Match Review: Barry Town United 1-1 Penybont
Barry Town United held Penybont to an admirable point after being outplayed for the majority of the game at Jenner Park.
Prior to the game there was a minute’s silence held for the 16-year-old who tragically lost his life near to Jenner Park’s stadium.
Town, who hadn’t played a fixture at Jenner Park since beating Taffs Well 2-0 in November started the brighter of the two teams, and when awarded a free-kick in the 11th minute, there was no doubt who would take it. Louis Gerrard. What a goal, right in the top right hand corner with a quite sumptuous free-kick.
Town were worthy of their lead, and it’s fair to say that the goal had got Jenner Park bouncing. Barry, who face TNS in the Nathaniel MG Cup final in two weeks’ time chanted anti-TNS chants throughout, and even sang “TNS, we’re coming for you” as they thoroughly dominated the early stages of the game but Barry’s lack of concentration would cost them dearly as a quite scintillating cross was met by Joe Hopkins of Penybont. It was the 22nd minute, and it was all level.
From that point, Penybont seemed to control proceedings during the first-half as Town appeared to drop, deeper and deeper. They’re were inviting pressure to the complete and utter frustration of the Barry faithful who were becoming increasingly lethargic. The west end of the stadium was trying ever so hard to lift the Town players, but they were completely irresponsive.
In the 37th minute, Barry braked wonderful and a pin-point ball from Louis Gerrard in to Jordan Cotterill looked to create and wonderful opening but unlike his free-kick earlier in the game, Cotterill blazed over. It’s clear that Chesterfield wouldn’t of been happy with the way Barry had just let Penybont back in the game, but on the break Barry would still remain dangerous throughout, with the full-backs pressing high up the pitch, almost acting as wingers.
Going in at half-time and the scores were even. The Penybont manager would have been the more pleased, following an impressive first-half showing from his side. There was plenty to suggest that they could go on to win the game in the second-half and Town, like so often this season were struggling with the aerial threat that Penybont possessed.
Penybont continued the second-half in a similar fashion that they’d finished the first in. They mounted pressure on the Barry defence, and created plenty of openings for themselves but goalkeeper Mike Lewis was superb in the Barry goal, and saved on more than one occasion during the second-half.
Despite all of the Penybont pressure from the wide positions, which they used so well throughout the whole game at Jenner Park it would be the hosts who would finish the game the stronger, and Chesterfield brought on Michael Hartley, James Dixon and Callum Sainty to try to win the game in positive changes for the Town. James Dixon should have one it at the end when he was left all alone, but he somehow managed to fluff his lines.
In an entertaining affair at Jenner Park, it will be Penybont who will go home happier with a point. Barry Town and James Dixon on the other hands will be kicking themselves for not taking that last-gasp chance at the end.
Town move up to fourth and are eight points off league-leaders Goytre with three games in hand. Penybont on the other hand drop to seventh. Barry Town now face a trip to 12th placed Mounmouth Town as Penybont host 13th placed Undy Athletic.
Man of the match award:
Mike Lewis There were several good performers for Barry, including goal scorer Louis Gerrard as well as Jordan Cotterill but if it wasn’t for Mike Lewis in the Barry goal it might have been a different story, he kept Barry in the game throughout the second-half with a series of impressive saves. He started unconvincingly dropping a cross in which he probably should have caught, but there is no doubt about his shot-stopping ability. Superb.
Barry who started this one well, will be disappointed with the way they sat back and invited pressure. They simply cannot afford to do that against TNS in two weeks, or they will pay the ultimate punishment.
Nonetheless, when on the front-foot Barry caused Penybont all kinds of problems, and will always be a threat from dead-ball situations with Jordan Cotterill about, as shown once again what a sensational left-foot he has.
Three points would have been ideal today as Barry look to close the gap on leaders Goytre, who are eight points clear but if they win all their games in hand they will overtake the Goyts and this Barry team are more than capable of doing that.
There are exciting times ahead for Barry Town United, who looked as though they wouldn’t even exist as a football club just a few seasons ago. Gavin Chesterfield has definitely set the right foundations for this club to go far, with a Cup final and promotion to the Welsh Premier League on the horizon for the first time since the club were relegated from the division in the 2003/2004 season.
PHOTO CREDIT TO SAMEOLDSMITHY