By Ian Johnson

BARRY Town United face Newtown in the Cymru Premier League this weekend at Jenner Park, the club’s first home game since the firebreak on Saturday, 2.30pm kick-off, behind closed doors due to coronavirus restrictions.

Gavin Chesterfield’s team will be looking to keep their hold on fourth place in the league but will be wary of the mid-Walians who twice won at Jenner Park last season.

The two clubs have already met once in the league this year with Kayne McLaggon scoring an injury time equaliser at Latham Park to secure a point in a 1-1 draw.

Barry will also be looking to shake off the disappointment of a narrow 2-1 defeat at league leaders The New Saints last Saturday.

The live S4C Sgorio game at Oswestry went to the wire, with Barry searching for a late goal to level the game – as they had done on previous visits.

The enforced break from competitive Cymru Premier football has been a mixed blessing for Barry.

On the one hand it gave players time to recover from injury after an intense month of football that started the virus affected season.

On the other, playing professional club TNS in the first game back was always likely to expose any cobwebs or rust from not playing a competitive match for almost a month.

Barry soaked up pressure well during an absorbing first half, with Mike Lewis in goal and the return of Luke Cummings from injury, lining up with McDonald, Cooper and Hugh at the back.

Michael George, Theo Wharton, Clayton Green and Jordan Cotterill made up the Town midfield with Kayne McLaggon and Nat Jarvis up front.

The Saints are unbeaten so far in the league, but Barry matched them well in the opening 45 minutes, making it all the more frustrating that the deadlock was broken just before the break.

Barry failed to clear a deep corner to the back post, and the ball was bundled into the net when Louis Robles close range header squeezed past Hugh and Lewis.

The second half continued in a similar vein, with TNS in possession but not creating clear-cut chances.

Both sides had shots on goal, with Mike Lewis pulling off excellent saves from Greg Draper and Astles, and Barry’s Michael George and Kayne McLaggon forcing the keeper into action at the other end.

It was on the counter attack that TNS doubled their lead, with Robles running down the right and turning the ball inside.

Draper found the time and space to beat Lewis, his first time shot sent to the bottom corner.

Barry were quickly back in the game, though.

Chris Hugh’s cross from the left cut across the defence and Nat Jarvis used one deft touch to direct the ball past Harrison in the TNS goal.

It was a goal of perfect majestic simplicity, giving the defence and keeper no opportunity to react.

That set up a nervy last 15 minutes for the home side.

Hopes were high that Barry’s pressure would lead to an equaliser, but the Saints hung on to their 2-1 lead.

Barry will be disappointed not to have earned a point, but a similar performance against a less well-drilled side than TNS will give Chesterfield’s team the win.