City boss Danny Cowley had initially reverted back to the starting line-up that began the Emirates FA Cup Third Round Replay against Ipswich Town for this Vanarama National League game at Barrow but was forced to make a late switch as Sam Habergham picked up a knock during the warm-up. Sean Long was his replacement at left-back.
The hosts kicked off but it was the Imps who were the first to press with the overlapping Long winning a fifth minute corner which was cleared whilst two minutes later a searching Long cross found Rhead but he saw his stooping header go wide of the target.
Having survived this early pressure and this early scare, Barrow won a free-kick in the ninth minute and when ex-Imp Paul Turnbull pumped the ball towards the back post in nipped Byron Harrison to give his side the lead.
Four minutes later Barrow's direct approach saw them win the game's first corner but Rhead was back to head clear before another Turnbull set-piece forced the Imps on to the back foot to repel at the back stick.
With no decisions going City's way the opening quarter was somewhat frustrating and this was compounded in the 25th minute when a Terry Hawkridge corner found Luke Waterfall but he couldn't direct his header goalwards and the visitors hacked clear.
Shortly afterwards Nathan Arnold was upended for a City free-kick but Hawkridge saw his effort palmed away by Jon Flatt at full stretch to his right and as play switched to the other end Barrow's Harrison took a ball in the face bringing about a lengthy break in play.
Saying that, Harrison was hobbling as he left, and subsequently returned to, the field of play and within a couple of minutes was in need of further attention after going to ground once again. He was duly replaced by Byron Harrison in the 34th minute.
Three minutes later home striker Richie Bennett lead with his elbow on Sean Raggett and could consider himself fortunate to only see a yellow card as the opening half continued, and subsequenly came to a close, in a scrappy, stop-start manner.
HT: BARROW 1 IMPS 0
Both teams emerged unchanged for the start of the second half, although a tactical switch by the Imps saw Wood and Long switch full-back positions.
The first half chance of the second period saw Arnold have a snap-shot which went straight at Flatt whilst at the other end Turnbull drilled a free-kick sraight at he City wall following a harsh decision against Woodyard.
The overlapping Woodyard then won City's third corner of the game and it resulted in a superb reflex save from Flatt which saw him somehow keep out a Raggett header from Arnold's delivery.
Elliott Whitehouse came on for Alan Power in the 55th minute and a minute later City forced another corner which was punched clear by Flatt. Joe Ward then came on for Terry Hawkridge on the left flank.
Play switched to the other end on the hour mark and when a loose ball looped into the path of Bennett the striker, lucky to be on the pitch following his first half elbow on Raggett, fired past Farman to double his side's lead.
In the 65th minute Arnold had a shot blocked by Flatt as Moussa Diarra tried to rip Rhead's shirt off his back in the box before the ball fell to the City winger. Three minutes later a harsh decision went against Rhead who ended up seeing yellow much to his consternation.
Adam Marriott replaced Rhead a couple of minutes later before a sweeping City attack ended with a free-kick in a dangerous position to the Imps. Turnbull was booked before Marriott and Arnold fired against the home wall.
Raggett was then cautioned as a scrappy game continued before the City defender had a header from a corner cleared off the Barrow line. As the Imps kept the ball in the mix, appeals for a handball fell on deaf ears before Whitehouse was cautioned for questioning the lack of decision.
With four minutes on the clock Farman did well to tip behind a powerful Williams shot and this proved to be the Barrow man's last taste of the action as he was replaced by Ross Hannah.
Hannah's first touch came from the penalty spot after a shocking decision against Woodyard who went shoulder-to-shoulder with his man in the box. Referee Bramall deemed it worthy of a penalty and Hannah duly fired past Farman.
FT: BARROW 3 IMPS 0
1 Paul FARMAN
2 Bradley WOOD
5 Luke WATERFALL
8 Alan POWER
9 Matt RHEAD
11 Terry HAWKRIDGE
12 Sean LONG
25 Sean RAGGETT
28 Nathan ARNOLD
30 Alex WOODYARD
31 Theo ROBINSON
4 Elliott WHITEHOUSE (for POWER 55)
6 Callum HOWE
7 Jack MULDOON
10 Adam MARRIOTT (for RHEAD 70)
38 Joe WARD (for HAWKRIDGE 58)
BOOKINGS: RHEAD (68), RAGGETT (75), WHITEHOUSE (77)
40 Jon FLATT
2 Shaun BEELEY
3 Nick ANDERTON
5 Danny LIVESEY
6 Moussa DIARRA
23 Akil WRIGHT
8 Alex-Ray HARVEY
17 Paul TURBULL
9 Richie BENNETT
20 Byron HARRISON
11 Jordan WILLIAMS
10 Ross HANNAH (for WILLIAMS 88)
16 Lindon MEIKLE
18 Liam HUGHES (for HARRISON 34)
21 Dan ROWE
25 Myles ANDERSON
GOALS: HARRISON (9), BENNETT (60), HANNAH (90+1 pen)
BOOKINGS: BENNETT (37), TURNBULL (74)
REFEREE: Tom Bramall
ASSISTANTS: Richard Woodward & Mark Cunliffe
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Will Finnie
ATTENDANCE: 1,152 (124 City supporters)