Tag: JD Cymru Premier

Barry Town United vs The New Saints | JD Cymru Premier Preview

Barry Town United return to JD Cymru Premier League action tonight as league leaders The New Saints visit Jenner Park (kick-off 8pm).

Town suffered a disappointing 1-0 defeat to Newtown in the Welsh Cup last weekend, as Kieran Mills-Evans’s 87th minute goal saw The Robins progress to the fourth round at our expense. The scoreline was identical when the two teams met in the league a week earlier, meaning Barry find themselves fourth in the table going into this evening.

The New Saints meanwhile come into tonight’s fixture on the back of two emphatic results – a 9-0 win over third tier Mold Alexandra in the Welsh Cup last weekend and a 12-0 thrashing against Airbus in the Cymru Premier a fortnight ago. Scott Ruscoe’s side are unbeaten in seven league games, and currently hold a one point lead at the top of the table. Largely thanks to their victory over Airbus, they are comfortably the highest scorers in the league with 49 goals, while they have the third best defence with 16 goals conceded.

Barry defeated TNS in the first meeting of the season between the two sides back in September as Evan Press’s first goal for the club secured a memorable 1-0 victory at Park Hall. The teenager’s thunderbolt from outside the box flew past Paul Harrison in the 24th minute, while a few superb saves from George Ratcliffe and some excellent Barry defending meant we headed back to South Wales with three points for the second time in three seasons – following another 1-0 win in November 2017 thanks to Kayne McLaggon’s goal. TNS won both of their games at Jenner Park last season – 2-0 in phase one and 4-0 in phase two.

Gavin Chesterfield has no fresh injury concerns ahead of tonight’s game, but Jack Compton, Robbie Patten and Troy Greening all remain injured.

Tickets at Jenner Park this evening will cost £8 for adults, £5 for concessions and £3 for kids.

Barry Town United vs Newtown | JD Cymru Premier Preview

Barry Town United will be hoping to build on last week’s win over Penybont when they take on Newtown in the JD Cymru Premier at Jenner Park this afternoon (kick-off 2:30pm).

Goals from Clayton Green, Luke Cummings and Kayne McLaggon secured a 3-0 victory in the Five Mile Lane Derby, with George Ratcliffe saving a penalty to keep his clean sheet intact. The result took Town back to second in the league table, three points behind leaders Connah’s Quay Nomads.

Newtown currently sit in eighth position having been in inconsistent form of late, winning three and losing three of their last six games. Most recently they were on the end of a 3-1 defeat against Connah’s Quay, despite taking the lead away at the Deeside Stadium through Sean McAllister. Chris Hughes’s side are the joint lowest scorers in the Cymru Premier, netting just 15 goals in 15 games to date.

It was a thrilling meeting between Barry and Newtown earlier in the campaign, as Sion Spence, Keyon Reffell and Kayne McLaggon scored in a 3-2 win at Latham Park. There were also 14 goals in the four fixtures involving the two sides last season, so entertainment is expected at Jenner Park. This afternoon’s match is of course the first of our two successive games against The Robins, as we face them again in the third round of the Welsh Cup next weekend.

Luke Cooper returns from suspension today, while Jonathan Hood serves the final game of his ban. Jack Compton, Robbie Patten and Troy Greening are all injured.

Speaking this week, Gavin Chesterfield said:

“I think Newtown are a really good football team, I’ve always said that and we’ve had some really good games in the past against them – I have no doubt it will be the same over the next two weeks.

“It is slightly different when you play each other two weeks in a row at the same venue, but all we can focus on at the moment is the first game in the league, which is the most important one. It’s a tough challenge, but one we look forward to. We’ll prepare well and I think if we do things right then we’re a tough team to play against.”

Barry Town United are proud to support Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces campaign this weekend, which aims to make sport LGBT inclusive. You can find out more by clicking here.

Tickets at Jenner Park this afternoon will cost £8 for adults, £5 for concessions and £3 for kids.

Gavin Chesterfield looks ahead to a busy month of football

Gavin Chesterfield was in a positive mood following last Friday’s 3-0 win over Penybont that took Barry back to second in the Cymru Premier table.

“It was great to get back under the lights at Jenner,” he said. “I thought the boys executed the game plan really well, I still think there’s loads of room to improve, but it was just good to get back to keeping a clean sheet and scoring some goals.

“It’s been an important period for us to come through, and now we go into another run of tough games that will test us even more. But they’re the types of challenges that we look forward to.”

The victory followed a run of three successive defeats for Barry, but Chesterfield was keen to stress that he felt no need to panic despite this.

“I wouldn’t say we’d been playing terribly badly, I think there’s context to all the games we lost,” he said. “Losing three on the spin isn’t nice, but it happens, it’s sport, and it’ll no doubt happen again in the future. We learnt a lot about the players, they trained ever so well in that period and showed great character.”

Asked what he had learnt about his team in the defeats, Chesterfield said: “We know that if we’re not at our best and don’t execute game plans, then we can lose games of football. We aren’t good enough to be going through games not doing the basics well and not maintaining discipline because those things are going to cost us.

“But I have to say the boys did really well on Friday night to get the win, so if anything it’s taught us that if we keep humble and keep working hard it gives us a far better chance of winning matches.”

Next up for Barry are a pair of league and cup games against Newtown, and Chesterfield was quick to praise Chris Hughes’s side: “I think Newtown are a really good football team, I’ve always said that and we’ve had some really good games in the past against them – I have no doubt it will be the same over the next two weeks.

“It is slightly different when you play each other two weeks in a row at the same venue, but all we can focus on at the moment is the first game in the league, which is the most important one. It’s a tough challenge, but one we look forward to. We’ll prepare well and I think if we do things right then we’re a tough team to play against.”

“I’d love to go on another cup run this season, but at the moment we’re a mile away from that. We don’t want to concentrate too much on the cup game at the moment. The Welsh Cup is a competition that I’ve never won, it’s a competition that we’ve got huge respect for and we’d love to go far again. It gave us some good memories last year. But first of all we’ve got to take care of this league game.”

Town then host The New Saints live on Sgorio and travel to Aberystwyth Town, before 2019 ends with a double header against Cardiff Metropolitan University. The new year then signals the opening of the January transfer window, and Chesterfield discussed his plans for the month.

“It’s difficult to say at the moment,” he said when asked if Barry would be looking to do much business. “Obviously for most managers in this league, the planning for January starts way in advance.

“We might see the need to freshen up one or two, we might see one or two moving out on loan or permanently. I don’t envisage massive changes, but I do think a freshen up is always good for every team.

“We’ll always be active, the board are fantastic in their support for me and the staff and indeed the players, and if we feel that something can improve us, then we’ve got a duty to do that. But I maintain that I’ll only bring players in that I think can strengthen the squad and are better than what we’ve got.”

Luke Cummings: “I do score a few like that in training but never in a match!”

There are many ways to score your first goal for your new club, but a first time strike from 25 yards that arrows into the bottom corner isn’t usually one of them. Especially if you’re a defender. But that’s exactly what Luke Cummings did when the ball was played back to him on Friday night, giving Barry a 2-0 lead over Penybont.

“To be fair I shouldn’t have been in that position, I was playing centre half!” Cummings laughed. “But I managed to get in that position and when it got set back to me my first thought was just to hit it and thankfully it went in. I was really pleased.

“I do score a few like that in training but never in a match! Thankfully that one I caught quite sweetly and it went in”.

Clayton Green’s close range finish had put Town in front on the night before Cummings doubled the lead, while Kayne McLaggon wrapped up the 3-0 win in the 89th minute. After three consecutive defeats, it was a hugely important victory.

“It was massive that we got the win,” Cummings said. “After the three defeats we got a bit of stick. I was happy to get the goal but most importantly get the three points and return to winning ways”.

Cummings added that togetherness has been key in getting through a difficult run, as shown by the team huddles before and after every game: “The team spirit is always there. Whether we win or lose, we stick together”.

The 28-year-old was the club’s first signing of last summer when he joined from Carmarthen Town in May. He has instantly cemented his place in the side, making his competitive debut against Cliftonville in the Europa League and starting all 15 league games to date.

“It’s been brilliant so far, the club is fantastic,” Cummings said of his first six months at Jenner Park. “I think I’m in form that I haven’t hit for the last couple of seasons, so it’s been a great move for me. I’m enjoying regular football, it suits me the way we play, and to enjoy your football is massive and that’s certainly what I’m doing at the moment”.

The fixtures keep coming thick and fast, with games in both the Cymru Premier and Welsh Cup against Newtown to look forward to, before encounters with The New Saints, Aberystwyth Town and a double header against Cardiff Metropolitan University round off 2019. Looking ahead to the next few weeks, Cummings said: “This time of year is always busy, but it should be one we enjoy and to get some good results going into Christmas will be massive, especially with the cup game as well. Every year you look for a cup run and this year is no different”.

Barry Town United vs Penybont FC | JD Cymru Premier Preview

Barry Town United begin a run of four successive home games tonight as Penybont make the short trip to Jenner Park, live on Sgorio (kick-off 8pm).

The fixture was originally scheduled for Saturday 12th October but was postponed due to international call-ups. The first meeting between the two sides was the season opener back in August, when Barry came from behind to claim a 2-1 win at the KYMCO Stadium. Kane Owen’s penalty had given the hosts the lead, but an excellent Kayne McLaggon goal and Jonathan Hood’s wonder strike saw Gavin Chesterfield’s side emerge victorious.

Three months on, Penybont currently sit 11th in the JD Cymru Premier table, but have not played for a fortnight after seeing their game against Caernarfon Town last weekend also postponed for international call-ups. Their most recent match though did see them collect just a second league victory of the season, as Keenan Patten’s late goal secured a 2-1 win over Airbus.

Barry meanwhile are in the middle of a difficult run of form, with a third defeat in a row suffered at Cefn Druids last weekend. Town pushed hard for an equaliser after Charley Edge gave the hosts the lead early on, but despite twice hitting the woodwork we couldn’t find a way past the Druids defence. Nonetheless, victory in tonight’s game would see Barry return to second in the table and just three points off leaders Connah’s Quay Nomads.

Having kept a clean sheet for Wales Under-21s against Bosnia-Herzegovina on Tuesday night, George Ratcliffe returns to the squad this evening. However, the yellow card picked up by Luke Cooper against Cefn Druids means he is suspended along with Jonathan Hood. Jack Compton was forced off injured at The Rock and is sidelined. Robbie Patten and Troy Greening remain injured.

Tickets at Jenner Park this evening will cost £8 for adults, £5 for concessions and £3 for kids.

Cefn Druids vs Barry Town United | JD Cymru Premier Preview

Barry Town United will be aiming to return to winning ways this afternoon as they travel to Cefn Druids in the JD Cymru Premier (kick-off 2:30pm).

Gavin Chesterfield’s side suffered a 4-0 defeat to Connah’s Quay Nomads at Jenner Park last weekend, as two goals each from Michael Wilde and Jamie Insall gave the visitors victory. The challenge was made tougher for Barry following Jonathan Hood’s first half red card which left the team playing the final hour with ten men.

Cefn Druids meanwhile were involved in one of the two games that were postponed in the JD Cymru Premier last weekend, with The Rock overwhelmed by snow for their fixture against Cardiff Metropolitan University, making it therefore unplayable. They do however come into today’s game on the back of an impressive three straight wins against Caernarfon Town, Penybont and Carmarthen Town, scoring eight goals in the process. Half of these, including a 92nd minute winner at Penybont, have come from James Davies, who Barry will have to keep an eye out for this afternoon. Druids have climbed up the table as a result of their good form and currently sit in eighth position.

Chris Hugh’s excellent solo goal was the difference in a 1-0 victory for Barry when Druids visited Jenner Park in September. The meeting between the two sides at The Rock last season was a thoroughly entertaining one, with Barry emerging with a 5-2 win thanks to a hat-trick from Jordan Cotterill and one goal each for Kayne McLaggon and Mo Touray.

For this afternoon’s game Barry will be without George Ratcliffe who is away with the Wales Under-21s, as well as the suspended Jonathan Hood and injured midfield duo Robbie Patten and Troy Greening.

Tickets at The Rock this afternoon will cost £7 for adults, £4 for concessions and £1 for children.

Barry Town United vs Connah’s Quay Nomads | JD Cymru Premier Preview

The top two teams in the JD Cymru Premier go head to head this afternoon as Barry Town United welcome Connah’s Quay Nomads to Jenner Park (kick-off 2:30pm). The two sides are level on points, with Andy Morrison’s men ahead on goal difference having played a game more.

An injury-ravaged Barry side lost for the first time in the league last weekend as Caernarfon Town ran out 4-1 winners at the Oval. Kayne McLaggon’s penalty cancelled out Darren Thomas’s opener, but second half goals from Gruffydd John and Nathan Craig, as well as a Curtis Watkins own goal, gave the Cofis victory.

It means that Connah’s Quay are now the only unbeaten team left in the JD Cymru Premier, having recorded seven wins and six draws from 13 games. Their last two fixtures have ended in 1-1 draws against Aberystwyth Town and The New Saints, with Michael Wilde’s late equaliser earning a point against the reigning champions last weekend.

This afternoon will be the first meeting of the campaign between Barry and Connah’s Quay, with the four games involving the two sides last season proving to be tight encounters. The game at Jenner Park in phase one saw Barry win 2-0 thanks to goals from Kayne McLaggon and Mo Touray, while the points were shared in the other three fixtures with a pair of 1-1 draws in phase two following an exciting 2-2 draw at the Deeside Stadium in phase one.

Sion Spence and Clayton Green are both available again for today’s fixture after missing the defeat at Caernarfon through injury. Captain Jordan Cotterill is also in contention to feature for the first time since August following the conclusion of his suspension. George Ratcliffe, Robbie Patten and Callum Sainty have returned to training following their respective injuries.

Speaking ahead of the game, Gavin Chesterfield said:

“The players have trained well this week and we are looking forward to the challenge. We’ll have to be concentrated at all times to negate the threats of Connah’s Quay, but also focus on our game, as we carry threats of our own.”

Tickets at Jenner Park this afternoon will cost £8 for adults, £5 for concessions and £3 for kids.

Barry Town United vs Airbus UK | JD Cymru Premier Preview

Barry Town United are back at Jenner Park this afternoon for the first time in over a month, with Airbus UK the visitors (kick-off 2:30pm).

Since the 1-0 home win over Cefn Druids on September 22, we have beaten TNS and Newtown on the road before a 1-1 draw with Bala Town last weekend. Henry Jones gave the hosts the lead with a first time finish in the 19th minute at Maes Tegid, but Keyon Reffell’s equaliser on the stroke of half-time earned Barry a share of the points. The result extended our unbeaten run to ten matches and leaves us third in the table going into today’s fixture, with leaders Connah’s Quay Nomads and second place TNS having played two games more.

Airbus meanwhile are in eighth position following their 2-0 win over Newtown last weekend. Andy Owens grabbed a goal in each half to secure the victory for Steve O’Shaughnessy’s side, their third since promotion from the Cymru Alliance last season.

Our encounter at The Airfield earlier in the campaign ended in a 1-0 win for Barry, clinched by Kayne McLaggon’s goal in just the 10th minute. Today’s game will be just the second ever meeting between the two sides, and Airbus’s first visit to Jenner Park.

Troy Greening, Callum Sainty and Robbie Patten all remain injured for this afternoon’s fixture, while Jordan Cotterill will serve the penultimate game of his suspension.

Tickets at Jenner Park this afternoon will cost £8 for adults, £5 for concessions and £3 for kids.

Bala Town vs Barry Town United | JD Cymru Premier Preview

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.

George Ratcliffe: “I aim to go to the top”

While the Wales senior team have two crucial Euro 2020 qualifiers this week, there is also an important fixture for the Under-21 side, as they face Moldova in qualification for the 2021 European Championships.

Lining up in goal for Paul Bodin’s side will be Barry Town United goalkeeper George Ratcliffe, on loan from Cardiff City. “It feels amazing,” the 19-year-old said when asked about being named in the squad. “I’m just glad that they’re seeing how well I’m doing with my club. Getting selected is an honour, as always.”

Having earned 11 caps for the Under-19 side, Ratcliffe made his debut for the Under-21s in June before featuring in both of their qualifying games against Belgium and Germany in September. “It’s been challenging,” he said. “I’ve made the step up from the Under 19s to the Under 21s now, so it’s a challenge, but I’m happy.”

Ratcliffe joined Barry in June, just as the club was preparing for the UEFA Europa League preliminary round tie against Cliftonville. It gave the goalkeeper the chance to bond with his new teammates straight away, as he explains: “It was a bit strange. I was a new boy and I hadn’t even trained, but I had to go away with the boys for the friendly out in Northern Ireland and then the European games. Obviously I didn’t play, but it was just about getting used to the team and gelling with the boys.”

Now, after four months at the club, Ratcliffe is loving life at Jenner Park. “It’s been amazing really,” he said. “I’ve settled in really well, getting to know the boys has been really good. I knew Gav before I came here so I had a relationship with him, and the same with Kends [Lee Kendall, goalkeeping coach] because he was my goalkeeping coach at Cardiff when I was younger. I think I’ve performed pretty well with the games I’ve had and enjoyed it.”

He has certainly impressed in his seven games so far, helping Barry hold the joint best defensive record in the JD Cymru Premier with three clean sheets. But Ratcliffe was keen to applaud those in front of him first and foremost: “I feel like the defence has done very well. They’ve been very organised and defended as well as they could, throwing their bodies on the line when they needed to. I’ve had to pull out a few saves here and there, but I haven’t had much to do to be honest, so most of the credit goes to the defence.”

The goalkeeper was also quick to praise the efforts of supporters so far this season: “They’ve been amazing. Home and away. Every away game feels like a home game because they’re so loud. They’ve been class to be fair, definitely the loudest fans in the league, I know that.”

One of Ratcliffe’s best performances so far came in the 1-0 win over The New Saints, as he made a number of impressive saves to keep out the perennial champions. “It was amazing,” he said of the victory at Park Hall. “I don’t really know the league as well as everyone else, but the way we talked about TNS before the game, I thought if we get a win then I’d be happy, never mind a clean sheet. So to come out with a clean sheet and a 1-0 win, there was no better result.”

Ratcliffe is one of a number of young players currently playing key roles at the club and spoke about playing senior football for the first time: “It’s a lot different to what I had when I was playing at Cardiff as I was playing Under 18s a lot. It’s a lot more physical, such as when you come out for crosses, that’s what I’d say is the biggest difference.

“It’s not so much quicker or more technical, but you’ve got to be more sensible with your decisions because every game is important. You have to be careful and try not to make any mistakes or do anything stupid.”

Last season, Ratcliffe was named as Cardiff City’s Academy Player of the Year after helping the Bluebirds’ Under-18 side win the Professional Development League 2 South title for the first time. Speaking about winning the award, he said: “To be honest I didn’t quite expect it. We won the league, so obviously you’d expect one of our strikers to get it. So when they did say that I’d won it I was surprised, but I felt like I had a good season, I was solid throughout and consistent in my performances. I was really happy.”

Despite the accolade coming as a surprise to the teenager, it showed him that next on the agenda should be securing experience in senior football, as he explains: “I feel like I needed to make the step up to senior football. Whether I was ready or not was irrelevant.

“I want to go right to the top, and I know you can’t just jump there straight away. You need to build your way up, and I feel like this was the right time to make the first step.”

Ratcliffe is clearly a determined individual, with his sights set firmly on accomplishing all he can in football: “I’ve been at Cardiff since I was eight, and my first aim is definitely to break into the first team. I aim to go to the top really, and you try not to settle for anything else.”

It’s an ambitious goal, but one you would not bet against Ratcliffe achieving.