Llanelli v Barry preview
12:02pm Tuesday 24th December 2013 in Sport
BARRY Town United sign off for the calendar year on Saturday, December 28, with a festive trip to Stebonheath Park; the home of Llanelli Town (2pm).
The match at Stebonheath will be Barry's last of 2013; a year that saw the team's status threatened like never before, yet one that saw them rise to the challenge on and off the pitch.
Revived by manager Bob Jeffrey, the Reds have a long and storied history behind them and are looking to rebuild, after experiencing financial meltdown in the 2012-13 season.
Llanelli's senior team were the 2008 Welsh Premier League champions, and runners-up on three other occasions, as well as lifting the Welsh Cup in 2011.
Stebonheath meanwhile has been the home of Llanelli's footballers since 1920; with Syd Beaumont's Barry side among the first visitors.
As fate would have it, December 28, 1920 also played host to a Llanelli vs Barry match; with the Barry side winning 4-1, thanks to a brace each from Bill Saunders and Stan Cowie.
Barry and Llanelli have shared numerous players over the years, from the late Welsh international Robbie James to current Town coach and former Cardiff City defender Lee Jarman.
Meanwhile, John Lewis, Peter Nicholas and Eddie May have all taken up residence in both the Jenner and Stebonheath Park hotseats.
However, the sides are perhaps closest linked by the Welsh Premier League Hall of Famer Gary Lloyd, who made an indelible mark for both sides.
Lloyd debuted for Barry on Boxing Day in 1994, and would make 282 appearances in Barry colours; scoring a number of memorable goals along the way.
Now a key member of the Llanelli coaching staff, the former Barry defender can expect a warm reception from the travelling Town supporters.
Notably, the record attendance at Stebonheath Park was for a Llanelli vs Barry match on January 14, 2000, when 1,410 spectators turned out to witness a 2-1 win for the Reds.
Barry fans have not travelled en masse to Stebonheath since May 11, 2003; when Kenny Brown's squad beat Cwmbran on penalties to win the Welsh Cup and secure an unprecedented 'treble-double'.
Barry and Llanelli have met twice already this season; with Barry winning 3-0 in a friendly on neutral ground and at Jenner Park in the league.
However, since those August meetings, the resurgent Reds have strengthened; recently winning 7-1 at home to Treowen Stars and only losing by a goal to nil against leaders Llanwern.