Friday 20th December
Aberystwyth Town 0 Barry Town 1
In a close, competitive game at Park Avenue last night Kayne McLaggon’s 65th minute headed goal proved crucial as Barry Town sneaked a vital victory to prevent Aber making it three wins in a row for the first time this season. Marc Williams went closest for the Black and Greens late on but the result leaves Aber in ninth, while Barry move back into the Top Four.
On a chilly night a number of Christmas wassailers had stopped by Park Avenue on their Carol signing route, none more so than a sizeable contingent of visiting supporters, who fair play to them, sang all night and gave their side a superb backing in the Dias Stand from start to finish. Jordan Cotterill sent an early free kick over the bar for Barry, while Wes Baynes’ set pieces were dangerous for the home side, with Lee Jenkins heading a corner wide early on. Geoff Kellaway then headed just over from another Baynes free kick, and in a tight and competitive game Aber were well in it. The home side were incensed when Cotterill, already on a yellow card, appeared to barge Richie Ricketts into the advertising hoardings, but he escaped further punishment. Jonathan Hood lobbed over, and Cotterill volleyed wide, then Lee Jenkins made a great challenge to deny McLaggon at the near post. Edmilson Vaz’s low goal bound shot was gathered by Mike Lewis, before Paulo Mendes played a one two with Williams, but his near post effort was deflected, agonisingly wide for a corner. Stuart Jones headed inches wide from Baynes’ corner, and a Jon Hood cross bounced off the crossbar, but neither side could break the deadlock, and with Barry ahead on possession and Aber ahead on the shots on goal count, the score remained 0-0 at the break.
Into the second half and the pattern of the game remained the same, with Tom Price working hard to protect Aber’s back four in central midfield. Connor Roberts pulled off a good save to deny Sion Spence’s dangerous free kick, and at the other end the lively Joe Phillips forced Lewis into another save with a low fizzing shot from 30 yards. Baynes’ free kick just evaded Stuart Jones at the back post, and with Aber keeping a nice defensive shape the game was in the balance. Alas for the home side, Luke Cummings then found space down the right to cross for McLaggon to head home at the far post, and the Linnets had a crucial lead. Roberts denied McLaggon again, and Aber made an attacking change with Luke Boundford sent on up front to impose a more physical threat; however the visitors were slowing the game down well – and then the floodlights went out! Six minutes later the game restarted, with ten minutes of injury time indicated, and Ricketts went on a buccaneering run before unleashing a low shot with deflected nicely into Lewis’ hands. Williams then curled a cute effort towards the far corner but Lewis got down well to protect his side’s three points. A late Boundford long throw was cleared, before Williams volleyed over from distance, and Barry survived the late onslaught for a crucial three points.
So a game with a nice competitive edge to it was won by the visitors, who probably just about deserved it on the balance of play: however the margins of victory were very small, and the Black and Greens should be confident that this level of performance will gain results as the season goes forward. Town’s next match is on Boxing Day away to Newtown (ko 2.30pm). Join the Bank Holiday Caravan over Plynlimon!