#SamSigns | Sam Bowen joins Barry Town on loan from Cardiff City

Barry Town United are pleased to confirm the signing of midfielder Sam Bowen on loan from Cardiff City.

Son of former Bluebirds forward Jason, Sam has been in the Championship club’s academy since the age of six and first came to the attention of supporters four years ago when he scored from the half-way line for the Under 16s against Hull City.

He would go on to captain the Under 18 side and is now a key part of the Under 23 squad. Last season, the 19-year-old made the substitutes bench for the first team’s FA Cup fixtures against Carlisle United and Reading.

Bowen has been capped nine times by Wales Under 19s and was called up for the Under 21 squad for the first time earlier this month alongside former Barry loanees George Ratcliffe, Sion Spence and Mo Touray.

Gavin Chesterfield said:

“Sam is a player I have admired for some time after previously working with him at international level. I have seen what he is capable of first hand and I think this loan comes at a good time for Sam’s development. He will add further quality to our squad and will complement the players we already have. Thank you to Cardiff City for their continued trust in us.”

Everyone at Barry Town gives Sam a warm welcome. He will wear the number 20 shirt.

Bala Town vs Barry Town United | JD Cymru Premier preview

After leaving it late to maintain our unbeaten run away at Newtown on Saturday, we are on the road again tonight as Bala Town play hosts in the JD Cymru Premier (kick-off 7:45pm).

It was Kayne McLaggon’s 50th goal for Barry in the 94th minute that rescued a point for us at Latham Park and made it six games in a row without defeat. James Davies’s lob had given Newtown the lead before Evan Press was brought down in the box in second half stoppage time, and although McLaggon saw the resulting penalty saved, he was on hand to tap in the rebound.

Later that day, live on Sgorio, Bala came from behind to beat Aberystwyth 5-2, Chris Venables standing out as he netted two in the space of four minutes. It was the second time this season that the Lakesiders have scored five one in game, having beaten Penybont 5-1 – Venables again grabbing a brace along with Will Evans. However they did also suffer a surprising 2-1 defeat to newly-promoted Haverfordwest.

Colin Caton’s side have only played five league games so far in 2020/21, the lowest in the division, owing to their European exploits, floodlight failure and bad weather. It means they currently sit fifth in the table with games in hand over the sides above them.

Both meetings between Barry and Bala last season ended level, setting the tone for what is expected to be another even game this evening.

We led twice at Jenner Park at the start of the campaign through Drew Fahiya and Kayne McLaggon but had to settle for a 2-2 draw, while Keyon Reffell provided an equaliser on the stroke of half-time in the return game at Maes Tegid that ended 1-1.

Despite both clubs finishing in the top six, the curtailed season prevented both phase two meetings from taking to place – a trip to Gwynedd was actually next on our fixture list before football came to a halt.

The points-per-game system determined that Bala finished one place above us in third place, and the Lakesiders went on to face Valletta and Standard Liege in the Europa League. Their game in Belgium was the reason tonight’s fixture was moved from its original date in mid-September.

Looking ahead to the game, Gavin Chesterfield said:

“It will be a tough challenge but that’s what we want. We want to make sure we are constantly improving and we know we are going to have to be better than we were against Newtown. It is a tough gig driving up for a night game in midweek, but I’m looking forward to the match. We have had a close rivalry with Bala in the last couple of years so it will be tight.”

Due to a Welsh Government and FAW ruling, games must currently be played behind-closed-doors until stated otherwise. Your support will be hugely missed at Maes Tegid, but you will be able to follow this evening’s fixture through live updates on our Twitter page.   

Newtown vs Barry Town United | JD Cymru Premier preview

We travel to Newtown this afternoon for the first of two away games in a row in the JD Cymru Premier (kick-off 2:30pm).

We have won both of our games on the road so far this season, at Flint Town United and Aberystwyth Town, contributing to a five-game winning run that we will be hoping to continue this afternoon.

The latest victory came in midweek against Cardiff Metropolitan University, when David Cotterill’s second half free-kick was just reward for a game in which Barry had several clear-cut goalscoring opportunities but had to settle for a 1-0 win.

Meanwhile, Newtown come into today’s game following two consecutive losses away from home, firstly at Penybont and then at The New Saints on Tuesday night. It was goalless at the break at Park Hall, but two second half goals from Dean Ebbe condemned Chris Hughes’s side to defeat.

Newtown did earn three points in their last home game, and in emphatic style too – they defeated Cefn Druids 4-1 at the end of September. Despite trailing, goals from Ryan Edwards and Neil Mitchell, plus a brace from Nick Rushton, turned the game around.

That does however stand as the club’s only victory in seven Cymru Premier games so far this campaign, placing them ninth in the table ahead of today’s fixtures. With ten goals scored, finding the back of the net has not been a problem, but at the other end, Newtown are yet to keep a clean sheet.

We were victorious at Latham Park last season as first half goals from Sion Spence, Keyon Reffell and Kayne McLaggon proved the difference in a 3-2 win in October that maintained our unbeaten start to the campaign and ensured we remained top of the table. The Robins then defeated us 1-0 on two consecutive weekends at Jenner Park in November and December, first in the league and then in the Welsh Cup. Despite both teams finishing in the top six, the curtailed season meant that there were no phase two meetings between the sides.

Looking ahead to the game, Gavin Chesterfield said:

“You’re definitely at your most vulnerable when you think you’ve got football beat, so we know it’ll be a tough match. Success is built off people who are resilient, hard-working and honest and this group of lads are all those things. Latham Park is a difficult place to go and Newtown are a really good team so we look forward to the challenge and fingers crossed we can keep this run going.”

Due to a Welsh Government and FAW ruling, games must currently be played behind-closed-doors until stated otherwise. Your support will be hugely missed at Latham Park, but you will be able to follow this afternoon’s fixture through live updates on our Twitter page.   

Town announce new creative partnership with CREO

Barry Town United are delighted to announce a new sponsorship agreement with CREO, one of Wales’ leading brand and digital agencies.

This exciting partnership will see the CREO logo appear on our kit for the forthcoming season, with the company working alongside the club to deliver a range of digital assets over the coming months.

This will include new imagery for social media as well as a new website that will bring all elements of our club under one digital umbrella. 

Jordan Thorne, Creative Director at CREO commented: 

“For us as a team, and as passionate football fans in general, we feel incredibly proud to be sponsoring Barry Town. It’s a club with an illustrious history and a fantastic future. During these unprecedented times, it’s essential for clubs to engage with supporters fully and the development of a new digital platform will support the club in achieving this objective. 

“It will offer a professional look that helps promote the club in its entirety whilst representing the JD Cymru Premier in a positive manner. We find ourselves within strange times and the unique visual language we have created will allow the club to speak to their supporters and stakeholders in a new and engaging way, helping to strengthen relationships and build new ones.

“We would like to thank the board directors and members, as well as the media team, first-team manager Gavin Chesterfield and all connected to the club in allowing us this fantastic opportunity – put wind in our sails and we can go anywhere. Up the Town.”

Richard Ward, CREO Managing Director commented: 

“CREO are extremely proud to sponsor Barry Town United Football Club for the forthcoming season. Barry Town have an incredibly rich and successful history both domestically and in European competitions.

“I personally am looking forward to engaging with the club and its fantastic fan base. Living locally I know how much the club means to the community of Barry and hope that by bringing our digital and creative expertise to the table we can showcase this great football club to the wider world.”

Barry Town United vs Cardiff Metropolitan University | JD Cymru Premier preview

Tonight we welcome Cardiff Metropolitan University to Jenner Park as the JD Cymru Premier continues to charge on (kick-off 7:45pm).

This is the first time since we were promoted back to the top-flight three years ago that we will not be facing Cardiff Met in the regular league season in a double header over the Christmas period. To date, the results from those festive fixtures stand at three Barry victories, two wins for the Archers and one draw.

It finished 1-1 at Jenner Park on Boxing Day last year before we won 1-0 at Cyncoed four days later – Mo Touray’s goal securing a place in the top six to ensure we ended 2019 on a high. Cardiff Met would finish the season in seventh place on points-per-game, with the curtailed season denying them the opportunity to achieve European qualification in the play-offs for the second consecutive year. 

Christian Edwards’s side have struggled for form so far in 2020-21, with just one win from six games. That came on the opening weekend in a thrilling 3-2 victory away to Aberystwyth Town, when they trailed twice at Park Avenue but two late goals from Ollie Hulbert secured the three points.

Since then, Cardiff Met have drawn with Haverfordwest and Cefn Druids and lost to The New Saints, Penybont and most recently Caernarfon Town. The Cofis ran out 3-0 winners at Cyncoed in front of the Sgorio cameras on Saturday, as the Students were punished for Eliot Evans’s first half penalty miss.

Meanwhile, Barry head into tonight’s game in search of a fifth win in a row. Fantastic determination and team spirit was shown to achieve the latest victory as we defeated Aberystwyth 2-1 away from home on Saturday. Steff Davies put the Ceredigion side ahead early in the second half, before our task was made even harder by Clayton Green’s red card on the hour mark which rules him out of tonight’s game.

However two goals in three minutes, first from Kayne McLaggon and then Jordan Cotterill, turned the game around and gave us a crucial win. It means that we remain third in the Cymru Premier going into tonight’s fixture.

Looking ahead to the game, Gavin Chesterfield said:

“Cardiff Met are an established Cymru Premier team and I know they’ll be well-coached, well-organised and difficult opponents. We know each other well, so it’ll be a good game. That’s the thing with this league, there’s no easy matches and anyone can beat anyone and that’s what makes it exciting.”

Due to a Welsh Government and FAW ruling, games must currently be played behind-closed-doors until stated otherwise. Your support will be hugely missed at Jenner Park, but you will be able to follow this evening’s fixture through live updates on our Twitter page.   

Aberystwyth Town vs Barry Town United | JD Cymru Premier preview

The games keep on coming thick and fast in the JD Cymru Premier as we travel to Aberystwyth Town this afternoon (kick-off 2:30pm).

It provides us with a good opportunity to put together some momentum and build on our run of three consecutive victories, the latest of which came against newly-promoted Haverfordwest County on Wednesday night.

It was a game which saw David Cotterill net his first Barry goal, a powerful free-kick from distance, to give us a 1-0 lead at half-time, before the Bluebirds came back into the game and equalised after the break through Ben Fawcett’s header. Mike Lewis then made an excellent save to prevent Kieran Lewis from completing the turnaround.

It was Nat Jarvis, also scoring his first goal for the club, who popped up with the winning moment in the 68th minute, nodding home from close range following a great delivery from Chris Hugh. The result lifted us to third in the Cymru Premier table after four games.

Meanwhile, Aberystwyth are winless in two matches, both away from home, most recently suffering a 2-0 defeat to Connah’s Quay Nomads on Wednesday. The game was decided by two first half goals for the reigning Cymru Premier champions, but Andy Morrison was full of praise for the spirit shown by the Seasiders.

They did however win their last home fixture, a 3-1 triumph against Flint Town United. That is the only victory they have to their name so far this campaign, placing them eighth in the table at this early stage. It is a first season at the helm for club legend Gavin Allen, who replaced Matthew Bishop as manager in the summer. Goals have been almost guaranteed in his tenure so far, with Aberystwyth failing to score just once (against Nomads), while they are yet to keep a clean sheet.  

Barry won both meetings between the two sides last season, most memorably just before Christmas when Kayne McLaggon’s second half goal gave us a 1-0 win at Park Avenue. McLaggon had also scored a brace against Aberystwyth earlier in the campaign, helping Barry to a 3-1 victory at Jenner Park along with Clayton Green’s strike. We are actually yet to lose to the Black and Greens since our promotion back to the top-flight in 2017.

Due to a Welsh Government and FAW ruling, games must currently be played behind-closed-doors until stated otherwise. Your support will be hugely missed at Park Avenue, but you will be able to follow this afternoon’s fixture through live updates on our Twitter page.   

Barry Town United vs Haverfordwest County | JD Cymru Premier preview

We’re back at home this evening for our first of three consecutive midweek fixtures as Haverfordwest County travel to Jenner Park in the JD Cymru Premier (kick-off 7:45pm).

Kayne McLaggon’s penalty on his 100th appearance for the club secured all three points for Barry in the 1-0 win over Flint Town United on Saturday, as Mike Lewis won the man of the match award for numerous impressive saves and his first clean sheet of the season. It was a second victory in a row following our last fixture at Jenner Park when we defeated Caernarfon Town 3-1. By the end of the weekend, we were fourth in the table at this early stage.

Having faced last year’s promotion-winners from the Cymru North, Barry now come up against the side who have come up from the Cymru South – Haverfordwest. Under the stewardship of Wayne Jones, the Bluebirds are back in the top-flight for the first time since relegation in 2016. They are yet to win in three games, drawing against Cardiff Met and Newtown before suffering a 4-1 defeat to reigning champions Connah’s Quay Nomads at the weekend. Sean Pemberton’s goal had got Haverfordwest level at the break, but Andy Morrison’s side took control in the second half.

There have been many meetings between Barry and Haverfordwest over the years, but this will be the first Cymru Premier fixture involving the two sides since December 2003, when Haverfordwest won 2-0. The last competitive meeting came in the second round of the Nathaniel MG Cup last season when Haverfordwest were victors on a penalty shoot-out following a 1-1 draw in 120 minutes.

Looking ahead to the game, Gavin Chesterfield said:

“Following a good win on the road it’s great to be back at Jenner Park for what is the start of a busy period of football. I was delighted to grind out the win in difficult conditions away at Flint and I’m excited by the game tonight between two games that like to play. Haverfordwest have made a solid start to life in the Cymru Premier and we look forward to the challenge.”

Due to a Welsh Government and FAW ruling, games must currently be played behind-closed-doors until stated otherwise. Your support will be hugely missed at Jenner Park, but you will be able to follow this evening’s fixture through live updates on our Twitter page.   

Flint Town United vs Barry Town United | JD Cymru Premier preview

We travel to Flint Town United this evening for our first away league game of the season, with the fixture live on Sgorio (kick-off 5:45pm).

The Silkmen are back in the JD Cymru Premier for the first time since 1998 after finishing second in the Cymru North last season. They have made a strong start to life back at this level, winning two of their opening three fixtures. Manager Niall McGuinness has coached in the league before with Rhyl, while the club have also used the transfer window to add top-flight experience in shape of Nathan Craig and Wes Baynes.

Craig scored the only goal in Flint’s 1-0 win over Newtown on the opening weekend before they were defeated 3-1 by Aberystwyth six days later. Flint were then in action again on Wednesday night in their rearranged fixture with Cefn Druids, and emerged 2-1 victors at The Rock. It means that they head into today’s game second in the table at this early stage.

Meanwhile, Barry are placed eighth after bouncing back from an opening day defeat to The New Saints with a 3-1 victory over Caernarfon Town at Jenner Park last weekend. After an even opening to the game, Barry took control of proceedings and Kayne McLaggon gave us the lead seven minutes before half-time. After the break, summer signing Curtis McDonald powered in a header from a Jordan Cotterill corner and McLaggon volleyed in his second of the afternoon to wrap up the win. Mike Hayes’s close-range finish proved only a consolation for the Cofis.

This will be our first meeting with Flint since our 2-0 win in the 2013 Welsh Cup quarter-final. Goals from Ryan Evans and Ryan Jenkins secured a place in the last four for the first time in a decade and marked the first ever appearance of a fully-amateur Barry side at the Welsh Cup semi-final stage.

Looking ahead to the game, Gavin Chesterfield said:

“While Prestatyn won the Cymru North last season, Flint were really competitive and since then they’ve add strength, experience and quality. Niall as a manager has experience in this league previously too. We know they’ll be well prepared and well organised, but they’ll know that we will as well.

“It won’t be an easy place to go. It’s a long time since I’ve been there actually, but it’s a fresh ground for us and a chance to get another three points.”

Due to a Welsh Government and FAW ruling, games must currently be played behind-closed-doors until stated otherwise. Your support will be hugely missed at Essity Stadium, but you will be able to follow the game live on S4C and through updates on our Twitter page.   

Gavin Chesterfield: “I’m really happy with the hunger the lads have shown”

Credit: Mike James Photography

Gavin Chesterfield has been encouraged by what he has seen in Barry’s first two games of the season.

“I won’t look at the league table until we’re ten games in as a minimum, that’s something I’ve always done,” he says. “But there’s been some really pleasing things that we can build on.”

The phrase ‘a game of two halves’ was personified when Barry hosted The New Saints on the opening weekend. Chesterfield’s team matched last season’s Cymru Premier runners-up in the opening period, but conceded three goals after the break to lose the match.  

“I was delighted with the first 45 minutes against TNS but really disappointed with the second 45 minutes,” Chesterfield admits. “Before we knew it the game had got away from us and we came away with a disappointing result.”

A 3-1 win over Caernarfon Town last weekend was the perfect response, as two goals from Kayne McLaggon and a bullet header from summer signing Curtis McDonald secured all three points.

“The lads trained really last week and took that into Saturday’s game,” Chesterfield says. We’re delighted with the result and to score three goals – we potentially could have scored one or two more as well.

“I’m really happy with the hunger the lads have shown and their work ethic, particularly out of possession. That will stand us in good stead if we keep that mentality.”

As well as McDonald’s goal, Nat Jarvis made his league debut against Caernarfon, while fellow new arrivals Curtis Hutson and Mikey George have impressed in both games so far. When asked about the impact of the summer signings, Chesterfield was full of praise:

“I thought Nat was a right handful on Saturday. He’s a strong runner, has genuine quality and will score goals. I thought he was unlucky not to score against Caernarfon to be honest, but his contribution to the team performance was excellent.

“The same goes for Curtis [McDonald]. He’s great for the changing room and brings a level of calmness at the back. He’ll only get better as he adapts to the way we play. Obviously it’s a great header to score following a really good delivery by Jordan, and to Curt’s credit he adds that threat from set-pieces.

“The rest of the guys we’ve brought in have been great too. Curtis [Hutson] performed really well against TNS and was probably a bit unlucky not to start again against Caernarfon. His mentality and teamwork has been excellent, and it’s the same with Mikey. It’s a long old season ahead and everyone will have a role to play.”

Credit: Mike James Photography

Due to an FAW and Welsh Government ruling, all Cymru Premier games are currently being played without fans in attendance, and Chesterfield admits that this has been difficult to get used to.

“At our level it arguably affects us more because we know our supporters by name,” he says. “We share relationships with them and they’re an essential part of this football club – always have been, always will be. We miss them like crazy. From a financial perspective it’s difficult for the club as well, so I can’t wait to welcome people back into stadiums in a safe manner.

“It has definitely affected the atmosphere at games and probably in some ways made football less emotional and a bit more sanitised. It feels like a friendly at times, so as a coach and as players, it is important that we remember that we’re playing for three points and these results and performances matter.”

Next up for Barry is a first away game of the season as we travel to newly-promoted Flint Town United on Saturday (5:45pm), live on Sgorio. Chesterfield suggests that a tough 90 minutes is in store:

“While Prestatyn won the Cymru North last season, Flint were really competitive and since then they’ve add strength, experience and quality. Niall as a manager has experience in this league previously too. We know they’ll be well prepared and well organised, but they’ll know that we will as well.

“It won’t be an easy place to go. It’s a long time since I’ve been there actually, but it’s a fresh ground for us and a chance to get another three points.”

Saturday’s game will be our first meeting with Flint since the Welsh Cup quarter-final in 2013, when Barry won 2-0 to progress to the semi-finals for the first time in a decade. Chesterfield was happy to reminisce about the victory:

“I’ve got very good memories of that day! While we lost the semi-final, that quarter-final was a really important part of our rebirth as club. If I remember rightly, Ryan Evans scored a free-kick and then Ryan Jenkins made it 2-0 with a breakaway goal, it was a fantastic day.

“It’ll be a different challenge this time though and I’m excited by what lies ahead.”

Josh Gould: “Playing in the Cymru Premier and under Gavin really excites me”

Following confirmation of Josh Gould’s arrival on loan from Swansea City, we caught up with the goalkeeper to discuss his career so far and hopes for the season ahead.

Hi Josh, welcome to Barry Town. How does it feel to get the move done?

“It’s good to get the paperwork done and get the move across the line. I’m looking forward to getting going.”

What was it about Barry that appealed to you?

“I’ve played at Jenner Park before a couple of times and I know Barry is a really good club. It’s run really well and always been an attractive option, with it not being too far from Swansea either. Playing in the Cymru Premier and under Gavin really excites me. I’ve heard a lot about him and his thoughts and ideas in the game.”

Having spoken to Gavin Chesterfield, how did he convince you to sign?

“He said that he’d seen me play when I was at Taffs Well and that he was interested in signing me all the way back then, so that was a good start to the conversation. I believe our philosophies of how we want to play the game link up so I’m really looking forward to playing under him. He sounds like a great guy and the environment he’s created here is great.”

Tell me a little bit more about your career so far. Am I right in saying you didn’t get into football until quite late?

“Yeah I was a bit of a late bloomer to be honest! I played rugby until I was 16 and then just randomly tried my hand in goal with my local team. Then things started to take off when I was about 18 and I went to Cardiff Met University. I played there for a couple of years and then headed to Taffs Well in my final year to get some games and ended up having a good season. That’s when I signed for Swansea, and this is now my third season with them.”

You’re joining us from Swansea, where you were named on the bench for a few Championship games at the end of last season. What was that like?

“It was a great experience. I got moved into the first team in January so I had been travelling to games as third choice and been involved for a few months. It was great to learn off Martyn Margetson and Steve Cooper, who were really supportive and I’ve got a great relationship with both of them.

“When Freddie [Woodman] got injured at the back end of the season, it was kind of an easy step up to the bench because I’d got used to the squad. It was just a shame that the fans weren’t there so I couldn’t share it with them.”

Having played academy football for the last two years, do you feel you’re ready for that step up to senior football?

“Definitely. I’ve played in non-league before so I kind of know what it will be like. I know a lot about the Cymru Premier, I do keep tabs on it on social media. I’ve got a lot of mates who play in the league so I’ve been to see a few games. I’ve done all my technical coaching at Swansea, now I’m ready to show everyone what I’ve learnt.”

You have played against Barry in pre-season before. What have you made of the club?

“I thought they were really strong. Like I say, I’m quite nosy on Twitter so I follow the line-ups! There’s been a couple of good signings this year so I really believe we can get European football again, but I said to Gavin that there’s no reason why we can’t be winning the league.”

What are you hopes and ambitions for your time with us?

“With the club having qualified for Europe in the last two seasons, that will be the minimum requirement for me. Like I say, I personally believe, looking at the squad and knowing the league, there’s no reason why we can’t challenge for the title.”

Finally do you have any message for the fans?

“Obviously it’s a difficult time at the moment so I hope everyone is keeping in good spirits. I’m looking forward to playing in front of the fans when we are able to. Whenever I have played here they’ve always been pretty loud and supportive of their players so it’ll be nice to be on the right side of that!”