Barry Town 6 BRYNTIRION ATHLETIC 0
WHAT A difference a week makes!
Having suffered their biggest defeat in four years last week, the Dragons bounced back to beat the same team, league leaders Bryntirion, 6-0 – in their biggest win for three years.
Showing just one change from the team beaten last week, with the returning Damon Searle replacing the injured Lewis James, The Dragons were out of the blocks from the kick off.
They chased every ball and did not give the Bryntirion players the time and space to produce their normal game.
The Dragons' passing was what the supporters have come to expect from them.
Rob Blatchford started the ball rolling when he beat two defenders before a slide rule pass to Anthony Nagi saw him fire Barry into the lead in the 10th minute.
Bryntirion were trying to get into the game but the Town, to a man, would just not let them settle and on 20 minutes another through ball saw Mike Hartley double the lead.
Everyone was waiting for the expected backlash from Bryntirion but it did not materialise.
Yet another through ball on 40 minutes, this time from Geraint Frowen, gave Anthony Nagi the chance to make it 3-0 and he did not disappoint.
Bryntirion only had two chances of note but both were put over the crossbar and Dan Bradley was rarely troubled.
The Barry Town supporters were in full voice by now, encouraging the team to score more – but it remained 3-0 at half time.
Everyone expected Bryntirion to come out all guns blazing but the Dragons were in no mood to let them back into the game and by 60 minutes the game was all but over, when a poor clearance from the normally reliable Bryntirion defence was played back in by Lewis Cosslett and Ryan Jenkins pounced to volley the ball past a stunned keeper.
Within eight minutes Anthony Nagi had scored his third when he twisted and turned in the box to fire home. Bryntirion then went down to 10 men when Matthew Jones was sent off.
Rob Blatchford thought he had scored but his shot crashed against the crossbar and was cleared.
The Dragons, however, were not to be denied a sixth and with eight minutes to go, another Rob Blatchford shot was charged down and substitute Josh Bell was on hand to volley home the rebound.
Manager Leon Dennis also brought on Lee Baldock, one of the club’s Youth players, for his first appearance in the senior team and he showed some great touches in his brief appearance.
The overall performance was one of the best seen at Jenner Park in many a season and in many folks' opinion since the professional era.
Leon Dennis has endured a very hard period in his first stint as a Manager.
At Barry Town so much is expected of players and management and this was a performance that everyone had dreamed of for a long while.
With Kurt Bettles, James Saddler and Lewis James to come back from injury, Atif Bashir returning from International duty and new signings Kirk Huggins and Michael Parkins ready to come in, there will be competition for places for the first time in many months.
The supporters were magnificent and did not stop encouraging the team from the first whistle to the last, and the players showed their appreciation at the end of the game.
The players deserve praise for their performance and it is difficult to pick a man of the match – even though Anthony Nagi grabbed not only his first goal but his first hat trick for the club.
The return of Damon Searle had a positive and calming effect on the team whilst all the others turned in what were probably their best performances of the season.
The management at Bryntirion took the defeat on the chin and were fulsome in their praise of the Dragons' performance for which all were most grateful.
The Dragons cannot, however, rest on their laurels as there are still difficult games ahead and concentration will be required.
But they can at least bask in the glory of a job well done until Friday when they entertain Bridgend Town at Jenner Park with a 7.45pm kick off.
Then on Tuesday, April 5, they face Goytre in the League Cup semi-final at Taffs Well FC, kick-off 7pm.
Dragons: Dan Bradley; Geraint Frowen, Dan Clare, Lewis Cosslett, Damon Searle; Rob Blatchford, Scott Jones, Sam Hartrey, Mike Hartley; Anthony Nagi (sub Lee Baldock), Ryan Jenkins (sub Josh Bell).