After an 11-day break, we return to JD Cymru Premier action this afternoon for our final home game of phase one against Bala Town (kick-off 2:30pm).
All four of our games since the league’s restart three weeks ago have ended 1-0 – two defeats to Penybont and wins over Cefn Druids and Aberystwyth Town.
It means we currently sit in fifth, needing one win from our final two games of phase one to secure a place in the top six.
Bala are already safe of their spot in the Championship Conference, but have suffered a dip in form in recent weeks.
Colin Caton’s side were beaten 2-1 by Caernarfon Town last weekend and 3-1 by Connah’s Quay Nomads the previous Tuesday, leaving them isolated in third place, as they are nine points behind of The New Saints (2nd) but eight points ahead of Penybont (4th).
An injury-ravaged Barry side were beaten 4-0 by Bala earlier this season as Chris Venables netted a hat-trick and we will be keen to give a better account of ourselves as the Lakesiders visit Jenner Park.
This fixture last season finished 2-2, as Barry led twice through Drew Fahiya and Kayne McLaggon but Bala fought back to claim a point.
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 afternoon’s fixture through live updates on our Twitter page.
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.
After a short break, Barry Town United return to JD Cymru Premier action this afternoon against Bala Town (kick-off 2:30pm).
Last week’s fixture against Penybont was postponed due to international call-ups, meaning that today’s visit to Maes Tegid is a third away game in a row for Gavin Chesterfield’s side. It follows the 1-0 win over The New Saints at the end of September and the 3-2 victory against Newtown a fortnight ago, secured through first goals for the club for Sion Spence and Keyon Reffell and a Kayne McLaggon penalty.
Bala meanwhile are currently on a three-game winning streak, having claimed victories over Carmarthen Town (2-1), Cefn Druids (3-0) and Aberystwyth Town (2-0) in recent weeks. The results have left the Lakesiders fourth in the table, with only TNS scoring more goals in total so far this season.
This afternoon will of course be our first visit to Maes Tegid since the historic 5-2 win in April that secured our qualification to Europa League. Bala were 2-0 up at the hour mark, but goals from Jordan Cotterill, Kayne McLaggon (two), Mo Touray and Drew Fahiya completed a magical comeback. Our first meeting this season was also an exciting affair, as a 2-2 draw was played out at Jenner Park. Barry twice leading through Fahiya and McLaggon, only for Lassana Mendes and Stuart Jones to equalise for Bala.
Ahead of today’s game, Jonathan Hood is available for selection again after recovering from injury. Troy Greening, Callum Sainty and Robbie Patten all remain sidelined though, while Jordan Cotterill is still suspended. The captain’s ban has been reduced however, and he will be eligible for our home fixture against Connah’s Quay Nomads in three weeks’ time.
Speaking this week, Gavin Chesterfield said:
“The boys have trained really well and looked fresh after a deserved rest. It’s a ground we have fond memories at, Bala have strengthened their team since last season but so have we. The game at Jenner Park in August was a tight affair and I expect another tough but exciting encounter”.
Across the Cymru Leagues, this weekend’s fixtures have been chosen as Show Racism the Red Card’s action match gameweek as part of October being their Month of Action 2019, and Barry Town United are hugely proud to support the initiative.
Tickets at Maes Tegid this afternoon will cost £6 for adults, £3 for concessions and £1 for children.
The only two teams with 100% records remaining in the JD Cymru Premier League meet this afternoon, as Barry Town United host Bala Town (kick-off 2:30pm).
It’s the second game at Jenner Park in the space of four days, following Barry’s 3-1 win over Aberystwyth Town on Friday evening. Kayne McLaggon’s incredible 30 yard strike made it 1-0 early on, before Clayton Green doubled our lead before half-time. McLaggon made it three with just over ten minutes to play, but there was to be no clean sheet for Barry as Paulo Mendes nodded home an Aberystwyth consolation.
Bala also won 3-1 on Friday, pulling off a fantastic result to beat TNS for the first time in 39 attempts. The perennial champions had a 1-0 lead at half-time thanks to Dean Ebbe’s header, but a brace from Chris Venables and Louis Robles’s finish from close range gave the Lakesiders a historic victory. It followed on from their 2-1 win over newly promoted Airbus in the first game of the season, Venables again netting twice in that fixture. It means that the veteran striker is the current top scorer in the JD Cymru Premier, with Kayne McLaggon’s three goals putting him second.
Of course last season’s Phase Two encounter with Bala will live long in a memory as a 5-2 win at Maes Tegid secured European qualification for Barry for the first time in 16 years. The hosts were 2-0 up at the hour mark, but goals from Jordan Cotterill, Kayne McLaggon (two), Mo Touray and Drew Fahiya completed a magical comeback. The other three meetings between the sides last season saw one Bala victory and two Barry wins – one of which was the thrilling 3-2 triumph at Jenner Park in August.
Jon Hood was one of the goalscorers that day, but he remains suspended this afternoon along with Jordan Cotterill due to the red cards the pair received against Penybont. Troy Greening picked up an injury in the same game, and will be assessed in the next couple of days for a full diagnosis to be given. Mike Lewis is back in training.
Speaking after our win over Aberystwyth, Gavin Chesterfield looked ahead to today’s match:
“It’s a tough game against Bala and they’ve had a great result tonight. They’ve strengthened over the summer, we’ve strengthened over the summer. It’s two teams who were relatively evenly matched last year – what’s not to like? It’s an exciting game to be a part of!”.
Tickets at Jenner Park this afternoon will cost £8 for adults, £5 for concessions and £3 for kids.