Town fell to a narrow 1-0 defeat away to Barrow courtesy of a Josh Gordon strike on the stroke of half-time.
With difficult conditions to contend with Town struggled to assert themselves over the course of the ninety minutes with Gordon’s goal proving to be enough, despite a flurry from Town that saw them almost grab a late equaliser.
Simon Weaver made two changes from the side that beat Gillingham in midweek. Stephen Doolety missed out through injury and was replaced by George Thomson whilst Pete Jameson returned to the side in goal.
And Jameson was involved early, making a smart save for Town after Josh Gordon picked up an errant Kayne Ramsay pass, but the big man was down low and early to his left.
Alex Pattison, one never afraid to take a chance, fired off a speculative effort on seven minutes but it was hopeful at best with Paul Farman able to watch it fly well wide.
Farman then stuck a goal kick all the way into the Town box and saw it take a bounce before clipping the bar, a sign of the swirling conditions that Town were contending with in the opening stages.
Town’s best play came when they kept it short and on the floor. A neat move down the left involving Joe Mattock, Jaheim Headley and Matty Daly released Pattison but his cross was too close to Farman.
Mattock then became the first name in the book for a late challenge on Tyler Warren, joined soon after by Kay who hacked down Ramsay; a challenge that Town’s players were far from happy with.
Jameson then made a smart save on the half-hour mark when Ben Whitfield’s shot took a sharp deflect. He moved well though to his left to palm the ball away.
Barrow were beginning to take the upper hand and there was a timely interception from Mattock who headed clear at the far post from Kay’s cross.
Ramsay was then yellow card on 42 minutes when he clumsily challenged Kay, with the Barrow forward down for a number of minutes afterwards.
The home side recovered quickly enough though to take the lead. As the half moved into injury time Gordon turned and crossed from the left with the ball – aided by the conditions – evading Jameson at the far post.
The second-half opened with another foray from the home side that resulted in Thomson conceding a free-kick on the edge of the box, with the Town man receiving a yellow card to add insult to injury.
Jameson then collected well low down at his near post from a Robbie Gotts cross with the hosts looking to press home their advantage.
Thomson was replaced by Jack Muldoon on 55 minutes, with the injury he sustained early in the second-half forcing him from the field.
Town finally found a way into the game, stringing possession together which pushed the hosts onto the back foot. They forced a corner but the home side comfortably cleared.
There was chaos in the Town box soon after though when Jameson wandered off his line but recovered his position well to get firmly behind the resulting effort on goal.
Goalscorer Kay was withdrawn on 70 minutes, being replaced by Billy Waters.
And with 15 minutes remaining Simon Weaver played his final hand when he introduced Lewis Richards and Tyler Frost for Mattock and Headley.
The hosts countered almost immediately when Pete Wild made a double change of his own, taking off Whitfield and goalscorer Gordon and bringing on John Rooney and Jordan Stevens.
Heading into the final ten minutes Patrick Brought went into the book for pulling back Pattison. The foul gave Town a free-kick in a threatening position and although the ball fell to Muldoon the danger was quickly cleared.
With just over five minutes remaining Town had an opportunity when Ramsay bounded down the right-hand side to send a deep cross to the far post. The ball was met by Luke Armstrong but he couldn’t direct his header on goal.
And then as the game entered injury time, Town’s best chance almost saw them equalise when Frost and Daly combined to see the Huddersfield loanee get a shot away only to be blocked by Sam McClelland.
Barrow: Farman, Brough, McClelland, Canavan, Gordon (Rooney, 77), Kay (Waters, 70), Neal (White, 86), Gotts, Foley, Warren, Whitfield (Stevens, 77).
Subs not used: Lillis, Rooney, Nwabuokei, Kenlock, Stevens.
Goal: Kay (44)
Booked: Kay (26), Rooney (90)
TOWN: Jameson, Welch-Hayes, Ferguson, Mattock (Richards, 73), Ramsay, Headley (Frost, 73), Austerfield, Thomson (Muldoon, 55), Pattison, Daly, Armstrong.
Subs not used: Oxley, Burrell, Horbury Ilesanmi.
Booked: Mattock (17), Ramsay (42), Thomson (49), Austerfield (90)
Gordon (Rooney, 77)
Kay (Waters, 70)
Neal (White, 86)
Whitfield (Stevens, 77)
Mattock (Richards, 73)
Headley (Frost, 73)
Thomson (Muldoon, 55)