Barry Town United 0 – TNS 4 – Nathaniel MG Cup

It was 2003 the last time Barry Town United played in a cup final, nearly 14 years ago. So much has happened to the town during that period, but their past is behind them and the club is enjoying life at present. Our cameras have been following the team over the past month or so for our documentary, which will be released later this year.

The day started with a late breakfast at ‘Cafe Mount‘ before returning back to Jenner Park for a final send off to the Cyn Coed Stadium.

During the warm up, the Barry Town supporters started turning up in numbers and making noise. Over 650 tickets were sold from Barry, but the amount of noise they made before and during the game made it feel like more. Both clubs played each other back in February 2016 and even though TNS were victorious, the town took the lead twice.

I think its worth mentioning that both clubs are the two most successful clubs in Welsh Domestic football, so it was definitely a renewal of an old rivalry.

From kick off, the first 5 minutes offered opportunities to both teams, but none could break an early deadlock. The town supporters created a very lively atmosphere, being the much needed ’12th man’. TNS showed their experience early on, slick passing  and movement helped them pile the pressure on the town defence, but the back 4 and keep Mike Lewis were solid.

TNS had a few early shots on goal, but they were no match for goal keeper Mike Lewis, who seemingly pulled off a number of good saves and defender Chris Hugh cleared on shot which had been saved off the line.

The tempo of the game was fast paced and TNS showed their strength. It’s easy to see how they went on a 27 game winning streak. They dominated possession, but the town defence managed cope with all attacks breaking through.

Every town fan and player should be happy with the teams first half performance, they managed to keep TNS out and even had one or two good chances themselves early on. The belief was there, if they could keep TNS from breaking through, they could always nick a goal which would dramatically change the game.

The second half started how the first ended, TNS dominating possession. Corner after corner and for a while it seemed like the entire game was in the Barry half of the pitch. Mike Lewis showed off his class, saving every attempt on goal. Barry were riding their luck and a TNS goal seemed imminent.

But, Barry managed to catch a quick break, after a defensive mis-hap and a quick ‘one two’ between TJ Nagi and Jordan Cotterill, the ball was with Cotterill just 18 yards out. His shot went through the TNS defence, and keeper Paul Harrison was left stranded in his standing position, only for the ball to rocket off the top of the bar and go for a goal kick.

 

 

A real chance for Barry, but they had to defend quickly, as TNS were back on the attack and managed to get the first goal of the game when Chris Seargeant managed to get on the end of a low cross, to score in the top right hand corner from the edge of the area.

Barry had defended impeccably for 78 minutes of the game and had coped with attack after attack, but 2 minutes later, TNS grabbed a second, Adrian  Cieslewicz scoring from just outside the 6 yard box.

Barry made two subs, with the ‘Goalfather’ James Dixon and Callum Sanity coming on in hope to grab a goal and get back in the game. But TNS pushed on when Chris Seargeant scored his second of the game, and the third goal in 7 minutes.

In the dying minutes, Seargeant grabbed his hat-trick and sealed victory for TNS, making it 4-0.

This game was cruel, Barry Town defended like champions for 78 minutes of the game, had the chance from Cotterill gone in, maybe things would’ve been different, but favourites TNS grabbed their first silver-where of the season, and they still have 3 competitions to play for.

Barry Defender Chris Hugh said:

“They’re champions of Wales for a reason for last number number of years, we knew we weren’t going to have much possession and knew we would have to work hard, defend hard and that’s what we set out to do and just play on the counter, and for 75 minutes we were doing alright, and when they got the first goal, you got to go for it in a cup final, but it just sort of unravelled a little bit, but we got to be proud of what we did so, I can’t fault it.

“It’s nil nil at the time, when Jordan has hit the bar and if that goes in, we’re one -nil up and we can sit back for quarter of an hour and you never know we could’ve won, one-nil.

Manager of Barry Town Gavin Chesterfield commented on the game:

“I’m disappointed with the final result, I didn’t think it was four-nil game because we were nil-nil at 78 minutes. I thought the boys stuck to the game plan so well and at nil-nil we hit the bar, which could have been a turning point in the game. Take nothing away from TNS, they were the better side today and fully deserve their win, but for my lads, its a steep learning curve, but today I think they can be really proud of themselves’

On Joardan Cotterill hitting the bar:

‘The guy has got the quality to be able to do that, it was a really good attacking situation, he could of slid someone in, but I back Jordan 99 times out of 100 in those circumstances, unfortunately it didn’t go in and in a couple of minutes we find ourselves one nil down.”

On the supporters:

“They were fantastic, they were vocal throughout and they deserve days like today, I just hope now as a group of people we can give them more of these days.”

TNS Manager, Craig Harrison commented:

“I thought we controlled the game with possession, which is expected, obviously Gav (Gavin Chesterfield) is a very good manager, he’s got some good players there, and we knew they would be well organised and well prepared, which they were, its taken until the 78th minute before we scored a goal and then we scored four in quick succession in the last ten minutes.

“We said at half time, we just need to be patient and keep moving the ball, wearing them down, passing with a purpose and if we can’t score, just to wear them down. We controlled the game, they’ve had one opportunity in the second half where, possibly, the lad should’ve done a little better, he’s smashed it and it’s hit the crossbar on the counter attack, but apart from that I don’t think our keeper had a save to make.

 

 

“They were huge underdogs, we were massive favourites coming off the back of a great run, but if that shot goes in, they could’ve got something to hang onto then. They defended for their lives, throwing their bodies on the line, and that 15 minutes soon goes when you’re trying to score a goal and need to score a goal. At nil-nil we just wanted to keep being patient,and pass, pass, pass and hopefully someone would make a mistake, or switch off and we could take advantage of it. But before that, I think we should have scored, we had like two or three off the line, the post and the keeper has made two or three good saves, but in the end I think it’s a fair result.”

Barry Town did everyone proud in the final. They can leave with their heads held high and concentrate on the league! Up the Town!

Town players collect their medals.

Pic credit – Welsh Girl on the Ball

Thanks for Chris Hugh, Gavin Chesterfield and Craig Harrison for interviews after the game.

 

 

 

 

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