After a host of results went their way at the weekend, Barry Town United head into this Saturday’s top of the table clash with Goytre at Jenner Park (2pm kick-off) hoping to extend their lead at the summit of Welsh League Division One.
While second-placed Goytre were edged out in a seven-goal thriller with Ton Pentre at Plough Road, Barry would run out comfortable 3-0 winners over Risca United at Ystrad Mynach’s Centre for Sporting Excellence in what was the Town’s fifth successive victory on their travels.
With manager Gavin Chesterfield sticking with the same XI who had started the previous Saturday’s 3-1 win at Caldicot Town, Barry’s initial attempts would bear no fruit, as Risca, who are fighting to preserve their Division One status, survived efforts from TJ Nagi, Louis Gerrard and Callum Sainty.
Nevertheless, Barry’s chance creation would pay off midway through the first half, as defender Luke Cooper rose to head home from a corner; breaking the deadlock in Barry’s favour to the delight of the travelling supporters.
Making his 50th appearance for his hometown club, attacker Drew Fahiya gave the Cuckoos further cause for concern and it was the former Welsh Cup Final goalscorer who set up the Town’s second; Fahiya feeding full-back Paul Morgan, who duly doubled the visitors’ advantage in the 39th minute.
The second half meanwhile was relatively event-free, with the young Risca United side performing above and beyond their league position, only to be unable to get past Barry Town goalkeeper Mike Lewis (who entered another strong performance between the sticks).
The former Aberystwyth #1 has conceded merely 12 times across Barry’s 18 league outings to date, helping the Town affirm their current position as the most robust defence in the division.
At the opposite end, the visitors looked to claim a killer third and it came in the 73rd minute, as Nagi netted his 12th goal of the campaign and his 85th for Barry in total, days ahead of his 28th birthday.
Seeing out the game in an effective and professional manner, Saturday was ultimately a comfortable win for Chesterfield’s men, yet credit must go to the hard-working home side and the excellent team of officials from Ireland, who took charge of the match as part of a special refereeing exchange.
With all attention now switching to this coming Saturday’s events, Barry will have been encouraged to learn that the sides in second, third and fourth place alike all dropped points last weekend.
Nevertheless, title-chasing rivals Goytre seemed poised to present one of the toughest challenges of the campaign this weekend, in what should be a highly-entertaining affair at Jenner Park.
Despite shipping three times as many goals as their Vale of Glamorgan counterparts, Goytre are the division’s top goalscorers, netting a total of 50 times in their 19 matches, ahead of the trip to Barry.
Gavin Chesterfield’s team currently stand four points clear with a game in hand on their opponents and will look to extend the gap, while keeping their points advantage ahead of the chasing pack.
Admission this Saturday for Barry vs Goytre is £5 at the Barry Road and Gladstone Road turnstiles, with the regular discounts for senior citizens, students and children.