Barrow 1

Scunthorpe 0

BATTLING Barrow AFC got back to winning ways with a scrappy 1-0 win against fellow strugglers Scunthorpe United.

Josh Kay bagged the only goal of the game to clinch a welcome three points in the club’s survival bid.

The Bluebirds secured their first win since Boxing Day as midfielder Kay hit his fourth goal of the campaign.

And it was double delight for Michael Jolley’s hosts as they leapfrogged the ten-man Iron on goal difference after inflicting their fifth defeat in six league games.

The Bluebirds had to withstand a late Scunthorpe surge to hold on for a vital three points in the relegation six-pointer. And victory opened up a two-point gap over Grimsby Town in the drop zone and are now three points above resurgent Southend United, who beat them last time out.

Scunthorpe finished the game a man light as Junior Brown was sent off for the first time in five years.

Bluebirds’ boss Jolley named three changes from the side which lost at basement boys Southend last weekend.

Burton Albion loanee Neal Eardley came straight in to make his debut, with Harrison Biggins ushered in immediately after his suspension and James Jones made his first start since October after returning from injury.

Chances were at a premium as neither side wanted to chase the game in a survival slugfest.

The visiting Iron didn’t even have a shot in a sedate first half.

There was a scrappy start to proceedings on a bitterly cold Cumbrian afternoon.

The hosts’ first real chance came when Josh Kay’s deflected effort was easily held by Scunthorpe shot-stopper Mark Howard.

But the signs were positive with the Bluebirds finding space down the left-hand side.

And a sprawling Kay was inches away from poking Jolley’s charges in front as Biggins’ deep cross evaded the midfielder at the back post.

The Iron’s first chance was an audacious tame effort from Jem Karacan in the 49th minute which was easily grasped by untroubled Joel Dixon.

The hosts took the lead just before the hour mark and it was all about Luke James breaking down the right-hand flank in the build up. And the winger found Biggins who teed up Kay as he clinically fired the Bluebirds into a deserved lead.

Down the other end Alex Gilliead struck an inviting free-kick over the bar.

Worryingly, James went down after a horrible clash of heads with Jordan Clarke and needed extensive medical attention before being stretchered off with a neck brace on.

Jolley’s men had to soak up the pressure to ensure they held on to all three points.

Bluebirds’ keeper Dixon was forced into a decent save to deny Karacan’s sweet 25-yard strike as the visitors rallied as they desperately tried to get a share of the spoils.

And moments later potent Karacan could only nod into the side netting after he met Clarke’s cross at the back post.

The visitors went down to ten towards the end as Brown picked up a second yellow card for an off-the-ball tussle with striker Scott Quigley.

Dixon kept out Abo Eisa before 15 minutes of stoppage time was added on, but the hosts held firm.