Sunday’s encounter was always going to be a tough test for the high-flying Barry Town United team. Llandudno came into the game desperate to get a win as their recent form had left them on 9 points, inside the relegation zone. Having beaten Barry once already this season, they’d have wanted to pick up only their second away win of the season. Barry came into the game in third position having cemented the spot by beating Bala away from home last week. The South Wales side also knew that a win here would push them up into second with TNS stumbling against Aberystwyth on Saturday.
Despite Llandudno’s form they started better in the South Wales rain. Moudou Touray was dispossessed in midfield, leading to a break that saw Danny Hughes play in John Owen who’s shot hit the woodwork. The resulting few moments of play led to a Llandudno free kick on the right-hand side. Toby Jones delivered the ball to the far post where an unmarked Mike Pearson was able to end Llandudno’s three game goal drought.
Barry wouldn’t have been happy with their start to the game but conceding a goal seemed to wake up the team, who began to push forward into the Llandudno half. Robbie Patten and Chris Hugh provided an outlet for Barry as they started to get a foothold into the game. Finally, after several attempts Chris Hugh crossed a ball into the box for Mclaggon who was brought down by the Llandudno defenders. The referee pointed to the spot and Mclaggon picked up the ball, determined to put his penalty miss against Caernarfon behind him. Mclaggon gave Shaun Pearson no chance from the penalty spot, taking his goal tally for the season up to five.
As the second half started both sides would have felt they could take something from what had been an even game up until that point. Although one minutes into the second half Jon Hood had other ideas as he rifled a volley into the net. Unfortunately, as the Barry players celebrated no one had noticed the linesman’s flag had gone up. Mclaggon was deemed to be interfering with play in an offside position when the ball was stuck. You can watch the Sgorio Highlights at the top of the page to judge the decision for yourselves!
Despite the disallowed goal Barry didn’t let their heads drop as they continued to push forward and just minutes after the disallowed goal, Mclaggon was fouled by Mike Pearson on the edge of the box. Pearson was shown his second yellow card of the game and given his marching orders by the referee. The sending off completely changed to game for Llandudno who had 40 minutes to play with 10 men. As they tried to adjust to the game Barry continued to apply pressure and finally that pressure paid off when Robbie Patten played a One-Two with Jordan Cotterill before playing in Modou Touray who controlled the ball and put his shot past Pearson in net.
With the game now in Barry’s favour Llandudno looked to push forward to get a valuable point in their relegation battle, but the sending off had killed the game. They had a few half chances in the second half, but they couldn’t break down the Barry defence in any meaningful way. Barry did well in soaking up the pressure of the Llandudno attack with Mike Lewis having little to do in the Barry goal. The result puts Barry up into second in the table only behind Connah Quay Nomads on goal difference.
Barry have been flying high this season, but the next two games will provide their toughest tests of the season with an away game against the Nomads and a home tie against the reigning champions TNS. Theirs still a lot of football to be played this season but the next two games will be crucial in Barry’s top half charge. You can hear the thoughts of manager Gavin Chesterfield and right back Macauley Southam-Hales below this paragraph as the team prepare for a big couple of weeks.