Bad week for Barry Town as Dragons slip to double defeat
9:20am Thursday 6th September 2012 in Sport
Barry Town 1 CAERLEON 3
MANAGER Gavin Chesterfield was hoping for a reaction on Tuesday night (September 4) to the defeat to Haverfordwest County on Saturday (report below), but would not have been expecting this - as the Dragons were easily defeated by a good Caerleon side that beat them at their own game.
The first 45 minutes was arguably the worst of the Manager’s reign. Town were better in the second half but it was too little too late.
A chance fell to TJ Nagi in the first minute but he dragged his shot wide. Caerleon came back with a chance of their own from a free kick but Dan Bradley easily saved.
The Dragons countered but as with the last game, gave the ball away too easily. As early as the 7th minute mistakes were creeping in, and from one the Caerleon full back was left one-on-one with Bradley - but lost control of the ball and Bradley gathered.
The Dragons had plenty of the ball but crosses into the box were easily dealt with by the keeper or the big centre halves. Their slick passing game has deserted Town lately, with misplaced passes the order of the day. Half chances were coming at both ends and Christian Doidge went close with a header from Michael Hartley’s cross, one of the few to reach a Barry player.
Caerleon were quick on the break and with 18 minutes gone a lovely ball over the top beat a static defence and No9 James Francis ran through and drew Bradley before lobbing the ball over him into the net. Annoying, as Town had given the ball away.
The Dragons came back quickly and Nagi thought he had won a penalty when he was brought down but referee Kevin Morgan waved away the appeals. Within minutes another error at the back saw the ball fall to Francis who headed into an empty for 0-2.
Caerleon were getting through the defence easily and with 25 minutes gone could have scored again but Bradley palmed the ball around the post for a corner.
After half an hour the game was all but over when Ryan Evans, as last defender, tried to play the ball out but was robbed by Luke Palmer 25 yards out. Bradley narrowed the angle but Palmer lobbed it over him into the net.
For the last few games the Dragons have been punished for every mistake, and within minutes another shot from distance was brilliantly tipped onto the bar by Bradley. The ball fell to a Caerleon player who was flagged offside.
Lee Baldock and Michael Hartley were linking well on the left but the final ball was only finding the opposition. Hartley did get a shot in but the ball fizzed across goal, and a disappointing half drew to a close.
The Dragons were playing for pride in the second half and Caerleon were content to sit back and soak up pressure, hoping to hit Town on the break.
A Nagi shot from close range went into the side netting. Doidge, Nagi and James Saddler were linking well but that killer ball just would not come.
With 20 minutes to go Dale Howarth and Josh Bell replaced Hartley and Ryan Jenkins. Within minutes a great ball to Nagi saw him beat 2 players before smashing the ball into the net to give the Dragons a hint of a chance.
A second goal should have come as an error by a Caerleon defender, a rarity on the night, fell to Nagi but he again hit the side netting. With seconds remaining a chance for Dan Clare saw him mistime the ball and the keeper easily saved.
The Dragons will be hugely disappointed by this result but will have to regroup quickly as their next two games are against two former Champions of this Division.
The defeat sees Barry fall to 11th in the 16-team Division.
Barry Town: Dan Bradley; Geraint Frowen, Lee Baldock, Ryan Evans, Dan Clare (capt.), James Saddler, Nickie Jones, Christian Doidge, TJ Nagi, Ryan Jenkins, Michael Hartley. Subs. Josh Bell (for Jenkins), Paul Morgan, Dale Howarth (for Hartley), Lewis Cosslett, Brendan Cropley.
HAVERFORDWEST COUNTY 3 BARRY TOWN 2
FOR their trip to West Wales, the Dragons welcomed back Christian Doidge from suspension and Geraint Frowen from holiday, with Paul Morgan and Dale Howarth making way.
The game started well, both teams trying to pass the ball around although the Dragons were also using the long ball to good effect. Haverfordwest were guilty of conceding too many free kicks as they tried to disrupt Barry Town's rhythm. Unfortunately the kicks were either overhit or too near the keeper.
Mike Hartley was busy on the right and put in some decent crosses but Haverfordwest managed to keep them from reaching a teammate.
If anything, the Dragons were guilty of playing too much football instead of getting shots in. James Saddler, Lee Baldock and TJ Nagi linked up well to create chances but last-ditch tackles by the home team kept the scoresheet blank. The best chance fell to Ryan Evans, after a free kick from Lee Baldock, but he shot wide when it looked easier to score; easy to say, though, from the stand.
Dominating the opening period, it was no surprise, therefore, when the Dragons took the lead on 24 minutes. Ryan Evans broke up a Haverfordwest attack to feed James Saddler who then played a great through ball to TJ, who ran into the box and slipped his shot past the keeper.
The goal seemed to galvanise Haverfordwest and they started to pressure the Dragons' defence and forced a corner which Dan Bradley punched clear. The ball fell to an opposition player who played the ball into the box and skipper Dan Clare was forced to head over the bar. The ball was cleared for a third corner which gave Haverfordwest a chance but the ball was headed wide.
More pressure from the home team saw Evans concede a free kick and the ball was played into the box before a Haverfordwest striker's goalbound header was palmed around the post by Bradley.
With 40 minutes gone more pressure from Haverfordwest resulted in a free kick against Clare some 20 yards out. Lee Bevan fired a shot in which deflected off the wall past the diving Bradley into the corner of the net. To be honest it was no more than the home team deserved as they had dominated the last 15 minutes.
Minutes later Atif Bashir seemed to catch his studs in the turf and went down with a serious knee injury and had to be replaced by Nickie Jones.
The second half started like the first, with some good football from both sides. The first chance of the half fell to TJ Nagi but he overhit his shot and Haverfordwest cleared. Nickie Jones then had a chance but his goalbound shot hit a defender and went out for a corner.
Haverfordwest began to settle again and were playing some nice football. The Dragons' defence was clearing the ball but it seemed the clearances were always falling to a Haverfordwest player to then put more pressure on the visiting defence.
Having been warned before the game about the home team's ability at free kicks, the Dragons proceeded to give another one away not far from goal. The ball into the box was mishit by a defender and fell to Chris Holloway who blasted home from 10 yards to give his team the lead.
The pressure exerted by Haverfordwest seemed to have knocked the Dragons out of their stride and passes were going astray but a long ball out of defence found TJ who took on a defender before squaring to Michael Hartley who stroked the ball into the net for an equaliser. The Dragons, instead of going forward, seemed to be defending in numbers and were again guilty of giving away silly free kicks too close to goal. From one, Bradley was forced to tip the ball over the bar.
With minutes remaining, a long ball out of defence should have been cleared but Bradley and Baldock seemed to get in each other's way and Steffan Williams was on hand to find an empty net.
In trying too hard to get back into the game, the Dragons gave the ball away and were unable to create chances.
They will be disappointed that, in two successive games, late goals have cost them precious points and will need to regroup for a run of three home games starting on Tuesday (Caerleon) followed by Bryntyrion (Saturday, September 8) and Goytre United (Saturday, 15th).
Dragons line up: Dan Bradley; Geraint Frowen, Lee Baldock, Ryan Evans, Dan Clare, Atif Bashir, James Saddler, Christian Doidge, TJ Nagi, Ryan Jenkins, Michael Hartley: Subs: Dale Howarth (for Nagi), Nickie Jones (for Bashir), Damon Searle, Josh Bell (for Hartley), Brendan Cropley.