AFTER another unhappy New Year's Eve at Cardiff Met ended in a 3-0 defeat, Barry Town United roared into 2019 on Saturday afternoon with a rousing 5-2 victory at Cefn Druids.

Having been denied a seemingly stonewall penalty at Cyncoed on December 31, before Charlie Corsby quickly struck to put Barry on the back foot, Adam Roscrow and Eliot Evans would complete the job late on and continue the misery of successive defeats in the capital.

While the trip to the Cyncoed Campus offered a dour experience, Saturday's match at The Rock was anything but, with spectacular goals and a bouncy atmosphere contributing to a memorable match and Barry’s first ever win at The Rock, on what was their third attempt.

Starting slightly more brightly than their north Walian opponents, Barry carved out several chances in the game’s formative stages, most notably when Kayne McLaggon raced onto a Mo Touray through ball, only for Druids goalkeeper Michael Jones to block with his feet.

It was McLaggon who launched the attack for the game’s opening goal, shortly before the half hour mark, picking up the ball deep inside his own half and feeding Jordan Cotterill, who would quickly forward it to Tom Fry and finally Touray, loose on the right-hand flank.

Running at the Druids goal with intent, Touray’s effort was initially saved by Jones, only for Cotterill to execute a sharp, right-footed finish from the rebound, putting the Town in front.

While tempers would briefly flare at one point between Macaulay Southam-Hales and Aaron Simpson, Saturday’s match at The Rock was generally played in a good, competitive spirit; and tenth-placed Druids would keep their spirits up to find a way back by the break.

With 39 minutes elapse, former Wrexham stalwart Neil Ashton managed to nip in front of Southam-Hales at the near post and head the equaliser past Barry goalkeeper Mike Lewis.

Then, in first-half added time, striker James Davies squeezed a left-footed effort between Chris Hugh, Lewis and the goalpost, delighting the home support and putting Druids ahead.

Undoubtedly disappointed by the turn of events, Barry returned for the second period with something to prove and within six minutes, Gavin Chesterfield’s side would level the scores at two apiece.

Goalscorer Cotterill would turn creator here, showing good vision and execution to pick out teammate McLaggon inside the Druids’ area, allowing McLaggon to chest the ball into space, turn and deliver a spectacular drive into the top corner.

With defending champions The New Saints and resurgent leaders Connah’s Quay Nomads racking up big wins, a point would not have been enough for Barry to keep pace at the top.

Fortunately though, there was plenty of action left in this encounter, with a flurry of goals in the final ten minutes solidifying Barry’s place within the league’s ultra-competitive top three.

As the game entered its 80th minute, a vital breakthrough arrived; and it arrived with style.

Gaining possession inside his own half, Southam-Hales would show little fatigue in carrying the ball onward, showing speed and strength to beat two Druids defenders, before crossing for Touray, who pulled off an exquisite bicycle kick at the back post to restore Barry’s lead.

Having won four of their last five fixtures by a single goal, this 3-2 advantage now looked enough to see them through, but Cotterill particularly had other ideas and the Barry skipper would lay claim to the match ball by the time the final whistle was ultimately blown.

Surging onto the industrious Troy Greening’s through ball over the top, Cotterill would soon have the best of a one-on-one with the goalkeeper, confidently converting from outside the penalty area, before celebrating with his signature acrobatics.

Then, after Drew Fahiya had been felled inside the box, Cotterill stepped up to score the subsequent spot-kick past a protesting Jones completing his hat-trick in the 94th minute.

Cotterill’s treble was the first by a Barry player in a Welsh Premier League away game since Dave Toomey completed the feat at Caernarfon Town in December 2001.

Bumped right up to 44 points, Barry now head into Saturday night's Phase One finale against Aberystwyth Town with the chance to regain top spot in the JD Welsh Premier League, pending the outcome of the games involving Nomads and TNS.

Kick-off at Jenner Park is at the later time of 7.30pm, with admission payable at the gate for the regular £7 (adults), £5 (senior citizens/students) and £3 (children).