BARRY Town’s unbeaten start to the JD Cymru Premier season came to a shuddering halt on Saturday, as Gavin Chesterfield’s depleted side were beaten 4-1 by in-form Caernarfon Town, writes Ashley Cox.

Barry’s first defeat in 12 league outings means the Jenner Park outfit now enter this Saturday’s top-of-the-table showdown with Connah’s Quay Nomads level-pegging with their visitors on 27 points.

Across the campaign's opening weeks, Barry survived the injury losses of Troy Greening, Robbie Patten and Callum Sainty, as well as the suspension of Jordan Cotterill, to remain a robust outfit.

Saturday saw their ranks bolstered by the return of futsal international Chris Hugh, yet the Town now found themselves without the influential Clayton Green, after the second-generation midfielder collected his fifth booking of the season in the prior weekend’s 2-0 win over Airbus UK Broughton.

With new injuries in the week ruling out the Cardiff City loan pairing of goalkeeper George Ratcliffe and midfielder Sion Spence, Barry’s trip to Caernarfon appeared a daunting one, especially when considering the hosts’ formidable record at The Oval.

That said, Barry will be no less disappointed to have lost their unbeaten streak on Saturday, having recorded their strongest start to a Cymru Premier programme since the all-conquering 1997-98 edition.

It took only eight minutes for Caernarfon to open the scoring, with cult favourite Darren Thomas cutting inside and delivering a low drive that returning goalkeeper Mike Lewis was unable to repel.

However, there was soon controversy at the other end, when Evan Press’ long ball forward to Kayne McLaggon was caught by Caernarfon goalkeeper Alex Ramsay, outside of his penalty area.

With McLaggon in disbelief, referee Nick Pratt waved play on, before a second appeal minutes later fell on deaf ears, as the Barry striker claimed to be tripped by midfielder Ryan Williams at the edge of the box.

Denied an opportunity to equalise from the spot, McLaggon would instead be issued a yellow card.

Nevertheless, Barry’s leading goalscorer would soon get his chance from 12 yards, deftly dispatching a second spotkick in as many matches, after Mo Touray was brought down by youngster Gruff John.

On level terms at the interval, a point would have made a decent return for Barry and kept their noses ahead of Connah's Quay Nomads, who themselves secured a 1-1 draw with champions The New Saints the previous night.

Caernarfon though smelled blood and, in a single, 15-minute spell, the home side scored three times without reply at their bustling clubhouse end; putting an emphatic end to Barry’s unbeaten record.

On 55 minutes, John connected with a rebound header to restore the Canaries’ advantage, capitalising to full effect, after Lewis had parried Nathan Craig’s left-footed corner clear.

Less than five minutes later, Caernarfon were awarded the game’s second penalty; a chance that Craig coolly converted, sending Lewis the wrong way, after Hugh’s late challenge took out Thomas.

When Sion Bradley smashed home the fourth on 68 minutes, by way of a wicked deflection, there was clearly no way back for Barry, in spite of the efforts of latter stage substitutes Jack Compton and Eli Phipps.

Chesterfield’s bench itself bore an eclectic look, including a return for veteran goalkeeping coach Lee Kendall, whose last league appearance for Barry came in a 1-0 win over Afan Lido in December 2001.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, Saturday paved the way for 18-year old Jack Pascoe to make a first senior appearance, the academy product making his first team bow as a 84th minute replacement.

With Lewis saving from striker Jamie Breese late on, sparing Barry’s blushes of a fifth in the process, Pascoe’s arrival on the first team scene could be seen as the prevailing plus-point of a wretched November afternoon.

Despite the defeat though, Barry's league position remains a hugely healthy one and any win over Connah's Quay on Jenner Park turf this weekend would see them top the table once more, by three points with a game in hand.

With seven wins and six draws from their campaign to date, the Nomads are now the Cymru Premier’s only unbeaten side, though it took a late Michael Wilde equaliser to preserve their own record and frustrate TNS last Saturday.

Andy Morrison’s men have only won once at Jenner Park in their past three visits; scraping a 1-0 win in October 2017, en route to their seemingly-annual foray in the UEFA Europa League qualifiers.

Last season, book-ending efforts from McLaggon and Touray helped Barry win their first meeting by two goals to nil at Jenner Park, before the sides played out Cymru Premier draws in November, February and April alike.

With Gavin Chesterfield able to call on captain Cotterill for the first time since August, kick-off at Jenner Park this Saturday (9th November) is at 2.30pm, while third-placed TNS entertain Carmarthen in the other fixture with top-of-the-table implications.