Sunday 12th November
Barry Town Under 19s 5 Aberystwyth Town Under 19s 2
Aberystwyth Town’s young development squad fell to only their second defeat of the season at the hands of Barry Town United on a crisp Sunday afternoon at Jenner Park. Two goals from Liam Doherty had looked like handing Aber all three points but a strong second half performance from the hosts, capped off by a Brad Cotterill hat-trick meant Bari Morgan’s side went home empty handed.
Aber’s youngsters started the game on the front foot, but it was the hosts who created the game’s first meaningful chances as striker Brad Cotterill first hit the post with a low drive, before shooting narrowly wide shortly afterwards. Aber weren’t fazed however, and on 9 minutes they took the lead as tricky winger Steffan Gittins cut inside his marker and crossed for Liam Doherty to volley home inside the six-yard box and make it 1-0. Soon after, Doherty had another golden opportunity but his low shot was well saved by Barry’s goalkeeper. Bari Morgan’s side continued to boss the game in midfield with Niall Coleridge especially effective, and on 25 minutes Harri Horwood created another good opportunity for the visitors, as his dangerous cross was well defended after a weaving run down the left flank. However, on 34 minutes the home side found an equaliser against the run of play as Callum Flynn latched on to a loose ball and finished well past Aber goalie Alex Pennock to make it 1-1. Barry found some momentum and on 36 minutes had a goal disallowed for a push on Harri Rowe, before Cotterill again went close for the hosts, but the scores remained level at half time.
The second half began similarly to the first, with Aber keeping possession nicely, and using the pace of Gittins and Horwood to attack on both flanks. Carwyn Morgan and Lee Jenkins marshalled the defence well, whilst midfielders Jack Rimmer and Tom Evans began to influence the game more. On 55 minutes, Aber again took the lead after Liam Doherty pounced on a long throw and drilled an excellent low shot into the bottom corner to make it 2-1. Soon after, Aber’s dangerous front man almost got his hat trick as he pressured Barry’s goalie into a mistake, only for the ‘keeper to rectify it almost immediately by spreading himself well and preventing a third goal. Indeed, it proved to be a pivotal moment in the game as on 66 minutes Barry again found an equaliser as left back Luke Davidson smashed a 20 yard screamer into the top corner to make it 2-2. Suddenly Aber began to look a little heavy-legged and lost their grip on the game. On 68 minutes, the home side took the lead for the first time in the game as Cotterill tapped into an empty net after more good work from left back Davidson. Soon after it was 4-2 to the hosts, as Cotterill again found the net after turning sharply inside the penalty area and firing past ‘keeper Alex Pennock. Bari Morgan’s men tried in vain to find a way back into the game as Harri Rowe and substitute Josh Crowl provided good width from both flanks but it just wasn’t to be. As the game entered stoppage time, Barry striker Cotterill capped off an excellent performance by grabbing his hat-trick after a weaving run and shot from just inside the penalty area.
A disappointing finish after what was a very promising start by Bari Morgan’s young side; who for large spells of the game looked confident and assured, playing attractive possession football. Manager Morgan was quick to admit after the game that his side weren’t quite at the races at Jenner Park, but that he’s been pleased with the performance of his players up until this point in the season. His side will now look to bounce back in next Sunday’s Welsh Youth Cup tie against Afan Lido at Park Avenue.