BARROW’s assistant boss Sam Hird believes the relegation race will go right down to the wire.

Jamie Devitt haunted old side Newport County with his dramatic 84th-minute free-kick at Holker Street on Good Friday.

Scott Bennett gave the visitors the lead before Scott Quigley’s leveller. Devitt had the last laugh before Mickey Demetriou was sent off late on.

Victory opened up a welcome six-point gap above the Bluebirds’ relegation rivals. But Hird warned: “The manager’s been saying it and we’ve said it to the lads, we’re experienced in football and it’ll probably go right to the end.

“It’s vital for us that we know our jobs and perform. If that means we get the win then great.

“We’ve had some good deserved wins and we head to Colchester in great confidence.”

The hosts showed great character to win their first game of the season from behind. And it meant that the relegation-threatened club have now won five of their last seven to ease their relegation fears.

“It just showed great character from the lads,” added Hird.

“I’m not sure we’ve come back from behind too much this season. That just shows the togetherness of the players and the staff.

“The lads are the ones on the pitch, they’re the ones who have to do it and they’ve produced the goods today.

“They drove on, they demanded standards from each other. It was well deserved at the end.

“I thought in the end we could have scored even more goals second half.”

The Bluebirds started slowly after back-to-back defeats. But they grew into the game and created decent chances to secure a vital three points.

And Hird hopes Rob Kelly’s charges find a ruthless streak after showing promotion-chasing County too much respect in the early encounters.

He said: “We didn’t start too well in the first 20 minutes. You’ve got to show teams respect, but we showed them too much respect. They’re a good side, with some good footballers, but we showed them too much respect.

“We didn’t get in their faces enough. We conceded a sloppy goal, a real sloppy goal which was disappointing.

“I thought we reacted brilliantly. I thought we grew into the first half. Second half we were the better side, we got in their faces and pressed them.

“We played half decent football at times and had some good chances.”

Barrow head to relegation rivals Colchester United, who they leapfrogged in the table, today in a real six-pointer.

But they have games in hand under their belt over all of

the teams around them and a hefty goal difference advantage over the three sides below them.

Capitulating Colchester have won just one of their last 23 games and Barrow will be desperate to extend the Essex side's remarkably bad run to continue their ascent to safety.