WREXHAM looked anything but title challengers on an hugely forgettable night at a windswept Racecourse.

Bran Hughes' side were aiming to get back to winning ways after Saturday's 1-0 top of the table defeat against Leyton Orient but the Reds produced an awful performance and were well beaten by Barrow.

Second in the table at the start of play, Wrexham have been hard to beat of late - a six game unbeaten run ended at Brisbane Road - but they were second best in all departments against the mid-table Bluebirds and trailed 3-0 at half-time.

How Wrexham missed captain Shaun Pearson, who has been struggling with a back problem.

The Reds badly lacked his leadership in an appalling first half that started badly and didn't get any better.

For a team that went into the game boasting the second best defensive record in the division, Wrexham were all over the place at the back in the first half.

Barrow, hardly setting the world alight, found it far too easy to carve Wrexham open and capitalised from mistakes to take carve out a healthy advantage by the break with the Reds booed off.

Although Wrexham pulled a goal back late in the second half, the damage had been done and the Red will attempt to get back on track with a much needed win at home to second bottom Maidstone United on Saturday.

The starting line-up showed three changes from the side that lost against Orient at the weekend.

Kevin Roberts returned to the defence in place of Pearson, meaning Kieran Kennedy switched from right-back to centre-half to deputise for the influential skipper.

New signing Jermaine McGlashan finally received international clearance and the winger came into the team along with Jason Oswell for injured midfielder Brad Walker, who could be out for three to four weeks, and Paul Rutherford.

It meant Hughes switched to a 4-4-2 formation for the visit of the Bluebirds who included former Wrexham midfielder John Rooney in their starting XI.

Wrexham got off to the worst possible start as Barrow took a third minute lead after winning a corner.

Lewis Hardcastle sent in the set-piece and Dan Jones took advantage of poor marking by the Reds to head past Rob Lainton.

Barrow, buoyed by the goal, continued to make the early running and Josh Kay shot over the bar while Rooney's drive was parried by Lainton, with Wrexham all over the place.

The Reds created their first chance when Ben Tollitt ran at goal and crossed to Oswell who went for the backheel option and a defender blocked his effort.

It was a brief respite as Wrexham fell further behind on 24 minutes.

Captain-for-the-night James Jennings failed to clear his lines with a header and Kay's cross was converted by Jacob Blyth.

Just over half an hour had passed when Wrexham won their first corner which was taken by Luke Young and Stuart Beavon headed wide.

Another Young corner was headed off target by Kennedy and the Reds forced more flag-kicks with Oswell unable to steer a header goalwards.

But Wrexham conceded a third goal in first half injury time.

Tollitt lost possession and the ball was crossed to the back post where Hardcastle fired home.

With Wrexham failing to make headway at the start of the second half, Hughes made a double substitution in the 54th minute with Rutherford and Cole Stockton replacing McGlashan and Oswell.

Wright was unable to keep a header down from a corner and Chris Holroyd came on for Beavon for the last change.

Wrexham did manage to pull a goal back in the 79th minute, Kennedy heading home from Young's free-kick.

But it was merely a consolation and Wrexham suffered a second defeat in a row.