The action starts in the re-branded Cymru Premier on Friday night (kick-off 8pm), and you couldn’t have asked for many better fixtures to start. Barry Town United will make the short journey to newly-promoted Penybont FC in what we’re affectionately calling ‘The Five Mile Lane Derby’. The match will also take it’s place in Welsh football history as the first ever televised fixture in Bridgend.
For Barry, it will be a chance to bounce back from last weekend’s disappointing exit from the Nathaniel MG Cup at the hands of Haverfordwest County. Kayne McLaggon had given us the lead at the Bridge Meadow Stadium before a late equaliser took the game to a penalty shoot-out, in which the hosts emerged victorious.
Our most recent meeting with Penybont also came in knockout competition – last season’s Welsh Cup third round. It ended 4-1 to Barry at Jenner Park, with Jon Hood, Mo Touray and Louis Gerrard all scoring in extra-time after Luke Borrelli had cancelled out Macauley Southam-Hales’s goal in normal time.
The Bont got their 2019/20 campaign off to a perfect start last week with a 4-1 win over Goytre United in the Nathaniel MG Cup. Rhys Griffiths’s side now look ahead to a first ever taste of the top-flight following an incredible surge to the Welsh Football League Division One title last year. The club went all 30 league games unbeaten and ended up 20 points clear at the top of the table, finishing the campaign with an emphatic 9-0 win over Cwmamman United. Barry were one of just three teams – along with Newtown and Ynysygerwn – to defeat them all season.
Speaking ahead of the game, Gavin Chesterfield said:
“I’m delighted for Rhys. He’s a good friend and he’s done brilliantly to get Penybont into the league – they’ve been trying for many years. But that friendship gets put aside and rivalries start.
“It’s a great game to look forward to. They’ll be full of enthusiasm for their first game in the Cymru Premier, and we’re full of enthusiasm to try and taste what we’ve done in the past.”
Also commenting on Griffiths, Kayne McLaggon said:
“He knows this league inside out, he’s played in it more than nearly everybody really. So he knows the league, he knows what to expect and he’ll have his players revved up to fight against us.
“There’s no pressure on them. We’ve been in that position before – in my first season here we were new to the league. When there’s no pressure on you, you can go and play a bit more freely. It’s probably good that the cameras are there so hopefully there’s a little bit of pressure on them, something that they’re not used to.
“It’s a bit of derby, they can almost cause an upset and I’m sure the cameras will be expecting an upset, that’s why they’re there! It will be a difficult game for both sides. I think it’s one that if I wasn’t playing in that I’d be watching.”
Tickets will cost £7 at the KYMCO Stadium on Friday night, with concessions priced at £5. Under 15s are free, while you can purchase a programme for £2.50.