Barry travel north for tough Welsh Cup test
9:02am Thursday 5th December 2013 in Sport
BARRY Town football fans are gearing up for one of the biggest matches of the season this weekend as the Welsh Cup competition resumes with a bang.
Gavin Chesterfield's side travel to the 2,000-capacity Rock Stadium, outside Wrexham, for a Saturday afternoon showdown with Cefn Druids (2.30pm kick-off). The Druids have won the 136-year old trophy on eight separate occasions, with the cup coming home to Barry six times.
As such, the tie, pitting the decorated 2012 runners-up against South Wales' only semi-finalists of 2013, has whet the appetite of supporters since it was announced and is set to provide Barry's toughest test of the campaign to date.
At the time of writing, both sides are unbeaten in their respective divisions, a combined tally of some 28 games without defeat.
Leaders Druids boast a formidable record of 14 wins and two draws from their 16 games in the Cymru Alliance, a league currently home to former top flight mainstays Caernarfon, Conwy, Caersws and others.
Barry's record of 10 wins and two draws from 12 games may not be directly comparable due to the difference in divisions, but their first round win over Welsh League Division One leaders Taffs Well suggests the Town are able to compete with the tier's very top sides.
Manager Chesterfield will be hoping for more of the same spirit that saw off the Wellmen and then Undy Athletic in October's extra-time thriller at Jenner Park.
Barry have won 11 of their last 13 Welsh Cup ties, with the only defeats coming against Newport County and current champions Prestatyn Town. Among those results have been hard-fought away wins at Merthyr Town, Haverfordwest County, Penrhyncoch and Flint Town United.
The team will be without 16-goal top scorer TJ Nagi (injury) and 12-goal strike partner Jordan Cotterill (suspension) on Saturday. However, the Town have been far from shy in front of goal in their absence, racking up a total of eight goals in their last two matches from a variety of sources.
On Saturday, Barry warmed up for the Druids tie with a 4-2 win at Bridgend Street at the Willows ground in Tremorfa, Cardiff.
Goals from midfielder Troy Greening and forward Ryan Jenkins set the Town on their way before the home side hit back from the penalty spot after a Bobby Briers infringement.
Full-back Lee Baldock restored the two-goal cushion with an excellent headed effort, but Bridgend Street replied once more, in spite of offisde protests, to make it 3-2 at the break.
The only goal of the second half came when a low Ryan Evans freekick beat the wall, giving Barry an ultimately decisive 4-2 advantage.
This result gave Barry the chance to top the division with a win on Tuesday night, though the lure of the Welsh Cup has proven an inevitable distraction as the Druids match approaches.
Barry Town United will be running coaches to Saturday's Welsh Cup tie, with around 10 seats now remaining. Return travel is offered to supporters old and new at £20 a head (£10 for children), with the coaches departing Jenner Park's Barry Road entrance at 8.15am on Saturday. Pick-ups are scheduled for the Colcot Arms and Copthorne Hotel, with drop-offs at the same points on return.
To secure a seat, contact Barry club secretary David Cole on 07557 665 847 or email email@example.com
As per competition rules, the match will be settled on the day, via extra-time and penalties, if required.
Finally, Barry Town United hold their last public meeting of 2013 on Wednesday, December 11, at the Sea View in Barry Dock.
Members of both the Barry coaching staff and committee will be in attendance for the event, which starts at 8pm sharp.
A number of new roles and opportunities are expected to be announced on the night, with supporters encouraged to share their ideas as the fan-run community club continues its expansion.