces, which were being conceded too cheaply at times.

The Bluebirds had a couple of quick chances to make the game safe, firstly when Hird headed Rooney’s corner towards goal, but Angus couldn’t make a connection in front of the ‘keeper.

Angus then bent a shot wide from outside the area before Quigley had a tap-in ruled out for offside after Angus timed his pass to him just a little too late.

That, and their frailty in defending set-pieces, almost haunted them when Miley sent a free header from Jack McKnight’s corner wide of the near post.

The majority inside the ground could finally breathe easy after Quigley sealed the match in stoppage time by dispossessing the wondering Stryjek before calmly chipping into an empty net from 40 yards.

Barrow AFC (3-4-3): Dixon, Hird, Granite, Brough, Barry, Rooney (Hardcastle 90+2), Taylor, Kay, Angus, Quigley, Harrison (Dyson 71).

Subs not used: Brown, Hindle, Greaves.

Eastleigh (3-5-2): Stryjek, Partington, Boyce, Johnson (Atkinson 78), Wynter, Green, Miley, Hollands (McKnight 67), Payne (Smart 78), Rendell, Williamson.

Subs not used: Flitney, Bearwish.

Referee: Tom Parsons

Attendance: 1,060