A DAY to remember for Bala Town manager Colin Caton became one to forget for Barry Town United, as their visitors from Gwynedd snatched a 1-0 victory at Jenner Park in the JD Welsh Premier League.

Barry started the day knowing that only an emphatic win over the JD Welsh Cup holders would give them an outside chance of pipping Cefn Druids and Llandudno into the Championship Conference.

Nevertheless, a crowd of almost 600 turned out for the 5.15pm kick-off, continuing Barry’s run of healthy attendances at Jenner Park since the Town returned to the nationwide top flight in August.

Aiming to complete the Phase One double over their hosts, Bala made good use of the long throws of Lewis Short and one almost came up trumps when it fell favourably in the area for Stuart Jones.

However, the former Wales U21 international fired his snap shot over goalkeeper Joe Massaro’s crossbar, in what was the only real chance of note in a forgettable first-half under the Jenner Park lights.

To the chagrin of the home support, Bala made the breakthrough in the 66th minute, when substitute Jordan Evans collected and carried the ball forward from inside the centre circle.

Back in the team after illness, Barry skipper James Saddler made up good ground to catch Evans and dispossess him with a well-measured tackle, yet the ball ran straight into the path of unmarked Bala forward Mike Hayes, who took it around Massaro and slotted home to give the visitors the lead.

Evans later showed explosive speed and skill on the ball to get past Saddler and Paul Morgan, setting up Hayes for a sweet, right-footed effort that curled onto the crossbar and bounced high out of play.

Offering more in attack after the break, Barry’s best chance came from a seemingly-innocuous set-piece, as the hosts looked almost destined to equalise, with no more than five minutes remaining.

Returning from the injury that had ruled him out of the team since September, Ryan Newman took a quick free-kick which fellow second-half substitute Eliot Scotcher then lifted high into the Bala area.

While the Lakesiders would clear their lines, Barry’s Luke Cooper showed good strength and balance to get the better of Jones and deliver a perfect cross into the danger zone; only for the club’s leading goalscorer Kayne McLaggon to head wide from six yards to the relief of Bala keeper Ashley Morris.

As the final play of note saw Evans force a near post save out of Morris’ opposite number Massaro, Barry were left to rue their missed opportunity, though Druids’ draw with Llandudno meant the Town’s result was largely academic.

With 27 points from their 22 fixtures to date, Barry's quest for a top six berth would fall short, but there remains plenty to play for as the Town embark on their final ten games, to be played in the league's Play-Off Conference against bottom six opponents Aberystwyth, Carmarthen, Llandudno, Newtown and Prestatyn.

The side finishing top of the Play-Off Conference will earn a spot in the European play-offs, with the runners-up joining them, should a team from the Championship Conference (the league's top six) win the JD Welsh Cup.

The bottom two teams remain at risk of relegation, with Barry heading into Phase Two currently 12 points ahead of the drop zone.