TAFFS WELL 3 BARRY TOWN 1
BARRY TOWN were defeated 3-1 at Taffs Well on Friday night on an evening when events off the pitch overshadowed what was a spirited and competitive Welsh League encounter.
In a meeting of the division's fourth and fifth-placed sides, a low, long range drive from captain Liam Williams gave the Wellmen a first-half lead, only for Christian Doidge to thunder home a spectacular equaliser for Barry around the hour mark.
An eventful 10-minute spell later saw one Taffs player dismissed, and another shown a second yellow card - when he hadn’t actually been issued a first one! To their credit, the officials quickly corrected the mistake.
Amidst the chaos, the home side won a penalty, which man of the match Jamal Roberts duly dispatched past Dan Bradley, wrong-footing the long-serving Barry goalkeeper.
Town pressed for a second equaliser right to the end but this left them exposed at the back and, when Taffs caught the Dragons on the break, hotshot Simon Pragley lobbed Bradley to seal the match at 3-1.
Two jam-packed stands watched the duel on a miserable night in Cardiff, seeing Taffs leapfrog Barry into third in the league.
However, Barry supporters were largely preoccupied with the latest turn of events at Jenner Park; which have seen the club's Welsh League status, and that of its youth teams, threatened once again.
It was revealed shortly prior to kick-off that the Barry Town Supporters' Committee's bid to buy the football side of the business from owner Stuart Lovering had been rejected by the chairman. Lovering, who removed stalwart club secretary David Cole from the role over a week ago, had previously expressed his will to remove the side from the Welsh League.
The news evoked disapproval across the football community, with messages of support for the Barry fans and players flooding in from countless clubs in Wales and beyond.
Many have expressed their dismay at the prospect of a century-old team being pulled from competitive football when it is successful, fan-supported, community-based and viable for the first time in a number of years.
With several parties working behind the scenes, it is hoped that a resolution can be found; particularly as November will mark the 100th anniversary of the football team's formation.
To celebrate this landmark, the Supporters' Committee has independently organised a '100 Years of Barry Town' celebration dinner event at the Angel Hotel, Cardiff, on November 16 - and this will be going ahead, regardless of the current situation.
At the time of going to press, only 20 seats from the capacity of around 200 remain, with former Barry players from across the decades set to be in attendance.
Among them are former managers Gary Barnett and Richard Jones, along with the legendary Gary Lloyd, a recent addition to S4C's Welsh Premier League Hall of Fame.
The evening will include a celebration of Barry Town's own Hall of Famers, a three-course meal, a Q and A with special guest speaker Ray Wilkins, exclusive film footage from the archives, and an exhibition of memorabilia from across the team's 100 years of football.
Readers with any rare or unusual, dust-gathering Barry Town artefacts are encouraged to get in touch through Barry100@live.com or by calling the Supporters' Committee on 07557 665 847.
Tickets for the '100 Years of Barry Town' celebration are available online at www.ticketsource.co.uk/BarryTownSC
Meanwhile, the Supporters' Committee is continuing to fight to ensure a further 100 years of football in the town - keep track of their progress online at www.twitter.com/BarryTownSC
* Finally, on Saturday, Barry Town are set to travel to Ceredigion to face Cymru Alliance side Penrhyncoch in the second round of the Welsh Cup. At the same stage last season, the Dragons eliminated Welsh Premier mainstays Haverfordwest County in extra-time, and it is hoped Barry's loyal and determined players can summon similar spirit in adversity this weekend. For updates, visit www.facebook.com/BarryTownSC