By Ashley Cox

AFTER claiming four points at Jenner Park over the extended Bank Holiday weekend, Barry Town sit second in the JD Cymru Premier and will look to continue their encouraging start this Friday night.

While manager Gavin Chesterfield found himself without both club captain Jordan Cotterill and the headlining-grabbing Jonathan Hood, it took just eight minutes for Barry to force a breakthrough in last Friday’s fixture with Aberystwyth Town, a match the hosts would win by three goals to one.

Collecting a throw-in from Chris Hugh on the left, McLaggon applied close control and strength on the ball, before racing free of his marker and lifting in a fine, right-footed effort from 30 yards out.

Then, a breath after the half-hour, teammate Clayton Green showed similar strength and ambition, powering past his man and uncorking a left-footed shot that goalkeeper Connor Roberts could only tip above his head and into the net, with the help of a crucial bounce off the far post.

After Barry goalkeeper George Radcliffe had denied the travelling Seasiders with a pair of close-range saves, McLaggon would ultimately make it three with a measured strike in the 78th minute, controlling with confidence in the visitors’ penalty area and picking his spot to seal the three points.

Aberystwyth’s consolation came minutes later, as Paulo Mendes got on the end of a flick-on header.

Three days later, Bala came to Jenner Park; the Lakesiders encouraged by a 3-1 comeback win over The New Saints, their first success against the Park Hall professionals in no fewer than 39 attempts.

With Bala and Barry both boasting 100% winning records, Bank Holiday Monday’s sun-kissed showdown attracted the eye of partisans and neutrals alike, yet there was little to separate the sides, as Colin Caton and Chesterfield’s charges played out a compelling, competitive 2-2 draw.

For the second straight encounter, Barry broke the deadlock at the Gladstone Road end, with Drew Fahiya showing composure to lift the ball beyond goalkeeper Josh Tibbetts, shortly before the break.

Former Welsh Cup winners Bala however would prove a tough nut to crack and drew level after 54 minutes when Spanish midfielder Lassana Mendes capitalised effectively on Sean Smith’s delivery.

On 67 minutes, Barry regained their advantage, with striker McLaggon beating Wales C teammate and substitute shotstopper Morris from close range, claiming his fourth goal of the new JD Cymru Premier campaign.

However, McLaggon’s attempt at a cool fifth was cleared from the line by Smith shortly thereafter, allowing the visitors to equalise in the 74th minute, as defender Stuart Jones headed in a set piece.

With injuries and suspensions limiting Chesterfield’s options from the bench, Bala looked keen to press on for a winner, but Caton’s men could not undo the Barry defence that decisive and final third time, leaving both squads to settle for a hard-fought point from a game either could have viably won.

Fine entertainment for the August Bank Holiday, Barry get back to work this week in preparation for Friday’s trip to Carmarthen Town; a fixture that has consistently reaped its rewards in recent seasons.

The Jenner Park outfit have won on each of their last three visits to Richmond Park, a statistic that the former Barry player and current Old Gold manager Neil Smothers will look to avenge on Friday.

A return coach will be leaving the clubhouse on Barry Road at 4pm for the 7.45pm kick-off, with supporters advised to contact Leon Ford on 07505 933 972 for pricing and availability.