Town's crunch clash with league leaders

BARRY Town United are facing what could be their toughest week of the season, with a Saturday trip to Newcastle Emlyn being followed by a crunch clash with league leaders Llanwern on Wednesday.

Gareth Morgan's men romped to an 11-1 win over Treharris Athletic at the weekend, taking them five points clear of Barry at the summit of Welsh Football League Division Three. However, Barry now hold two games in hand on the Gwent side, who currently play at Spytty Park, the vacated home of Newport County.

With the tussle at the top incredibly tight (and both Barry and Llanwern possessing a goal difference of +57), the Town will be striving to bring home three points this weekend as they make the 170-mile round trip to Emlyn Park for the first time.

Newcastle Emlyn currently sit 16th of the division's 19 teams, but have won their last two matches on home soil, scoring eight goals in the process.

Town manager Gavin Chesterfield has not enjoyed ideal preparation for the outing, with last Saturday's visit to Newport Civil Service frustratingly postponed due to an unplayable surface.

Chesterfield and his players, though, will remain keen to bounce back after their defeat at third-placed Risca United on St David's Day, as the showdown at Spytty looms ever closer.

Barry have won 19 and drawn two of their 23 league matches this campaign, with their solitary other defeat coming at Stebonheath Park, Llanelli, over the Christmas period.

Nevertheless, with 13 fixtures still to complete, all remains to play for, with the intense schedule of the season's final nine weeks likely to throw numerous obstacles at the men in yellow.

Having already lost 2012/13 player of the year and 'Golden Boot' winner TJ Nagi to long-term injury in November, captain and young player of the year James Saddler was forced to watch the Risca match on crutches after his participation against Llantwit Major days prior was ended somewhat abruptly.

In more positive news, however, the Town will have striker James Dixon available for selection this Saturday following his recent return to the fold for a third spell. Dixon, who first played for Barry in 2008, has previously scored 13 times for his home town club from 29 starts and 29 run-outs as substitute. The 26-year old's last appearance in Town colours came in January 2011, preceding a stint in the Welsh Premier League with Haverfordwest County.

Kick-off at Newcastle Emlyn on Saturday is at 2.30pm, with the return coach departing Jenner Park at 10am, picking up at the Colcot Arms and Copthorne Hotel on the way.

The big match at Spytty Park on Wednesday, meanwhile, kicks off at 7.30pm, with all Barrians encouraged to go and support Barry's team as the battle for the championship continues.

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