Match Review: Ton Pentre 1 Barry Town United 3

Barry Town United skipper James Saddler scored his first goal of the season, as his side edged closer to the Welsh League Division One title with a hard-fought victory over Ton Pentre at Ynys Park, in a contest that saw both sides finish with 10 men.

The visitors enjoyed a flurry of early chances, with TJ Nagi seeing an effort tipped onto the bar, but fell behind when Phil Clarke swept home.

However, the hosts self-destructed 10 minutes before the break, as Liam Hutchinson saw red for a rash tackle on the edge of the box, allowing Curtis Watkins to restore parity with the resulting freekick.

Barry’s James Dixon was given his marching orders for kicking out at Clarke shortly after the break, but the visitors regained their composure, with Drew Fahiya and captain Saddler both netting in quick succession to seal the win.

The result leaves Barry five points clear of second-placed Goytre at the top, with just one league defeat to their name since mid-October. In contrast, back-to-back defeats puts Ton Pentre just two points above the relegation zone.

It was the visitors who did much of the early probing, with Nagi seeing an effort tipped onto the bar, before Dixon forced a good save from home goalkeeper Neil Thomas moments later.

Barry continued to press, but fell behind on 26 minutes when an unmarked Clarke slotted home at the far post following a slick attacking move.

Tom Shephard came close to doubling the lead, but indiscipline at the other end allowed Barry back into the contest.

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A poor tackle from Hutchinson on Callum Sainty saw the Bulldogs reduced to 10 men, and Watkins duly drilled home the resulting freekick.

Barry were guilty of indiscipline themselves just after the break, as Dixon was dismissed for a kick on Clarke, but a collapse never looked likely.

The visitors regained the lead just after the hour when some fine work from Nagi allowed Fahiya to slot home, with the latter then turning provider a minute later by weaving his way into the box to set up Saddler, who lashed an unstoppable effort into the roof of the net.

Sainty and Luke Cooper both spurned chances to extend the lead late on, but a two-goal cushion proved enough to seal a well-earned win.

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