CHRISTMAS cheer was in good supply for Rob Kelly as he watched his Barrow side come away from Port Vale with three points from a 2-0 win.

At his last match as Bluebirds’ caretaker boss he saw the visitors soak up pressure from Vale and prove lethal when opportunities – which were few and far between – did arise.

On a bitterly cold and gusty afternoon, Scott Quigley returned to Vale Park to haunt his former club with the opening goal on 23 minutes, and Patrick Brough’s tap-in with the second half just five minutes old set them on course for a second straight win.

Somewhat unsurprisingly, Bluebirds boss Kelly stuck with the same side that had ended their eight-game winless run in the league with a victory at home to Cheltenham a week earlier.

Meanwhile, Vale came into the game on the back of two draws and a defeat in their previous three league outings.

And although the hosts had much of the early possession, Barrow’s back three comfortably soaked up whatever was thrown at them initially, with only a wayward shot from Devante Rodney posing any sort of threat in the first quarter of the game.

With Vale’s attacks regularly petering out and Barrow struggling to make any progress up the field initially, the game was a complete stalemate.

Then, totally out of the blue, Barrow were fired ahead by Quigley, who showed power and precision to make the most of his side’s first meaningful foray forward and hit his fifth goal of the season.

After he blocked a clearance, the ball fell kindly into the striker’s path but he still had plenty to do to shake off Nathan Smith and slide his finish past keeper Scott Brown and into the net.

Quigley did have another half-chance to add to his fifth goal of the season but skied his shot way over from the edge of the D.

But with the Valiants continually losing their way once they had made their way into the final third of the pitch, Joel Dixon was only called upon to punch clear Scott Burgess’ goalbound free kick from out wide five minutes before half time.

Quigley’s goal was enough to send Barrow in at the break a goal to the good, though that would have been two had Matt Platt managed to get his stoppage-time header from Josh Kay’s cross on target.

Things did get even better for Barrow with just five minutes of the second half played, Brough pouncing to double the advantage, tapping in at close range with the hosts’ defence all at sea.

With their tails up Barrow began to turn the screw, with Quigley only denied his second of the game by a fine Brown save and Kay’s fierce drive narrowly clearing the bar.

And at the back, the Bluebirds remained disciplined throughout, their professional, dedicated performance bringing them a much-welcomed and deserved three points.