Barry 1 Aberystwyth 1
Newman opener cancelled out in the big TV kick-off
A controversial equaliser denied Barry Town United a dream start to their JD Welsh Premier League campaign, as the hosts and visitors Aberystwyth played out a competitive 1-1 draw at Jenner Park.
Watched by a lively crowd of over 900, Barry took a 26th minute lead when WPL debutant Ryan Newman slotted home from a rebound, following an explosive surge forward and shot from Kayne McLaggon.
The Welsh League Division One champions though would be reliant on their goalkeeper to keep their advantage at the break; with the one-time Aberystwyth #1 Mike Lewis denying his former club in one of several important moments, clawing Jason Borrelli’s effort from the line in stoppage time.
After the interval, the Seasiders’ pursuit of an equaliser intensified, although Barry were comfortable enough in soaking up the pressure, holding their slender lead as the game entered its final phase.
Nevertheless, with eight minutes remaining the moment arrived that turned the match on its head.
After a dangerous in-swinging corner forced Lewis into action, Aber’s Jonny Spittle reacted quickly with a close-range effort, which the impressive Barry goalkeeper appeared to stop on the goal line.
However, the assistant referee’s flag would shoot up in a heartbeat, prompting referee Bryn Markham-Jones to award the late equaliser, in spite of the howls of the home support.
With cries of a foul on the fallen Lewis similarly in vain, Barry might have felt aggrieved at not taking all three points, though Aberystwyth were worthy of a draw for their efforts and could well have been awarded a late penalty, after newcomer Christian Langos became entangled with Chris Hugh.
Hugh’s performance on the evening was enough to secure the full-back Sgorio’s Man of the Match award, while enterprising teammate Tyrrell Webbe entered a similarly strong showing, carrying the ball forward with pace and power to delight the bulk of the near four-figure attendance.
As Barry’s Gavin Chesterfield and Abersytwyth’s Neville Powell each fielded a number of competitive debutants, it remains to be seen what fortunes await their respective Towns this season.
Sunday evening though offered signs of encouragement to fans on both (sea)sides, ahead of an already tantalising Matchday 2 this weekend.
Watch Sgorio's full coverage of the Barry vs Abersytwyth match here.