MATCH REVIEW: Barry Town United 2-2 Caerau Ely
Drew Fahiya salvaged a point for Barry in the dying seconds as they drew with Caerau Ely on a luscious day at Jenner Park.
Barry took the lead through a sublime strike from TJ Nagi in the early stages of the game, but were pegged back by Chris Quick just before half-time, before substitute Harry Short scored a wonder goal for the visitors to put them 2-1 up.
It looked as though the visitors would take all three points, but another substitute in the form of Drew Fahiya scored a late equaliser in what could prove to be a vital point come the end of the season for Gavin Chesterfield’s men.
In a massive game at Jenner Park, it was Barry who got the early breakthrough in spectacular fashion. TJ Nagi found spaced, turned superbly, and hit an unstoppable drive into Scott James’ goal. A perfect way to start as the sun blasted down on the Jenner Park pitch.
Barry were now playing with a real zest about their game, and this was shown when James Dixon attempted an audacious overhead kick, but unfortunately for Barry it didn’t quite come off.
Dixon then showed his fantastic ability to glide past players by escaping tackle after tackle, but he couldn’t quite convert when it mattered as Scott James stopped the attempt, and put the ball behind for a corner.
More pressure from Barry led to a chance for full-back Chris Hugh as he found himself in all sorts of space in the Caerau Ely box, but he fired his effort just over the bar, and another lovely flowing move started from a superb run from Jordan Cotterill. He played it to TJ Nagi, who played in James Dixon but he dragged his effort just wide of the post.
Caerau Ely were clearly struggling with the attacking prowess of Barry, especially goal-scorer TJ Nagi who looked like he was loving every second of his football out on the luscious Jenner Park pitch as he escaped a few challenges before being prevented a shooting opportunity by a Caerau Ely body.
It’s not just his attacking work that should be admired, though. As half-time approached he tracked back excellently, and slide in on Caerau Ely’s Curtis Hutson in what was a challenge timed to absolute perfection to delight the Barry faithful inside Jenner Park.
But against the run-of-play, and the visitors were level. Good build-up play from Caerau Ely allowed Chris Quick time and space on the ball, and he slotted the ball home into Mike Lewis’ right-hand corner. It might be argued that Barry could have got tighter on the striker, but you can’t take anything away from the finish. Superb.
Going in at half-time the visitors would have been the happier, having had their backs against the walls for much of the first-half, with Barry creating a whole host of chances.
It would be the visitors who would start the second-half the better of the two teams, and Rameer Outlaw had an opportunity in Barry’s box from a free-kick, but misplaced his header as it went behind for a goal-kick.
There wasn’t much tempo to the game, like in the first-half, but Jordan Cotterill did create something for himself through another fabulous run, but his effort was blocked by a Caerau Ely body.
But just as the game looked to be fizzling out, Harry Short, the Caerau Ely substitute came up with an absolute piledriver of an effort to give the visitors the lead, and he almost turned provider when playing in Huw Corne, but his effort drifted just past Mike Lewis’ goal. It would have put the visitors in a commanding position to take all three points.
And, just as the game looked to be heading in the way of the visitors, TJ Nagi turned provider through good work, before smartly playing in substitute Drew Fahiya who’s shot just managed to find its way into the back of the net to the absolute relief of the Barry faithful inside Jenner Park.
It was a massive goal to gain Barry a vital point which could be key for Gavin Chesterfield’s side come the end of this season.
Man Of The Match – TJ Nagi
A superb performance from the striker. Hit an unstoppable drive into the top left-hand corner to give Barry a deserved lead, and superbly set-up Drew Fahiya in stoppage time to gain Barry a precious point.
This could well turn out to be Barry’s biggest point all season, but nevertheless based on the first-half performance Gavin Chesterfield will be frustrated his side couldn’t have put the game to bed before Chris Quick’s smart finish just before half-time.
It seemed to galvanise the visitors, and Caerau Ely themselves will be frustrated they couldn’t obtain all three points. Huw Corne had a fantastic chance to perhaps seal the game with the score at 2-1 to the visitors, but his effort drifted just wide of Mike Lewis’ goal.
For Barry, it may seem like a point closer to promotion, despite having their lead cut to five points courtesy of Goytre’s 5-1 dispatching of Haverfordwest County.
It looks like the visitors’ chances of a Welsh League Division One title are over, though. They remain 11 points off Barry Town United. Next up for Barry is a trip to in-form Ton Pentre. Caerau Ely host Undy Athletic at home.
Barry Town United: M Lewis, P Morgan, C Hugh, L Cooper, C Watkins, J Saddler ©, L Gerrard, T Greening, TJ Nagi, J Cotterill, J Dixon
Subs: D Fahiya, T Webbe, C Sainty, R Evans, D Bradley
Caerau Ely: S James, J Maynard, J Roberts, V Garcia, P Quick, J Shepheard, H Corne, C Hutson, A Smith, C Quick, R Outlaw
Subs: S Cawley, H Short, L Bridgemen, S Flores
Referee: James Burgess