Saturday 3rd February
Barry Town United 3-1 Aberystwyth Town
Aberystwyth Town fell to a disappointing 3-1 JD Welsh Premier League defeat at the hands of Barry Town United, on an afternoon to forget in South Wales for the seasiders. Barry’s Jonathan Hood scored on his debut to give the hosts a first half lead, before second half goals from Jordan Cotterill (55) and Kayne McLaggan (pen, 81) secured all three points for the dragons. Declan Walker did grab a late consolation for Nev Powell’s side with an excellent scissor-kick finish, but it wasn’t to be on a tough afternoon for the black and greens.
Central defender Craig Rogers made his full debut for Aber as he replaced Malcolm Melvin in the only change to the side that defeated Cardiff Met in the capital last weekend. Hosts Barry started the brightest in the early stages, as Callum Sainty saw his header sail just over Chris Mullock’s crossbar, before Ryan Wade almost got on the end of Ashley Young’s throw in at the other end. Aber’s first meaningful chance of the game came on 9 minutes, as Declan Walker strode forward before unleashing a low effort that was well saved by Barry ‘keeper Mike Lewis. Despite Town’s threatening forward play, Barry continued to dominate possession in the early stages, without causing new centre-back pairing Rogers and Ryan Wollacott any meaningful problems. As the first half wore on, Aber grew into the game, and created another good opportunity on 20 minutes, as John Owen cut inside before striking a tame left-footed effort at Lewis in goal. However, on 23 minutes the hosts took the lead, as Jonathan Hood whipped in a low cross-come-shot that fizzed into the bottom corner of the net to make it 1-0. Aber responded well to going behind, with John Owen and Joe Phillips producing some threatening wide play without creating any goal scoring opportunities. As half time approached, Town again tried their luck from range as Phillips let fly from 25 yards, but his bouncing shot was straight down the throat of Lewis in goal, and the visitors went into the break trailing.
Aber started the second half with an increased tempo and rhythm, and very nearly found an equaliser from the restart as Owen headed over Wade’s inviting cross. Then, on 50 minutes came Town’s best chance of the game, as Owen again found himself unmarked in the box where he brought the ball under his control expertly, before forcing Mike Lewis into a fantastic save at his near post. Soon after came the sucker punch the travelling supporters were dreading, as Barry doubled their lead. With their first meaningful attack of the second half, Jordan Cotterill strode forward before cutting inside and firing an unstoppable shot into the bottom right corner of the net to make it 2-0. Malcolm Melvin and Craig Hobson were introduced from the substitutes bench to try and find Aber a way back into the game, but the luck didn’t appear to be with Nev Powell’s side. On 63 minutes, the hosts almost extended their lead as substitute James Demetriou rounded Mullock before being denied a certain goal by a phenomenal last-ditch tackle by Declan Walker. Town continued to press for a way back into the game, as Damien Allen fired a rebound wide of the mark, before Hobson turned in the and sent his left footed shot inches over the crossbar. On 81 minutes, Barry well and truly put the game to bed as Kayne McLaggan was fouled in the area, before stepping up to convert the resulting penalty kick to make it 3-0. To their credit, Aber continued to attack in search of a consolation goal, and on 87 minutes they were rewarded, as Damien Allen’s corner kick was expertly converted by Declan Walker with a scissor-kick volley into the bottom corner to make it 3-1.
Unfortunately it was a case of too little, too late for Town as they fell to a disappointing defeat at Jenner Park, with a performance that fell below the excellent standards that had been set in their previous two games; defeating Connah’s Quay Nomads and Cardiff Met. Nev Powell’s side remain in tenth place in the league table, and must now turn their attentions to next Friday night’s JD Welsh Premier League clash with Llandudno at Park Avenue.