Two-win Town close gap on league leaders
9:02am Thursday 27th February 2014 in Sport
A FABULOUS 89th-minute free kick by Jordan Cotterill kept Barry Town United's 100 per cent start to 2014 intact as the men in yellow won a difficult match against Bridgend Street 1-0 at Jenner Park.
After the ground staff worked wonders to get the pitch back to playable condition, the visitors provided significant resistance for much of this Welsh Soccer League clash, even threatening to win the match with a string of second-half attacks on Dan Bradley's goal.
However, the Cardiff side's physicality in the latter stages proved to be their undoing as they conceded what proved to be a crucial set piece with just a minute to play. With composure under pressure, Cotterill fired home from around 25 yards to send the home crowd barmy and securing another valuable three points in the process.
Three then became six at the weekend as Barry ran out 2-0 winners over Lliswerry on the Gwent side's 3G surface at Spytty Lane.
Played in a notably strong wind, the freak weather almost ensured a freak opener as the home goalkeeper's long clearance missed everyone, and forced opposite number Bradley to tip it onto the crossbar.
Cotterill, pursuing his second in as many starts, also hit the woodwork, with his stunning right-footed effort narrowly denied.
However, the frame of the goal favoured Barry in the 46th minute, when midfielder Troy Greening's curling strike hit the inside of the post and ricocheted into the net.
The later stages saw the lively Lizards slither forward in pursuit of an equaliser, leading to some nervous moments for the travelling Barry supporters.
Nevertheless, the Town defence stayed resolute, and worked to ensure a fifth clean sheet in as many games since the start of the year.
The icing on the cake came three minutes into stoppage time, and again featured Cotterill in a prominent role. Forcing a one-on-one with the goalkeeper, the Lliswerry defence retreated to cover and, while Cotterill's shot was saved, the rebound fell to fellow forward Ryan Jenkins, who chipped the defenders and the goalkeeper to score Barry's second.
With Llanwern dropping points in midweek, Gavin Chesterfield's team have now closed the gap on the leaders to two points, with two games in hand, passing the landmark of 3,000 all-time Welsh League points in the process.
With 15 games remaining, there is all to play for for the Jenner Park side, with a host of tricky fixtures on the road coming thick and fast over the coming weeks.
This Saturday Barry are away to third-placed Risca United (2pm kick-off) before holding a special St David's Day race night fundraiser at the Sea View on Dock View Road (7.30pm).
Championship challengers Risca surrendered a 1-0 lead to ten-man Barry in December, and the Cuckoos will be eager to avenge their Jenner Park defeat in this enticing encounter at Ty-Isaf Park.