Barry run riot against Carmarthen

By Ashley Cox

BARRY Town stunned a fragile Carmarthen Town 7-1 at Jenner Park on Saturday night, shrugging off their injury woes and goal-shy reputation in some style, while shoring up their standing in the JD Cymru Premier’s top four.

It would be the first time the Jenner Park outfit had scored seven in a single Cymru Premier fixture since striker Jamie Moralee netted four times in a December 2001 7-1 mauling of Oswestry Town.

Kristian O’ Leary’s Carmarthen came to Jenner Park unbeaten in three, but soon found themselves without the experience of goalkeeper Lee Idzi; the former Merthyr man injured in the warm-up, leaving youngster Thomas Windsor to deputise for only the second time in their league campaign.

In their change blue and white hoops, the Old Gold looked to snatch an early advantage, only for Liam Thomas to see his close-range effort past goalkeeper Mike Lewis bounce off the crossbar and then be cleared from Lewis’ line, in what would prove a rare golden opportunity for the visiting XI.

Encouraged by the recruitment of St. Kitts and Nevis international Theo Wharton, Barry quickly hit the ground running and they surged ahead in the sixth minute, as leading goalscorer Kayne McLaggon cut inside a pair of Carmarthen defenders and laced the ball past Windsor into the bottom corner.

The striker would the claim his second on 16 minutes, executing a perfectly-judged scissors kick to score, after an exquisite first-touch delivery from teammate Mo Touray out on the right-hand flank.

Within moments, the provider turned goalscorer as Touray showed good composure to slot home Barry’s third, leaving Carmarthen apparently dead in the water with more than 70 minutes to play.

There were brief signs of an Old Gold revival after 35 minutes when Callum Saunders pulled a goal back, his low, left-footed free-kick leaving Lewis a stumped bystander to reduce his side’s arrears.

However, stand-in skipper Luke Cooper would restore Barry’s three-goal cushion after 38 minutes, tapping home from close range after McLaggon had prevailed from an aerial battle with Windsor.

Then, three minutes before half-time, Jack Compton netted a fine free-kick to put Barry 5-1 in front, lifting the ball above and beyond the beleaguered Carmarthen goalkeeper from all of 30 yards out.

Compton had already skimmed one of Windsor’s posts from a similar set piece earlier in the night, but the former Portsmouth man, whose stop-start Jenner Park career has been blighted by injury, could finally celebrate his first goal in Barry Town colours.

Barry were only denied an electric sixth when McLaggon’s backpost strike was ruled out for offside, preventing the Wales C hitman from completing his hat-trick at the close of an action-packed half.

Attacking the Barry Road end in the second period, Barry made it 6-1 on 69 minutes, with Clayton Green latching onto a loose ball in the box, after McLaggon had again made a nuisance of himself.

With the game emphatically over, Wales U21 international Rhys Abbruzzese would impress late on, the second generation starlet dazzling with his feet forging forward in pursuit of another Barry goal.

Meanwhile, a persistent McLaggon would hit a post in the final 15 minutes, as academy products Lathan Garrett and Alex Brookes-Bent were each handed their first team debuts from the bench.

As it was, it was more young blood in Evan Press who would rubber-stamp the romp on 90 minutes, side-footing home after terrific Touray’s long-range curler cannoned back off Windsor’s crossbar.

Rounding out Phase One with a haul of 40 points, Barry now sit just one behind third-placed Bala Town, who, it turns out, will provide the final opponents of their campaign at Maes Tegid in April.

With a two-week break in the offing, Barry’s Phase Two programme begins at home to title-chasing Connah’s Quay Nomads on Saturday 8th February (2.30pm kick-off), before Gavin Chesterfield’s squad travel to play bogey team Newtown at Latham Park, seven days later (2.30pm).