Barry Town United 0-2 The New Saints: Champions beat ten-man Barry to inflict first home defeat
The New Saints moved to the top of the Welsh Premier League after they ended Barry Town United’s unbeaten run at home.
Barry hadn’t suffered a home defeat since January when they lost to Bala Town, but the victory for the New Saints secured a league double over the Linnets.
A second-half penalty from Greg Draper which saw Momodou Touray sent off, as well as a confirmation goal from Joash Nembhard, gave the reigning Welsh Premier League champions the victory.
Scott Ruscoe’s side were the party poopers at Jenner Park Stadium, as they put a dampener on Gavin Chesterfield’s 400th game in charge of The New Saints, by inflicting defeat onto his side.
The New Saints with all their attacking threat tested Barry’s defence early on. Adrian Cieslewicz crossed to Kurtis Byrne, but his point-blank header was saved by Mike Lewis.
Barry’s defence were having to deal with a lot of pressure. Chris Hugh made a block with his body to deny Jamie Mullan.
The home side were continuously penned into their own half, unable to create any real attacks as The New Saints contained the Dragons.
Aaron Edwards had two opportunities to open the scoring. Firstly a ball over the top from Mullan, saw Edwards loft his effort just over the bar. Secondly, a superb cross from Kane Lewis was begged to be hit by Edwards, but the TNS talisman could only hit a soft effort at Lewis.
In the second half, gradually Barry Town United grew into the game. Jordan Cotterill had Barry’s first shot of the game, but Harrison was untested with his tame effort.
Kurtis Byrne missed a good opportunity for the opening goal. Jamie Mullan played an exquisite ball through to the forward but his finessed effort hit the side netting.
Macauley Southam-Hales not long after Byrne’s chance tested The New Saints defence, as they started getting attacking opportunities. Striker Momodou Touray played it to Southam-Hales and the right-back’s effort was saved from the corner of the goal by Harrison.
Touray himself had an opportunity after good hold-up play from McLaggon, but his effort grazed the crossbar and went over.
The New Saints’ Kurtis Byrne had another good opportunity. Instead of passing it through to Cieslewicz, he opted for a curling effort at goal and his effort glanced just wide of Lewis’ goal.
Scott Ruscoe rolled his best card from the substitutes bench with twenty minutes to go. Draper replaced full-back Kane Lewis as he added to The New Saints frontline.
In the final quarter of the game, The New Saints were awarded a penalty following a foul from Momodou Touray. The Newport County loanee was shown a second yellow card, reducing Barry Town to ten men. Substitute Greg Draper drilled his penalty home, despite Lewis getting a hand to it.
Not long after The New Saints doubled their lead as they made the most of the man advantage. Adrian Cielsewicz crossed it in from a corner and Nembhard powered home a header for his first Welsh Premier League goal as he held off the challenge of the Barry defence.
With ten minutes remaining, Drew Fahiya and Thomas Fry replaced Jonathan Hood and Kayne McLaggon as Gavin Chesterfield aimed to claw something back from the game.
Draper spurned the opportunity to add to his impressive goal tally. Simon Spender crossed to the Kiwi international but the Welsh Premier League top goalscorer somehow put his header wide of the goal.
Lewis, Southam-Hales, Hugh, Cooper, Watkins, Greening (Green 63) Patten, Cotterill, Hood (Fry 82) McLaggon (Fahiya 82), Touray.
Harrison, Spender, Marriott, Nembhard, Lewis, (Draper 71), Routledge, Holland, Edwards, Mullan, Byrne (Sergeant 80) Cieslewicz (Brobbel 87)
(Featured Image: Steffan Clifton)