Cambridge United picked up their first win in nine games, and first on the road this season, with a 4-1 victory over Barrow.
The U’s travelled to Holker Street, a happy hunting ground in recent years, looking to pick up a vital three points and found themselves 2-0 up after just nine minutes.
The drama started as early as the fourth minute, when the U’s thought they had taken the lead as Liam Hughes rammed home from close range following a bout of pin-ball in the Barrow penalty area.
But referee Mr Kavanagh instead pulled play back and awarded United a penalty for a handball on the line by James Owen. The Barrow midfielder received his marching orders and Michael Gash stepped up to take the penalty.
Gash, in fine form since returning from a loan spell at Braintree, collected his fourth goal in as many games as he smashed the ball into the centre of the goal to put his side 1-0 up.
Things got even better for the U’s just three minutes later when Tom Shaw’s effort from just inside the area was deflected into the back of the net by home defender Matthew Flynn.
However, there were worrying scenes immediately following Shaw’s goal as Barrow ‘keeper Danny Hurst lay prone in his six yard box, apparently knocked unconscious following a collision in the goalmouth.
Hurst was stretchered off and, without a goalkeeper on the bench, he was replaced between the sticks by Flynn.
Despite their numerical disadvantage, Barrow began to find their way back into the game and forced a couple of decent stops from U’s ‘keeper Jonathan Hedge.
Crucially, United managed to grab a third goal through Andy Pugh in first half stoppage time.
A scrappier goal you could not wish to see, as the ball bobbled around the Barrow area following a spill from the stand-in goalkeeper, but Pugh eventually tucked the ball home to put his side 3-0 up at the interval.
Barrow started the second half as the livelier side and pulled one back through Gavin Skelton’s header following a Paul Rutherford cross.
Things could have got even worse for the U’s had Tom Anderson’s effort not been disallowed for a handball in the build-up.
But it was Shaw who put things beyond all doubt in the 71st minute, firing home after being set up by Andy Pugh to wrap up the scoring at 4-1.
Speaking to the media afterwards, Jez George was relieved to have picked up the three points: “We had a bit of luck and were in a position where we were 2-0 up.
“Their keeper was unfortunately stretchered off, but we should win the game from there.
“It wasn't very pretty, but the pitch wasn't as good as it looked and we hadn't won for so long, a win in this situation is the most important thing.
“We're just happy to get a much-needed three points and hopefully we can crack on from here.”
Barrow: Hurst (Anderson 13), Flynn, Skelton (Jackson 79), Aldred, Pearson, Owen, Rutherford, Baker, Boyes, McConville (Rowe 65), Almond. Substitutes: Hunter, Moore.
United: Hedge, McAuley, Thorpe, Coulson, Andrew, Shaw, Jarvis, Hughes (Moke 63), Gash, Willmott (Thalassitis 77), Pugh. Substitutes: Ross, Wellard, Elliott.