Ollie Banks’ 55th minute spot-kick sealed defeat for Mansfield Town at One Call Stadium.
The striker’s fourth Sky Bet League Two goal edged a feisty affair in Barrow’s favour.
Nathan Bishop built on a strong performance at Leyton Orient last week to provide more key saves for the Stags.
Farrend Rawson was dismissed with less than a minute remaining.
Nigel Clough made one change to the side that battled for a hard eared point in East London last weekend.
Midfielder Harry Charsley earned his first league start of the season by replacing the suspended Tyrese Sinclair.
Oli Hawkins’ successful outing at centre-back in the capital saw the natural striker keep his place in the heart of Mansfield’s defence.
Ollie Clarke’s fourth minute clearance from just outside the box cannoned off Jordan Stevens’ leg to play in Josh Kay early on. The attacker controlled the awkward ball but fired his effort onto the crossbar despite being one on one with Bishop.
Robbie Gotts’ corner three minutes later found James Jones lurking at the back post, who headed back across the face of goal forcing George Lapslie into a goal-line clearance.
Elliott Hewitt worked his way into the Barrow box well on 15 minutes but the right-back’s driven ball across goal evaded everyone.
Oates latched onto Clarke’s forward ball five minutes later but his low drive from range was well handled by Paul Farman, denying the skidding ball.
Moments later Bishop made a similar diving save to his right, denying Josh Kay from a tight angle.
Lapslie disposed Jones outside his own box who was forced to bring down the Mansfield man and pick up the game’s first yellow card. McLaughlin’s left-footed free-kick through the wall beat the left hand post by a yard.
Joe Grayson’s deep set-piece on 28 minutes was nodded across goal by Ollie Banks but the heel of McLaughlin’s boot on the goal-line somehow denied Barrow the lead.
Lapslie’s edge-of-the-box shot four minutes later beat Farman to narrowly curl beyond the post.
Maris’ free-kick two minutes before the break was nodded down by Hawkins in front of goal. Barrow skipper Mark Ellis was able to block the ball on the goal-line and keep the scores level going into half-time.
Joe Grayson’s shot following a corner in the 52nd minute was kept out by Bishop at his near post. The young stopper recovered well to deal with a loose ball having spilled his initial attempt.
Ellis was brought down inside the Mansfield box in the 59th minute causing referee Tom Nield to point to the spot. Ollie Banks stepped up to powerfully dispatch the ball into the roof of the net from 12 yards.
Clarke found space on the left to cut inside and get a right-footed shot off four minutes later. Barrow stopper Farman was able to punch the skipper’s effort clear of danger.
Danny Johnson was introduced for Oates just after hour mark as the Stags looked to attack.
A late challenge from Maris two minutes later earned him his fourth booking of the season and the eighth of the game.
Barrow winger Stevens worked his way up the pitch well to find Offrande Zanzala in front of goal but the striker failed to claim his fourth goal of the season, blazing his effort wide.
Stevens found a way into Mansfield’s box from the left moments later, forcing Bishop into another strong reaction save.
Stags skipper Clarke again tried his luck from range 15 minutes from time. A nodded clear corner-ball arrived at the midfielder’s feet on the edge-of-the-box but his first-time volley sailed wide of the left post.
Patrick Brough broke down Mansfield’s right side playing a ball into Stevens who would have surely scored if Clarke’s sliding challenge didn’t intercept the crucial ball in the 89th minute.
Charsley’s 91st minute ball into the box was knocked down to Danny Johnson who’s header skewed narrowly over the Barrow crossbar as Mansfield piled on late pressure.
Barrow’s Gordon found himself through on goal in the 96th minute before being dragged back by Farrend Rawson. The Stags' defender was dismissed to end a disappointing day at One Call Stadium.
Next up for the Stags is Sheffield Wednesday at home in the Papa John's Trophy on Tuesday night.
MANSFIELD TOWN XI: Bishop, McLaughlin, Hewitt, Rawson, Charsley, O. Clarke, Bowery, Maris (Law 83’), Hawkins, Oates (Johnson 65’), Lapslie
UNUSED SUBS: Shelvey, Burke, Ward, J. Clarke, Cooper
BARROW XI: Farman, Brough, Ellis, Kay (Zanzala 65’), Gordon, Jones, Gotts, Grayson, Hutton, Banks (Taylor 81’), Stevens
UNUSED SUBS: Lillis, White, Williams, Arthur
REFEREE: Tom Nield
ASSISTANTS: Simon Shaw & Ravel Cheosiaua
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Thomas Hardy
ATTENDANCE: 3,931 (190)