Barry Town face Welsh Cup challenge Saturday - if they can beat the weather
8:20am Thursday 24th January 2013 in Sport
CHARGED UP: Barry Town duo (yellow tops) Lee Baldock (left) and TJ Nagi are set to lead the charge in Saturday's Welsh Cup clash with Pontardawe Town at Jenner Park (kick-off 2.30pm).
BARRY TOWN face their biggest cup challenge of the season on Saturday at Jenner Park – if they can beat the weather first!
With their trip to Goytre United last weekend postponed due to snow, Gavin Chesterfield's side enter Saturday's Welsh Cup tie with Pontardawe Town (2.30pm) with the benefit of a fortnight's rest.
Ironically, their most recent opponents were also Pontardawe, in a MacWhirter Welsh League meeting that saw Barry run out 2-1 winners after a late goal from substitute Lee Baldock.
This weekend's meeting comes with higher stakes, with a place in the cup quarter-finals awaiting the winners.
It is a stage the Dragons have not reached in a decade since they last won the competition in 2003.
Back then, Barry's side was packed with professionals, including current Football League striker Adebayo Akinfenwa.
Nowadays, the side is fully amateur and has overcome numerous hurdles thus far, to their enduring credit.
While the Barry side of 2003 entered the competition at the third round stage, the boys of 2012/13 began their journey with a first round trip to Caerleon in early October.
A huge psychological challenge against a side who had beaten the Dragons twice in the league weeks earlier, Barry came out fighting that day and sealed a rampant 5-2 win to advance.
The second round saw Town pitted against crack Cymru Alliance outfit Penrhyncoch, who fielded a team bristling with Welsh Premier experience. November's trip to Ceredigion was arduous, but the performance resolute and two goals in either half steered Barry through in what was a hard-fought cup tie.
The biggest crowd of the season, barring August's friendly against Cardiff City, came to Jenner Park for the third round; a competitive derby against Ely Rangers.
With the TV cameras watching, Rangers raced into an early second-half lead, only for Town to dig deep and force extra-time through Nickie Jones. Two goals for TJ Nagi, including a goal of the season candidate, then helped Barry to progress to this stage.
Pontardawe began their Welsh Cup campaign with a 1-0 first round win against Bridgend Town at the Brewery Field, dispatching another strong MacWhirter Welsh League team Ton Pentre (2-0) in the second round.
Their third round tie against Gwent-based Goytre was postponed on a number of occasions over the Christmas period. When play eventually resumed earlier this month, Pontardawe chalked up another 2-0 win; meaning they are yet to concede a goal in the competition thus far.
Barry Town manager Gavin Chesterfield told BBC Radio Wales: “It should make for a difficult encounter, but an enthralling one nonetheless.”
Kick-off on Saturday is at 2.30pm, with entry on the turnstiles at £5 adults, £4 OAPs, £3 students, £2 children and accompanied children for free.