Barry Town Utd 1-2 Aberystwyth Town
Late Aber goal sends the points to the 'Seasiders'
Barry Town went into a big Welsh Women’s League encounter on Sunday at home to fellow promotion hopeful Aberystwyth Town at Jenner Park Stadium.
Following Barry’s 3-2 victory away at the ‘seasiders’ in September, this was always going to be a fiercely contested battle at the mid–way point in the league season. The home side made two changes from their previous fixture with Daisy Evan-Watkins and Emma Thompson returning to the starting line-up. However it was the visitors who started strongly.
Barry goalkeeper, Erin Brennan who has been in good form throughout the season to date made two saves early on to deny Aberystwyth who dominated the opening stages with their physicality and desire to win all first and second balls. However, Barry should have arguably taken the lead when the returning Daisy Evan-Watkins picked up on a loose ball and ran through on goal but placed her shot inches wide of the far post.
Ffiona Evans had a great chance to give the visitors the lead when a long ball over the Barry defence found her through on goal but her chipped effort went wide to give Barry a reprieve. However on 36 minutes Aberystwyth deservedly took the lead when a Brennan saved a shot but the rebound was prodded home by Tania Wylde. Barry could have no complaints going in 1-0 down at the break.
The second half however saw a change of momentum with Barry starting strongly with attacking players Chelsea Deacon and Sian Rees getting on the ball in central areas and on 56 minutes Barry levelled things up through a fabulous long range left foot strike from Captain, Charlotte Preen registering her 7th goal of the season. This lifted the hosts with the Barry crowd now in fine voice urging on the team to try and get in front.
Striker Emma Cannon came on to replace Ellen Phillps as Barry went in search of a second, Rees going close with a 25 yard effort that was well saved and a flurry of corners that Aber defender resolutely.
Just as the game looked to be heading for a draw, Aber grabbed a winning goal 8 minutes from time when Barry lost possession in midfield and Evans raced down the left before placing a superb chip into the far corner over Brennan to put the visitors into a 2-1 lead. Cruel on Barry who had put so much into the second half performance and despite some late pressure, the visitors held on to take the three points and leapfrog Barry in second place in the league table.
Despite the defeat Barry can hold their heads high in an entertaining game and a the result means it’s a win apiece between these evenly matched teams where the top three are separated but just 3 points.
After the game, Barry manager Luke Williams commented, “Obviously it’s disappointing to lose such a tight game especially when we felt we were in the ascendency in the second half. Aberystwyth deservedly led at the break and we were much improved in the second half and couldn’t quite force that second goal and to be fair they took their winning goal very well. We’ve told the players to keep their heads up as it’s just one defeat and there’s plenty still to play for and for us to work on and improve.”
Barry will now return to league action in the new year with a home game against Merthyr Town on Sunday 6th January 2pm kick off at Jenner Park Stadium.