IF Richard Dryden could have scripted his introduction to life at Worcester City - it's doubtful he would have come up with this.

Just days after taking the St George's Lane hot-seat, the new manager's first game in charge had just about everything.

After the embarrassment of being announced as Ray Dryden, his side started well but fell behind, had captain Chris Smith sent off and were given a lifeline when goalkeeper Cameron Belford saved the resulting penalty - and all that was before half-time.

Mark Danks then turned home a 58th-minute equaliser before City were let off the hook several times as Barrow's strikers conspired to miss every chance that came their way.

Few among the 802-strong crowd could have complained had the Cumbrians left with all three points, but Dryden's men deserved a share of the spoils for their effort alone.

The defending may have been shaky on occasions but the sheer grit and determination of the City players from start to finish was there for all to see.

Worcester were in the ascendancy early on, looked lively and were playing with a degree of confidence. Their first chance fell to Craig Wilding but he curled his effort over the top of Tim Deasy's goal.

Dryden's new-look team, which lined up 4-4-2 with Jamie Price and Rapinder Gill in midfield, included debuts for Belford and 18-year-old defender Kevin Spencer.

It was the latter's error on 14 minutes that let in Jason Walker but the Barrow man fired wide to spare Spencer's blushes.

Appeals for hand-ball against Steve McNulty were waved away two minutes later before James Scales was booked for a late challenge on Price.

Price was clattered again mom-ents after George Clegg had sent a free-kick into the side netting, this time Matt Henney earning himself a yellow card from referee Andy Newbold.

Then poor defending allowed Walker's back-heel to slip past Spencer and Nick Rogan ran into the area before rounding Belford and putting Barrow ahead with a neat finish.

It got worse eight minutes later as further slack defending sent Wal-ker free on goal with only Smith in pursuit. As Walker prepared to pull the trigger, the City skipper had little option but to stretch out his right leg in a bid to save a goal and he succeeded only in hauling Wal-ker down.

Referee Newbold had a quick consultation with his assistant but Smith was the last-man and he was duly shown a red card. It was cruel on Smith, but Belford gave the home fans something to shout about by blocking defender Mc-Nulty's poor spot kick.

City survived a late scare when Henney sliced wide from close-range, but they began the second-half with a renewed belief despite their numerical disadvantage.

Price had a shot blocked on 47 minutes and saw his free-kick punched from under the crossbar by Deasy eight minutes later.

With the bit between their teeth, Clegg sent over a corner from the left, stand-in skipper Emeka Nwa-dike flicked the ball on and Danks pounced in the six-yard box to equalise.

As the half progressed, however, City began to flirt more and more with danger and were grateful Barrow had left their shooting boots at home.

Within the space of three minutes, Andy Bond failed to connect with Paul Brown's header, while Rogan forced a save out of Belford and blazed horribly over from point-blank range.

Off the hook and presumably feeling their luck was now in, City sensed they might be able to get more than a point from the game and piled forward.

Troy Wood and Nick Colley came on for Danks and Clegg respectively and the latter surged into the area before having his cross cut out.

Barrow replaced Scales with Joe Fowler five minutes from the end but there was still time for the visitors to add to their comical catalogue of howlers.

Walker missed his header from a cross and Bond produced an air- kick in front of goal, much to the delight of the home fans.

Ryan Clarke weaved his way through before firing over in the closing stages as a relieved Dryden began his City career with a hard-fought point.