Barry Town United defeated 10-man Afan Lido to advance to the next round of the Nathaniel MG Cup as Louis Gerrard starred for the hosts.
Macauley Southam gave Barry the lead in the opening few minutes of the game before prolific striker Mark Jones hit back to make it 1-1. Louis Gerrard then scored twice before the break before.
Alex Gammond was then dismissed for dissent, but Joshua Webber struck home from close range to give the visitors hope before Tyrell Webbe put a bit of gloss on the scoreline by immediately retaining Barry’s two-goal advantage.
Barry Town United will next face-off against Aberystwyth Town away from home in the Welsh Premier League. Afan Lido on the other hand will travel to Cardiff to face STM Sports in the cup.
In a much changed Barry side, they started with intent and the impressive Macauley Southam took the lead after being fed through and he made no mistake, delicately lifting the ball over Chris Curtis to give Barry the lead.
But with Afan Lido first real attack of the game the visitors were level. Mark Jones did superbly well to find space for himself and find the back of the net with a neat finish into Joe Massaro’s bottom left-hand corner.
Barry could have easily re-taken the lead after Louis Gerrard put in a teasing ball, but an Afan Lido body was there to clear their lines as the score remained 1-1 after an entertaining start to the game at Jenner Park.
But after a tremendous run and finish from Gerrard, the hosts were back in-front, as his effort proved too much for Curtis in the Lido goal.
The ever-present Gerrard was in an unusual striker’s role but in the first-half he was playing it to perfection, causing Afan Lido all kinds of problems as he almost extended Barry’s lead after fantastic work from youngster Michael George down the left-hand side but he saw his strike agonisingly smash up against the crossbar as the score remained 2-1.
Gerrard was continuing to be a nuisance for Afan Lido at the back as he fashioned up another chance for himself. but his effort was slightly too high as it rose over Curtis’ bar.
And it wouldn’t be long before Barry extended their lead as good work from James Saddler found Louis Gerrard who coolly slotted home to make it 3-1 to the hosts just after the half hour mark.
Gavin Chesterfield would have been delighted with the application and professionalism of his side in the first-half as they went in at the break with a two-goal advantage.
In a quiet start to the second-half, both sides failed to get a real foot-hold of the game and there wasn’t any real action up until Alex Gammond was sent off for dissent after Cai Owens made a rash challenge.
Barry continued to press the Afan Lido back-line following the sending off and it was Gerrard who continued to pester them as he gained a bit of space for himself before unleashing a shot which was saved comfortably by Curtis.
Youngster George then tried his luck from range and was desperately unlucky not to get his side a fourth goal and his first for Barry as his effort thumped up against the upright.
As the game came to a climax, it was more of a stop-start type of game more than anything as both sides were content with passing the ball around in the middle of the park.
In a frantic finish to the game, substitute Joshua Webber pulled a goal back for the visitors from close range.
However, Barry would ensure they would advance to the next round of the Nathaniel MG Cup as Chris Hugh, playing in an unusual central midfielder role when coming on had his shot saved, but Tyrell Webbe was on hand to make it 4-2 to put the icing on the cake for Chesterfield’s side.
Man of the match: (Louis Gerrard)
Playing in an unfamiliar striker’s role he didn’t look an ounce out of place. Gerrard was excellent throughout and the Afan Lido defenders will be having nightmares of him tonight, that’s for sure.
Another notable good performer was Macauley Southam, who scored with a delightful chip to give Barry the lead in the first-half. After putting in a good night’s work he was withdrawn just after the hour mark for Tyrell Webbe – youngster Michael George was also highly impressive in the middle of the park.