Barry Over 55s, shorn of several key players, faced Swansea at a blustery Penyrheol Sports Centre, acutely aware that they would have to lose the game by four clear goals to allow their opponents to overtake them at the top of the Wales Veterans Over 55s Cup qualifying group and progress to the final.
In a scrappy opening period, exacerbated by the strong wind, Swansea looked the more dangerous, but Averies, M. Jones and Gibbins were defiant, and in fact neither keeper was tested. Agonisingly, on 15 minutes a rare blunder by Barry stopper J. Jones gifted the hosts a fortunate lead. Minutes later the keeper redeemed himself with a spectacular penalty save, when Staddon was penalised for a ‘gentle’ push as the hosts exerted pressure on the visitors goal.
This jolted Barry into a response and they too had a period of superiority, Jones and man-of-the-match Gibbins’s accurate cross-field passes were causing problems for the Swans defence and only a series of superb saves from Swansea gloveman Meecham, along with some imprecise finishing prevented the visitors from gaining parity going into the break.
During the interval stand-in manager Hill called for calmness and discipline, but five minutes after the restart a loose pass by Marshall was seized upon by the hard-working Swans midfield and they took an unlikely 2-0 lead.
In a fiercely competitive last 30 minutes Barry lost shape and restraint, pouring forward in search of ‘redemption’, often at the expense of defensive responsibilities and subsequently rationale! Although they created several gilt-edged chances, a more pragmatic approach would likely have borne more fruit.
Despite the result, Barry ultimately still progressed to the O55s cup final where they will face Newport on 10th May at Jenner Park.
This Friday several Barry Town Vets players will represent Wales at the over 60s Tri-nations tournament in Northern Ireland. We wish Messrs Bobbett, Huish, Price, Staddon and Brown all the best against the other home nations. Next Sunday Barry Town 50s host Llantrisant at Jenner Park, 11.30am KO.
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 1-2 Continental
Oct 20 BARRY 60s 0-0 Swansea
Oct 27 BARRY 55s 8-1 Llantrisant
Nov 3 Merthyr 4-1 BARRY 50s
Nov 10 Swansea 3-1 BARRY 55s
Nov 24 BARRY 55s 3-0 Penybont
Dec 1 Swansea 3-7 BARRY 50s
Dec 8 Barry 55s 4-0 Merthyr (CUP)
Dec 15 BARRY 50s 0-1 Nelson
Dec 15 BARRY 60s 3-0 Newport
Jan 5 Merthyr 1-9 BARRY 55s
Jan 12 BARRY 50s 5-3 Cwmbran Celtic (CUP)
Jan 26 Penybont 2-3 BARRY 50s
Jan 26 BARRY 60s 3-0 Merthyr Tydfil
Feb 2 Swansea 2-0 BARRY 55s (CUP)
Feb 9 BARRY 50s vs Llantrisant / Jenner Park / 11:30am
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
May 10 BARRY 55s vs Newport / Jenner Park / TBC (CUP)