Barrow 2 Newport 1

JAMIE Devitt returned with a bang as his late winner eased Barrow’s relegation fears with victory over promotion-chasing Newport County.

The game looked destined to be a draw after Bluebirds’ striker Scott Quigley’s 11th goal of the season cancelled out Scott Bennett’s opener.

But Devitt opened his account for the club at the perfect time to get Rob Kelly’s side back to winning ways.

The Exiles ended with 10 men at Holker Street after Mickey Demetriou was sent off in the 87th minute as they slipped to a third defeat in a row.

The battling Bluebirds had lost two games on the spin but this welcome win opened up a six-point gap over the League Two relegation zone.

Victory propelled the hosts above Colchester, who they travel to on Monday in a six-pointer.

Kelly made a trio of changes after an agonisingly late loss at Stevenage last time out.

Ollie Banks and Cumbrian neighbours Carlisle new boy Devitt returned in midfield.

And Luke James was also recalled to join striker Scott Quigley up front.

Devitt almost made an instant impact as his dipping effort went just over the bar.

Down the other end, Josh Sheehan’s speculative effort flew wide of the mark as he tried to catch Joel Dixon unaware.

Quigley’s tame header barely troubled former Barnsley stopper Nick Townsend in the Exiles’ goal.

And visitor’s striker Padraig Amond saw his lob go over the bar as the game remained goalless.

But Bennett put the Exiles ahead in the 24th minute as his deflected effort beat Dixon.

The hosts failed to clear their lines from Matty Dolan’s free-kick as Bennett’s ferocious strike rocketed the back of the net.

Kelly’s charges had a great chance after Bobby Thomas’ throw caused problems but the visitors cleared.

Aaron Lewis squandered a glorious opportunity to double the advantage as he poked Sheehan’s drilled cross wide at the back post.

Quigley missed the hosts’ best chance of the half when he fired over after being expertly slipped in by Devitt.

And Devitt blasted an effort wide heading into the break.

The Bluebirds burst out of the blocks with James forcing Townsend into a save at his near post.

But Quigley was not to be denied as he completed a super counter attack as he cut inside and fired home with his left foot in the 56th minute.

And it was the Bluebirds who looked the more likely to grab a second.

Quigley was well kept out by Townsend as the shot-stopper stood tall to keep the game level.

And Jamie Jones was the next to go close for the battling hosts but he couldn’t quite turn Devitt’s free-kick on target.

Dixon produced a good low save with less than ten minutes to go to keep out Sheehan.

And that save proved vital as Devitt bagged a dramatic late winner with his fantastic free-kick six minutes from time.

Demetriou was sent off right at the end for a bad foul on Quigley.