Montel Gibson scored the only goal of the game to earn Grimsby Town a victory over Barrow at Blundell Park.
The Mariners created the better chances but were forced to wait until the hour mark for their breakthrough.
The visitors pressed for an equaliser but rarely threatened James McKeown’s goal as Town defended well to secure all three points and register their first home league win of the season.
Three changes were made to the Grimsby starting XI following the goalless draw at Stevenage on Saturday, with Harry Clifton, Max Wright and Gibson coming in as Danny Preston, Matt Green and the injured James Tilley made way.
McKeown started in goal, with Luke Hendrie, Mattie Pollock, Luke Waterfall and Clifton forming the defence.
Terry Taylor, Kyle Bennett and Danny Rose were the midfielders, with Wright and Owen Windsor either side of Montel Gibson in attack.
Preston and Green were both named on the bench, alongside Ollie Battersby, George Williams, Sean Scannell, Duncan Idehen and James Morton.
Barrow made the long journey from the north-west looking to make it three league wins in a row after victories over Bradford City and Mansfield Town in their previous two games.
Manager David Dunn’s starting line-up included defender Sam Hird, who played 18 games for Town in a loan spell at Blundell Park during the 2007-08 season.
The visitors had the first attack of the game, with a 20-yard shot from striker Dior Angus being pushed over the bar by McKeown for a corner.
A free kick driven into the box from Mike Jones on the Barrow left was dealt with by the Town defence, before Gibson sent a low effort wide of the near post at the other end on six minutes.
Wright sent a free header over the bar after meeting a cross from Taylor on the right, then another opportunity came as Bennett worked an opening to cross from the left but Gibson headed wide.
A free kick from Jones on the away left was punched clear by McKeown, then a foul by Clifton on 19 minutes gave the visitors another chance to put pressure on the Town goal, this time from the right. Jones’ delivery was headed clear.
A Barrow corner was comfortably caught by McKeown, before a corner at the other end found its way back to Bennett, whose follow-up cross was cleared.
A cross from Harrison Biggins on the Barrow left was headed through to McKeown by Luke James as the half-hour mark passed, while a Town penalty appeal was turned down after Wright went down just inside the box after contact as he jumped for a header.
Wright sent a shot over the bar from distance on 34 minutes as the Mariners continued to look for an opening goal.
Hird was shown the first yellow card of the game for a foul on Wright on the halfway line, then Clifton did well to win a corner on the left but from it, Hendrie’s flick went through to Barrow keeper Joel Dixon.
Waterfall tried his luck from distance on 43 minutes but his effort was off-target.
Two added minutes were played at the end of the half and Windsor did well to draw a foul from Hird and win a free kick deep inside the Barrow half but Bennett’s ball from it was dealt with and Pollock was penalised for a foul on midfielder Jason Taylor.
No further chances were created before the half-time whistle, with the deadlock yet to be broken.
No changes were made before the restart and the visitors had the better of the early stages, with a free kick from the right well-defended as Waterfall headed clear.
Hendrie saw a shot blocked after cutting in fom the right on 50 minutes, before a cross from Wright was also blocked after a run down the right.
A foul on Gibson gave Town a free kick in a dangerous position but the offside flag went up as Bennett’s delivery broke towards Pollock.
Jayden Reid and Chris Taylor replaced Angus and Biggins as Barrow made a double substitution on 56 minutes.
But when the opening goal came on the hour, it was the Mariners who took the lead. A good attacking move led to Windsor playing the ball to Wright on the right and he squared it for GIBSON, who finished from close range at the far post.
Williams replaced Wright on 62 minutes in Town’s first substitution, before Barrow’s Taylor drilled a low shot just wide from the edge of the penalty area.
Defender Matt Platt was booked after catching Gibson on the knee, then Morton replaced Taylor in the Town midfield with 19 minutes left to play.
A cross-shot by Connor Brown was cut out for a Barrow corner but the ball from the flag did not lead to a chance in front of goal.
Waterfall was the next to be booked after a foul on James but again, the free kick did not cause any problems for McKeown in the Town goal.
The visitors were inches away from equalising on 79 minutes though, as Reid went clear and made his way into the box. His low shot beat McKeown but bounced back off the far post.
Preston was sent on in place of Bennett with 10 minutes to go and Dimitri Sea replaced Taylor for the visitors soon afterwards.
With the clock ticking down, Barrow pushed forward in search of an equaliser, with Reid watching as his shot was deflected wide, before another attempt by the same player was blocked and also dropped wide.
McKeown was yellow-carded for time-wasting, before the fourth official’s board showed Town would be forced to see out five additional minutes.
But it was the Mariners who finished the game the stronger, with Williams setting off on two surging runs through the middle and Clifton shooting at keeper Dixon.
Barrow were unable to cause any further problems, leaving the Mariners to celebrate a hard-earned victory.
Town are next in action on Saturday, when they travel to Dagenham and Redbridge in the first round of the FA Cup.
- James McKeown (C)
- Matthew Pollock
- Luke Waterfall
- Luke Hendrie
- Harry Clifton
- Max Wright
- Terry Taylor
- Danny Rose
- Montel Gibson
- Owen Windsor
- Kyle Bennett
- Ollie Battersby
- Duncan Idehen
- Danny Preston
- James Morton
- Sean Scannell
- George Williams
- Matt Green
- Joel Dixon
- Patrick Brough
- Matthew Platt
- Sam Hird (C)
- Bradley Barry
- Connor Brown
- Jason Taylor
- Michael Jones
- Harrison Biggins
- Luke James
- Dior Angus
- Scott Maloney
- Scott Wilson
- Yoan Zouma
- Chris Taylor
- Jayden Reid
- Dimitri Sea
Referee: Alan Young
Next Up: Dagenham and Redbridge (A)