Barry Town United lost for the first time at home in the League this season on Saturday, losing 2-1 at home to Goytre.
Despite controlling most of the proceedings throughout the game, Barry were undone by a penalty, and a goal at the back post from Gary Colbourne. It was certainly a reality check for Barry who could have gone seven points clear with a win over their counterparts, but instead the league is wide open again.
There is just five points that separates leaders Barry to eighth placed Cambrian & Clydach, a statistic that suggests what a competitive league the Welsh first division really is this season. Barry incidentally didn’t lose a league fixture until Saturday since losing at Goytre in October.
But you feel now that Barry can’t afford anymore slip-ups if they want to achieve promotion to the Welsh Premier League this season. There’s no doubt that this current squad has talent in abundance, and they wouldn’t be top if they weren’t a good side, but it’s vital for Chesterfield’s men to avoid anymore slip-ups between now and the end of the season to avoid missing out on promotion starting with a win at Port Talbot on Saturday.
There are so many teams in and around the top that even a draw could prove costly, but you can’t expect Barry to win every other game they play in this division – there are going to be times when they drop points, but it’s vital that they don’t drop silly points. Saturday was a fine example of this, when Barry were 1-0 up they were cruising. Callum Sainty then has a fantastic chance to double his tally, and Barry’s lead, but somehow Nicky Thomas stops it in the Goytre goal. Not long after Goytre get a debatable penalty decision, which Sam O’Sullivan dispatches cooly into Mike Lewis’ left hand corner, and the game changes completely.
Barry then concede the softest of goals from a free-kick as Gary Colbourne slots home at the back post, and it’s a different game. Barry work hard for the rest of the game, and probe the Goytre defence as much as they can, but they can’t get past the stubborn Goytre defence, and Nicky Thomas in goal.
It was a game of pure frustration for Barry, but it was also a lesson for Chesterfield’s men not to become complacent. Barry were probably the better team over the 90 minutes, but silly mistakes cost them, and you can’t do that. Not even at this level.
Barry will now look to respond by beating Port Talbot on Saturday. March boasts a difficult month for Barry, including fixtures against Cambrian & Clydach, Haverfordwest County, and Caerau Ely at home, as well as having to travel to face Taffs Well away in what is set to be another difficult test. If Barry can escape this month top of the league then it will be a job well done from Chesterfield and his players, and they can start to believe going into April that promotion might be a possibility.