A STRONG second-half showing proved not enough for Barry Town United on Sunday afternoon, as they slipped to a fourth straight defeat in all competitions with a 1-0 reverse against Connah's Quay Nomads.

The Nomads, who had upset HJK Helsinki in the summer’s UEFA Europa League qualifying rounds, arrived at a bright Jenner Park as favourites and soon lived up to their billing by seizing an early lead.

With Matty Owen’s right-footed corner hanging ominously in the breeze, teammate George Horan would intelligently dart into space and power his 11th-minute header beyond Barry’s Mike Lewis.

Looking to strike back, the Town tried to use the height of returning Ryan Evans from a set-piece of their own, but the defender’s header from Chris Hugh’s cross failed to threaten John Danby’s goal.

Five minutes into the second-half came one of the game’s real highlights, as Hugh picked up the ball well inside his own half and went on a courageous run forward. Accelerating upfield, the full-back would fend off three Nomads defenders, before his low finish rebounded agonisingly off the post.

It quickly looked that Drew Fahiya might capitalise and slot into an empty net, but with goalkeeper Danby recovering rapidly and teammate Sean Smith ramping up the pressure, the forward put his effort over the Connah’s Quay crossbar, ensuring Barry’s chase for an elusive equaliser continued.

Much like Druids before them, the Nomads brought a physical style to Jenner Park and while home supporters would protest a host of full-blooded challenges, most of them would go unpunished.

Nevertheless, the Town continued to attack the Connah’s Quay goal; Macauley Southam’s free-kick setting up Luke Cooper, whose header was comfortably saved by the ex-Chester City stopper Danby.

At the opposite end, the Nomads sought out a repeat of their first, as the experienced Michael Wilde connected with another Owen corner. However, Mike Lewis pulled out a terrific stop to keep the scoreline 1-0; the Town goalkeeper impressing on what was his 50th appearance in Barry colours.

As the half progressed, Barry sought the goal that would lift their spirits and secure a precious point. However, it never came, with the watertight Nomads defence continuing a run that has seen them concede only seven times in the JD Welsh Premier League since the start of the 2017-18 campaign.

In all, it was another frustrating afternoon for the home side, whose credible performances of late have failed to translate into goals, leaving them ninth with eleven points from eleven league outings.

As ever, there were positives to be taken in defeat, with incoming skipper Jordan Cotterill looking increasingly at home following his return from long-term injury. Teammate Callum Sainty would meanwhile secure the Man of the Match plaudits, while another crowd of over 400 bodes well.

In addition, the performances of midfielder Troy Greening this season continue to excel, with the former Newport youngster proving himself to well adept to competing at the Welsh Premier level.

In the wake of the fixture, manager Gavin Chesterfield reasserted his belief in his squad, stating “I’m really pleased with our form. We’ve put in good performances, but are just not getting the results. That sometimes happens in football. At times, you might play at lot worse and win.”

“I think we do need to improve upon our final third play. But all told, I though the lads worked extremely well. They showed that huge togetherness and spirit that they always do and showed good quality at times, as well.”

“That said, the two chances we had, we should be taking.”