Barry 3-0 Lliswerry
12:02pm Tuesday 24th December 2013 in Sport
BARRY Town United's final home game of 2013 saw the Town rack up another league win; ensuring that the season to be jolly continues for the men from Jenner Park.
Visitors Lliswerry arrived sitting just outside the promotion places, but were outplayed for the majority of this first ever meeting of the clubs.
Barry hit the ground running and had a tap-in ruled out for offside in the opening minutes, before the in-form Troy Greening fired inches wide moments later.
Both Ryan Evans and Lee Baldock had efforts blocked on the line from set pieces, while Dale Howarth went close with two testing free-kicks.
Barry looked sure to break the deadlock when Greening broke clean through on goal, only for his assured shot to be smothered well by Lliswerry goalkeeper Jordan Naylon.
Naylon was dealing well with everything thrown at him, saving Howarth's shot from the left and making a fine low stop to deny Cotterill from a one-on-one scenario.
At the other end though, his fourth-placed teammates' chances were limited, as Barry maintained a significant portion of possession.
At one point, a Lliswerry man turned Barry full-back Geraint Frowen, and smartly opted to shoot rather than deliver the anticipated cross.
However, this attempt went wide and the visitors would be punished in the 35th minute, when Barry took a deserved lead.
Taking the ball forward, Harley shot with power from outside the penalty area and the winger's effort was too hot for the Lliswerry goalkeeper to handle.
Two minutes later, it was nearly 2-0; with James Saddler rounding the goalkeeper, before the Lizards' defence mobilised to deny the Town captain.
2013 ever-present Saddler performed well in his 20th Jenner Park start of the calendar year, but could not quite find the goal to reward his efforts.
Despite Barry's dominance, the outplayed visitors would go teasingly close to levelling before the break.
A misplaced backpass from Town midfielder Scott Jones gave up a corner; with the resulting low cross flipping up off Frowen, onto the crossbar and out of play.
Nevertheless, the second half followed a similar pattern to the first; with Barry's Lewis Cosslett seeing his falling shot saved on the line and Greening going close on a number of occasions.
At one point, the former Newport County playmaker saw his low effort spilled, with his teammates unable to capitalise on the rebound in time.
Then, after beating the Lliswerry offside trap, Greening struck a sweet shot from distance hard against the post; his follow-up effort skimming agonisingly wide.
The post would thwart Cotterill minutes later; this latest woodwork encounter sandwiched between two more fine saves from Naylon.
Cotterill however would have his goal; his teammates robbing the ball on the goalline between the corner flag and goalposts, and setting up a simple finish.
No sooner had Cotterill made it two, there were calls for a penalty kick, as a Town attacker was bumped over; though to little sympathy from the official.
In further action of note, Howarth looked to had made the scoresheet, only for his shot to clang off the frame of the goal, hit the fallen goalkeeper and bounce up on the line. Naylon would gather gratefully.
Howarth's last attempt would hit the side netting, and while a sliced Lliswerry clearance almost resulted in an own goal, the visitors remained in touching distance into the home straight; their closest attempt lodging itself on the wrong side of the stanchion.
Ultimately though, it would be Barry's day and few will have begrudged their third and final goal; delivered decisively in the dying minutes by comeback kid Cotterill.
His 14th goal at Jenner Park in 2013 saw Barry's goal difference increase to a healthy +38; with injured strike partner TJ Nagi expected to return in the New Year.
The Town now head into the Christmas period only a point behind leaders Llanwern, with two matches in hand.
Their next match at Jenner Park will be on Saturday, January 4, when Bridgend Street are the visitors (2pm).
Among their guests last weekend were Father Christmas, the boys from Barrybados and supporters from Port Talbot to Portsmouth.