Barry Vets Defeat Newport To Stay Top

Paul Sanderson scored twice in the victory.

Current champions Barry Town Vets consolidated their position at the top of the over 55s League with a hard fought 6-2 win away to Newport in the Wales Veterans Football League. 

Barry travelled to Llanwern with a strong squad despite several late withdrawals, which demonstrates the depth of the over 55s group this term.

Barry once again started with real urgency, with Gibb, Huish, Marshall and Dupuy mostly controlling matters and creating several good opportunities to go ahead, particularly Dupuy, when well placed. Newport, as predicted, were a threat on the break, but apart from a momentary lapse when only a fine save by Barry goalkeeper John Jones denied the big number nine, Gibbins, Jones, Blackie and Staddon were watertight at the back.

Barry continued to create chances but lamentable finishing kept the scores level. Man-of-the-match Sanderson was causing constant problems for the Newport defence and on the half hour, he put Barry 1-0 up after good work by Gibbins. His strike partner, Bobbett, added a second shortly afterwards. On 38 minutes and against the run of play the hosts converted a controversial free-kick, only for the visitors to once again extend their lead, when a Gibb pass was clipped over the line by Dupuy, to give a more realistic scoreline going into half time.

Indecisive defending by Barry after the interval allowed Newport to grab a second goal and as a result the game became scrappy and disjointed, with the hosts sensing an upset. Substitute Welsh entered the fray and immediately converted a Sanderson flick-on, after pirouetting around the keeper and full back simultaneously! Minutes later a fine through ball by Huish was converted (in the end) by Sanderson to make the game safe. On the full time whistle, Longman fed Mark Jones and his probing ball forward allowed Welsh to tap in for his second and Barry’s sixth, continuing their unbeaten run.

On the 20th October Barry 50s play The Continental at Leckwith Stadium, whilst the over 60s kick-off their season on the same day against Swansea.

2019/20 Barry Town Vets fixtures and results

Sept 8   Penybont 2 -3 BARRY 55s

Sept 15 BARRY 50s 1-0 Cardiff Accies

Sept 22 BARRY 55s 4-0 Merthyr

Oct 6     Newport 2-6 BARRY 55s

Oct 20   BARRY 50s vs Continental / Leckwith / 2pm

Oct 20   BARRY 60s vs Swansea / Ystrad Mynach Centre / 4.30pm

Oct 27   BARRY 55s vs Llantrisant / Jenner Park / 2pm

Nov 3    Merthyr vs BARRY 50s / Penydarren Park / 2pm

Nov 10  Swansea vs BARRY 55s / LLandarcy Sports / 2pm

Nov 17  Merthyr vs BARRY 60s / Ystrad Mynach Centre / 4.30pm

Nov 24  BARRY 55s vs Penybont / Jenner Park / 1pm             

Dec 1    Swansea vs BARRY 50s / LLandarcy Sports / 2pm

Dec 8    Barry 55s vs Merthyr (CUP) / Jenner Park / 11am

Dec 15  BARRY 50s vs Nelson / Jenner Park / 11am

Dec 15  BARRY 60s vs Newport / Ystrad Mynach Centre / 4.30pm

Jan 5     Merthyr vs BARRY 55s / Penydarren Park / 2pm

Jan 26   Penybont vs BARRY 50s / Bryntirion Park / 2pm

Feb 2     Swansea vs BARRY 55s / LLandarcy Sports / 2pm

Feb 9     BARRY 50s vs Llantrisant / TBC / TBC

Feb 16  BARRY 55s vs Newport / TBC / TBC

Feb 23  BARRY 50s vs Mathern / TBC / TBC     

Feb 23  Penybont vs BARRY 60s / Ystrad Mynach Centre / 4.30pm                 

March 8 Llantrisant vs BARRY 60s / TBC / 4.30pm

Mar 15  Llantrisant vs BARRY 55s / Tonyrefail Welfare ground / 2pm    

Mar 29  Newport vs BARRY 50s / LLanwern Sports / 2pm 

Apr 5     BARRY 55s vs Swansea / TBC / TBC

Apr 19   Cwmbran vs BARRY 50s / Celtic Park, Cwmbran / TBC  

George Ratcliffe: “I aim to go to the top”

While the Wales senior team have two crucial Euro 2020 qualifiers this week, there is also an important fixture for the Under-21 side, as they face Moldova in qualification for the 2021 European Championships.

Lining up in goal for Paul Bodin’s side will be Barry Town United goalkeeper George Ratcliffe, on loan from Cardiff City. “It feels amazing,” the 19-year-old said when asked about being named in the squad. “I’m just glad that they’re seeing how well I’m doing with my club. Getting selected is an honour, as always.”

Having earned 11 caps for the Under-19 side, Ratcliffe made his debut for the Under-21s in June before featuring in both of their qualifying games against Belgium and Germany in September. “It’s been challenging,” he said. “I’ve made the step up from the Under 19s to the Under 21s now, so it’s a challenge, but I’m happy.”

Ratcliffe joined Barry in June, just as the club was preparing for the UEFA Europa League preliminary round tie against Cliftonville. It gave the goalkeeper the chance to bond with his new teammates straight away, as he explains: “It was a bit strange. I was a new boy and I hadn’t even trained, but I had to go away with the boys for the friendly out in Northern Ireland and then the European games. Obviously I didn’t play, but it was just about getting used to the team and gelling with the boys.”

Now, after four months at the club, Ratcliffe is loving life at Jenner Park. “It’s been amazing really,” he said. “I’ve settled in really well, getting to know the boys has been really good. I knew Gav before I came here so I had a relationship with him, and the same with Kends [Lee Kendall, goalkeeping coach] because he was my goalkeeping coach at Cardiff when I was younger. I think I’ve performed pretty well with the games I’ve had and enjoyed it.”

He has certainly impressed in his seven games so far, helping Barry hold the joint best defensive record in the JD Cymru Premier with three clean sheets. But Ratcliffe was keen to applaud those in front of him first and foremost: “I feel like the defence has done very well. They’ve been very organised and defended as well as they could, throwing their bodies on the line when they needed to. I’ve had to pull out a few saves here and there, but I haven’t had much to do to be honest, so most of the credit goes to the defence.”

The goalkeeper was also quick to praise the efforts of supporters so far this season: “They’ve been amazing. Home and away. Every away game feels like a home game because they’re so loud. They’ve been class to be fair, definitely the loudest fans in the league, I know that.”

One of Ratcliffe’s best performances so far came in the 1-0 win over The New Saints, as he made a number of impressive saves to keep out the perennial champions. “It was amazing,” he said of the victory at Park Hall. “I don’t really know the league as well as everyone else, but the way we talked about TNS before the game, I thought if we get a win then I’d be happy, never mind a clean sheet. So to come out with a clean sheet and a 1-0 win, there was no better result.”

Ratcliffe is one of a number of young players currently playing key roles at the club and spoke about playing senior football for the first time: “It’s a lot different to what I had when I was playing at Cardiff as I was playing Under 18s a lot. It’s a lot more physical, such as when you come out for crosses, that’s what I’d say is the biggest difference.

“It’s not so much quicker or more technical, but you’ve got to be more sensible with your decisions because every game is important. You have to be careful and try not to make any mistakes or do anything stupid.”

Last season, Ratcliffe was named as Cardiff City’s Academy Player of the Year after helping the Bluebirds’ Under-18 side win the Professional Development League 2 South title for the first time. Speaking about winning the award, he said: “To be honest I didn’t quite expect it. We won the league, so obviously you’d expect one of our strikers to get it. So when they did say that I’d won it I was surprised, but I felt like I had a good season, I was solid throughout and consistent in my performances. I was really happy.”

Despite the accolade coming as a surprise to the teenager, it showed him that next on the agenda should be securing experience in senior football, as he explains: “I feel like I needed to make the step up to senior football. Whether I was ready or not was irrelevant.

“I want to go right to the top, and I know you can’t just jump there straight away. You need to build your way up, and I feel like this was the right time to make the first step.”

Ratcliffe is clearly a determined individual, with his sights set firmly on accomplishing all he can in football: “I’ve been at Cardiff since I was eight, and my first aim is definitely to break into the first team. I aim to go to the top really, and you try not to settle for anything else.”

It’s an ambitious goal, but one you would not bet against Ratcliffe achieving.

Penybont fixture postponed

Barry Town United can confirm that our JD Cymru Premier fixture with Penybont on Saturday 12th of October has been postponed.

We are delighted that Sion Spence has joined George Ratcliffe in being called up for the Wales Under-21 squad against Moldova, but with Mo Touray on standby for the game as well, the club have invoked a rule that allows us to postpone a league fixture.

The decision was also made following injuries in our win over Newtown on Saturday, which added to the number of players already sidelined.

Gavin Chesterfield said: “Whilst I know supporters will be disappointed with the postponement of the game, it is fantastic to see both George and Sion selected for international duty. Both have made really good starts to their loan season with us and I’m delighted for them. It’s fantastic also to see FAW staff continuing to look at young players doing well in the JD Cymru Premier.”

The club apologise for any inconvenience caused, and a date for the rearranged fixture will be announced in due course.

Newtown AFC vs Barry Town United | JD Cymru Premier Preview

It’s a second away game in a row for Barry Town United this afternoon, as we travel to face Newtown AFC in the JD Cymru Premier (kick-off 2:30pm).

Gavin Chesterfield’s side will be aiming to build on last week’s superb 1-0 win over reigning champions TNS, secured by Evan Press’s thunderbolt in the 24th minute. The victory extended our lead at the top of the Cymru Premier table to four points, whilst also maintaining our unbeaten start to the season and 100% away record.

That accomplishment will be put to the test this afternoon though, as Newtown beat Barry in three of the four meetings between the two sides last season – including 2-0 and 3-0 triumphs at today’s venue, Latham Park. There was however a 4-1 victory for Barry at Jenner Park last December, which supporters will remember more fondly, with goals from Macauley Southam-Hales, Drew Fahiya, Luke Cooper and Jordan Cotterill.

Going into today’s meeting, Newtown sit seventh in the Cymru Premier table, having won two, drawn three and lost three of their eight games so far. Last weekend they were defeated 1-0 by Caernarfon Town at The Oval. Chris Hughes’s side are the lowest scorers in the division but do have the fourth best defence, so don’t expect many goals this afternoon – especially considering there hasn’t been more than one in any of Barry’s last five fixtures!

Troy Greening, Jonathan Hood, Robbie Patten and Callum Sainty all remain unavailable due to injury today, although Patten has returned to light training. Jordan Cotterill is still suspended.

Previewing today’s match, Gavin Chesterfield said:

“Newtown have got a really good record at home, they’re a really well coached team and we’ve had some good games against them in the past.

“It’s a really difficult challenge but a challenge we look forward to. We go there full of confidence, we’re eight games in now and five clean sheets is a really positive step and hopefully that will continue.

“The secret to all our success so far, particularly away from home, has been humility, hard work, togetherness and sticking to the game plan. If the lads keep that going, then hopefully we can get something positive.”

Tickets at Latham Park this afternoon will cost £7 for adults, £5 for OAPs, 16-18 year-olds and students, and just £1 for Under 16s.

Jenner Park hosts Ryan Giggs press conference

On Thursday morning, Barry Town United were delighted to host an FAW press conference at Jenner Park as Wales manager Ryan Giggs addressed the media after announcing his squad for the upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers.

The national side are set to face Slovakia and Croatia later this month, and preparation for those games dominated the discussion, but Giggs also took questions about Gareth Bale, Aaron Ramsey and more.

Also in attendance were pupils from local school Ysgol Gymraeg Gwaun y Nant, who got the chance to pick the brain of Giggs, finding out who his hardest opponent was (Javier Zanetti) to his biggest ever win (9-0 vs Ipswich).

It’s been an exciting few weeks for the school, who hosted the Wales Women’s manager Jayne Ludlow last week as she announced her squad for the Euro 2021 qualifiers. Giggs was even asked who would win between the men and the women, but could only say that it would be “a tough game”.

Earlier on Thursday, it was confirmed that Barry Town United goalkeeper George Ratcliffe, on loan from Cardiff City, has been included in the Wales Under-21 squad for their game against Moldova on October 11. Whilst this means that he will miss our JD Cymru Premier home game against Penybont, we are naturally delighted for George as it is reward for his excellent performances in recent weeks.

The New Saints vs Barry Town United | JD Cymru Premier Preview

The top two in the JD Cymru Premier League go head-to-head today as Barry Town United visit The New Saints (kick-off 2:30pm).

TNS held the top spot for 24 hours last weekend as they came from 2-0 down to beat Carmarthen Town 6-2 on the Saturday, but Barry reclaimed pole position on the Sunday as Chris Hugh’s superb solo goal defeated Cefn Druids 1-0. The victory maintained our unbeaten start to the league campaign, something we’ll be hoping to continue this afternoon in addition to our 100% away record, with three wins from three on the road so far.

Of course the challenge ahead of us is a tough one, with Scott Ruscoe’s side the perennial champions of the Welsh top flight, having won the title in each of the last eight seasons. They have lost just once in the Cymru Premier so far in 2019/20 – a 3-1 defeat to Bala Town on matchday two. Since then, TNS have scored 21 goals in five league matches, with two apiece from Aeron Edwards, Greg Draper and Kurtis Byrne seeing them to victory against Carmarthen last weekend. Their most recent fixture though, a Nathaniel MG Cup clash against Bangor City on Tuesday, ended in disappointment, as they lost on penalties to the Cymru North side after a 1-1 draw in normal time.

Our last visit to Park Hall had a dramatic finish, as Jonathan Hood’s 96th minute bullet free-kick back in February secured a 2-2 draw against a TNS side who had won six league games in a row without conceding a goal beforehand. Kayne McLaggon had earlier pulled a goal back from the penalty spot after we went two goals behind. The Oswestry-based side won the other three league meetings between the two clubs last season, as well as beating us in the Welsh Cup semi-finals.

Ahead of this afternoon’s game, Gavin Chesterfield’s attacking options have been boosted by the expected returns of both Jack Compton and Keyon Reffell from injury. Troy Greening and Robbie Patten remain sidelined, while Callum Sainty was stretchered off against Cefn Druids last week and is also unavailable. Jordan Cotterill is suspended.

Tickets at Park Hall for this game will cost £8 for adults, £4 for concessions and £1 for juniors.

Barry Town Vets Over 55s Go Top After Convincing Win

Over 55s manager Steve Hill presents referee Nicholas Pratt with the match ball ahead of Barry Town United vs Cefn Druids in the JD Cymru Premier.

Current league and cup holders Barry Town Vets Over 55s moved to the top of the table after a comfortable 4–0 win against Merthyr in the Wales Veterans Football League. 

Barry welcomed back Ballysingh and Staddon after lengthy absences and they slotted seamlessly into defence alongside teammates Jones and Murray, but it was the ‘intensity’ of their midfield – Brown, Welsh, Huish and Dyke that was causing real problems for the visitors. They could have been 5-0 up by half time, although only Bobbett’s free-kick and a goal by Welsh separated the teams going into the break. 

Dupuy and Marshall entered the fray and although the visitors started the more lively at the start of the second half, Barry keeper Jones was rarely troubled. Strikers Sanderson and Bobbett had several ‘Monty Python’ moments before man-of-the-match Dyke settled the nerves with a super strike from the edge of the box. Bobbett put the match beyond the visitors with a crisp finish after a dazzling run from his own half.

Debilitated stand-in manager Steve Hill, summed-up the game succinctly:

“This game should have been put to bed in the first 30 minutes, but although there is a need to be more clinical, the team scored four and played some lovely, flowing football in the process and deserve to be at the top of the league.”

Hill later presented the match ball on behalf of the ‘Vets’, for Barry Town United’s Cymru Premier win over Cefn Druids…as Gavin Chesterfield’s side also moved back to the top of the table.

Barry Town Vets’ Over 55s face Newport in their next match on 6th October. The Over 50s, fresh from a 1-0 victory via a Hodgkinson goal, face Continental from Cardiff, whilst the Over 60s take on Swansea – both on 20th October.

Two-goal hero Mike Bobbett

Barry Town United vs Cefn Druids | JD Cymru Premier Preview

Barry Town United are back at Jenner Park this afternoon, with Cefn Druids the visitors in the final JD Cymru Premier fixture of the weekend (kick-off 2:30pm).

Kayne McLaggon scored his fifth goal of the season last weekend to secure a 1-0 win over Airbus UK, maintaining our 100% away record in the league and taking us top of the table in the process. However, both TNS and Cardiff Met won yesterday afternoon against Carmarthen Town and Bala Town respectively, meaning we will begin today in third place with the chance to go back to the summit with victory.

Cefn Druids meanwhile have won just once in six games so far this campaign – a 3-1 victory over Airbus on matchday two. Last weekend they played out a thrilling 3-3 draw with Carmarthen, with Ramirez Howarth grabbing three sensational goals for Huw Griffiths’s side as they led twice against the Old Gold but couldn’t find a way to come out on top. They have also got credible draws at Newtown and Caernarfon this season, so there’s no doubt today will be a tough test.

Barry won in dramatic fashion when Druids visited Jenner Park last season, as Mo Touray scored in the 92nd minute to secure a 2-1 victory. Gavin Chesterfield’s side had previously trailed before Jordan Cotterill’s equaliser. Cotterill then got a hat-trick in the reverse fixture at The Rock, as Touray netted again along with Kayne McLaggon in a 5-2 triumph.

Captain Cotterill unfortunately remains unavailable for today’s fixture, but the club have confirmed that we will appeal the six-month suspension he has been handed by the FAW. Meanwhile, Troy Greening, Robbie Patten, Keyon Reffell are unavailable because of injury. In more positive news, Jack Compton is back in training.

Speaking ahead of the game this week, Gavin Chesterfield said:

“I’m delighted with the start. If the season ended now, I’d be over the moon, but there is still a long way to go. We’ve got another tough game against Druids to look forward to.

“I’m really happy with the lads and their application, but we are nowhere near hitting our straps, there is so much more to come. We are gradually getting better and gradually getting stronger.”

Tickets at Jenner Park this afternoon will cost £8 for adults, £5 for concessions and £3 for kids.

Airbus UK vs Barry Town United | JD Cymru Premier Preview

Barry Town United face Airbus UK Broughton for the very first time this afternoon in the JD Cymru Premier (2:30pm kick-off).

Our 0-0 draw with Caernarfon Town last weekend, a second clean sheet in a row, maintained our unbeaten start to the league season and kept us at the top of the table. However TNS’s 2-1 win over Newtown on Tuesday and Connah’s Quay Nomads’s 4-1 victory against Aberystwyth last night means we will start today’s game at The Airfield in third place.

Airbus meanwhile are currently in 10th position, having collected their first points of the campaign last weekend in a 2-1 win over Aberystwyth. It had previously been a difficult start to life back in the top-flight for The Wingmakers with four straight defeats.

It follows on from a hugely successful 2018/19 season for Steve O’Shaughnessy’s side, as they won both the Cymru Alliance and the Cymru Alliance League Cup. Their resulting promotion ended a two year stay in the second tier after relegation in 2017, the same year Barry were promoted back to the Welsh Premier League. It was the second time the two clubs had bypassed each other in the league system, following Barry’s relegation and Airbus’s promotion in 2004.

It was sadly confirmed yesterday that Troy Greening will miss the rest of the season with an ACL injury. We wish Troy all the best with his surgery and rehabilitation.

Fellow midfielders Robbie Patten and Jordan Cotterill also remain out through injury and suspension respectively. In more positive news, Callum Sainty is fit to return. George Ratcliffe will also return to the squad following his time with the Wales Under-21 side.

Speaking ahead of today’s game, Gavin Chesterfield said:

“We’re prepared well. Airbus got their first win against Aberystwyth last weekend and they’ve got some very talented, experienced players in the group. I feel as if before the season started they strengthened well.

“Looking at the manager’s comments, their performances have probably been better than their results so I’m under no illusions it’s going to be a real tough game. But it’s a game we look forward to.”

Barry Town Vets Win 3-2 Against Penybont

Barry Town Vets got their season off to a winning start against a very tough Penybont team in the Wales Veterans Football League. 

Although not at their best, goals from Bobbett, Sanderson and Dyke plus strong and committed performances from the likes of Alun Huish, Mark Jones and particularly Cardiff City legend Roger Gibbins secured the three points for Barry Town Vets, now part of Barry Town United FC.

The ‘Vets’ who will compete in the over 50s, 55s and 60s competitions of the Wales Veterans League this season, were recently welcomed to the Barry Town United FC fold by co-chairman Mark Barrett, who enthused:

“We believed that the absence of a veterans section was one of the missing pieces in the development of the Club and inviting in a ready-made, successful group, including so many well known names from the past was the obvious solution and should be mutually beneficial to all concerned.” 

Barry Town Vets spokesman and legend Dickie Batt added:

“This is an exciting move for the ‘Vets’ and having a base in the Town is a real positive for us and should help to strengthen our current pool of players as we look to introduce over 40s and 45s teams for 2020/21.”

Manager Jimmy Blackie added:

“We are looking forward to the new season at Jenner Park with real enthusiasm and hope to maintain our impressive record.”