Barry surrender two-goal lead in league cup defeat
4:02pm Tuesday 10th September 2013 in Sport
BARRY TOWN UNITED 2
AFC LLWYDCOED 3
BARRY Town United striker TJ Nagi wrote his name into the history books on Saturday with the opening goal of Jenner Park’s second century.
The ground had opened its gates for a competitive football on September 6,1913, and the club marked the 100-year anniversary of the inaugural match with a minute’s applause before the weekend’s Welsh League Cup tie against AFC Llwydcoed.
The visitors, managed by the brothers of former Swansea City forward Jason Price, came to Barry with a fearsome record of 26 goals in their opening five matches. Nevertheless, the hosts, who maintained a 100 per cent record throughout the month of August, looked equally capable of claiming a result against their Welsh League Division Two adversaries.
The build-up to the match had been considerable, with numerous print and online features on the building of the ground, the inaugural game and the chequered century of football which followed.
A souvenir match programme sold out before kick-off, while the PA system even got in on the act, with a pre-match procession of some of the songs associated with the ground over the years, including a long-awaited return of Julius Fucik’s ‘Entry of the Gladiators.'
Meanwhile, stalwart supporters wearing Barry shirts lined the back of the newly-named West Stand - another of the ground’s long-standing traditions.
The match was characterised by free-flowing attacking football, making it a treat for the spectators, who enjoyed a back-and-forth encounter befitting the occasion.
Barry were without the in-form and influential Troy Greening amongst others, but seemed willing and able to continue the form that had swept them to three home wins the previous month.
While both sides showed promise in the first half hour, it was ultimately Barry that made the breakthrough. On 31 minutes, Nagi gave them the lead with an impressive individual effort, bringing the ball around the goalkeeper and slotting it past the final Llwydcoed defender.
Three minutes later, some good work from Dale Howarth on the left flank saw Howarth deliver the ball into the danger zone and Nagi netted his second from close range.
However, Llwydcoed hit back almost immediately. After striking the post with one good effort, the ball was played to workhorse Carl Jenkins, who unleashed a fine, low shot.
The visitors tried to repeat the feat after 38 minutes but Barry goalkeeper Dan Bradley saved well.
Nevertheless, the Llwydcoed attack had outlined their intentions, forcing another Bradley stop shortly before the break.
After the break, the entertainment continued. Ryan Dorrian went close for Barry, while a dipping free kick from Jordan Cotterill ended up frustratingly beyond the Llwydcoed goal.
Despite losing John Marczak to a fractured tibia, Llwydcoed kept the pace and, on 58 minutes, were on terms thanks to a well-taken equaliser from striker Nathan Jenkins.
The excitement moved up another level when referee Amin Said awarded Llwydcoed an indirect free-kick in the penalty area. The eventual shot rocketed off the Barry crossbar - only for Barry to crash one off the post at the other end moments later.
As the well-matched contest entered its closing stages, it appeared that extra-time was on the horizon. Llwydcoed’s Tomos Morris had other ideas, though, and popped up to grab a stunning winner with little over five minutes to play. For the second time in as many weeks, the men from the Rhondda had overturned a half-time deficit to take the spoils.
Barry will be frustrated with the result, but the crowd of over 200 on the national Non-League Day will not have been disappointed with the level of entertainment.
Barry’s focus shifts to the Welsh Cup this weekend.
Barry: Dan Bradley, Geraint Frowen, Lewis Cosslett, Ryan Evans, Paul Morgan, Ryan Dorrian, James Saddler (capt), Michael Hartley, Jordan Cotterill, TJ Nagi and Dale Howarth. No substitutes used.