Barrow caretaker boss Rob Kelly saluted his team’s character and resilience as they snatched a dramatic last-minute winner to sink Oldham 1-0 at Boundary Park.
Scott Quigley bagged the all-important late goal for the Bluebirds, as Kelly began his second stint in temporary charge this term with a perfect outcome just days after Michael Jolley’s sacking.
“Nothing beats a last-minute winner, does it?,” beamed Kelly, after Barrow moved out of the relegation zone. “I’m so pleased for everyone.
“It has been a difficult period for the club, what with Christmas and post-new year, and everything that’s gone on.
“We have to look forward now, though.
“I’ve spoken to the lads, and when you’re in a relegation dogfight – which we are of course – you need to show bags of resilience and character.
“I thought we showed exactly that tonight, and we played some good stuff as well, particularly in the first half.
“Credit to Oldham, they chopped and changed and tried to create problems for us, but like I say, we showed a lot of character, right from the start.
“It’s about dusting ourselves off and getting ready for Saturday now.
“I’ll let the lads enjoy tonight, but staying up is all the matters for us now.
“We’ve only got one agenda, and that’s it now.
“Let’s just get to May now, and still be a Football League club.”
Both sides had chances to break the deadlock in an entertaining opening half.
Luke James went closest for Barrow when his shot was deflected inches off target, while Oldham forward Conor McAleny lashed an 18-yard strike just wide.
The second period saw Barrow take control and Quigley was mightily unlucky when his thumping shot struck the crossbar, bounced down, then hit the bar again.
It mattered little for the Barrow striker, though, as he bagged a clinical winner late on to condemn Oldham to another home defeat.
Boss Harry Kewell slammed his side’s dismal showing on home turf.
“That was probably the worst performance the team have put in since I came here,” said the Australian. “Right from the get-go we just weren’t at it for whatever reason.
“That’s been the really disappointing thing for me.
“There was no real tempo, no real enthusiasm from anyone out there.
“Only one team looked like they wanted it tonight and that was Barrow, so credit to them. We got what we deserved, and that’s nothing.
“I can’t understand it. When you’re playing a sport you love, you should be willing to die for the cause.
“Too many of our players just looked like they weren’t interested enough.
“The energy wasn’t there from the players and I just didn’t feel the performance overall was anything near what it should have been.
“We’ll have to shake it off as quickly as possible.
“That just wasn’t good enough tonight.”