Author: Dafydd Jones
Publisher: Y Clwb Pêl Droed
Barry Town secured a place in the top six with an emphatic 6-2 victory in Colin Caton’s 700th game in charge of Bala Town.
Despite falling behind in the opening two minutes to Chris Venables’ header, the Linnets quickly fought back with goals from Kayne McLaggon and Evan Press.
In a competitive, end-to-end contest, second-half strikes from Chris Hugh, McLaggon and Press put the hosts in a commanding position.
Substitute Kieran Smith pulled a goal back for the Lakesiders, but substitute
Curtis Jemmett-Hutson’s late strike put the game beyond doubt.
The victory sees Gavin Chesterfield’s side rise to fourth in the table, securing a place in the top six.
Bala Town’s loss means they stay in third, but the gap between them and second-placed The New Saints is extended to 12 points.
The Lakesiders made a lightning start and took the lead with just two minutes on the clock.
Left-back Sean Smith’s free-kick was headed back across goal by Antony Kay and talisman Venables was on-hand to head home from close range.
The visitors continued their fast start and put the Linnets under pressure with a succession of early corners.
Chesterfield’s side responded excellently however, equalising in the 12th minute.
Jordan Cotterill’s corner delivery was played back into the box and McLaggon was on-hand to bundle the ball home for the hosts.
Just three minutes later, the Linnets found themselves ahead, as Chris Hugh’s excellent delivery was met perfectly by Press to turn the game on its head.
Barry Town went close to adding a third, with playmaker Jordan Cotterill firing a free-kick from distance narrowly over the bar.
In an end-to-end period of numerous chances, Bala Town defender Nathan Peate was inches away from equalising, but his header was tipped onto the post brilliantly by Mike Lewis.
Shortly before half-time, the referee was called into action, as Barry Town defender Luke Cooper was brought down, but the appeals were waived away.
As the referee blew for half-time, an entertaining first-half saw Barry Town go into the break with a 2-1 lead.
Similarly to the first period, the contest started quickly, as Bala Town appealed for a penalty with Ollie Shannon going down, but nothing was given by the referee.
Barry Town counter-attacked efficiently and it paid dividends, as the Linnets extended their lead in the 50thminute.
Left-back Hugh profited from a mix-up in the Bala Town defence to score into an open goal, giving Chesterfield’s side a two-goal advantage.
Looking to find an immediate equaliser, Bala winger Jack Mackreth found space on the right to force an excellent save out of Lewis.
A huge chance then fell for Barry to add a fourth, as the influential Cotterill beat his man in the box, but his effort at goal was cleared heroically off the line by Shaun Kelly.
The Linnets weren’t to be denied however, as Cotterill’s dangerous cross was turned home by McLaggon in the 66th minute to put the hosts in a commanding position.
Just five minutes later, Press joined McLaggon in scoring a double, as the ball fell kindly to the midfielder, who made no mistake.
In a frantic period, Bala Town immediately pulled a goal back, with Venables heading down for substitute Smith, who turned the ball past Lewis.
Despite the Lakesiders’ efforts to get back into the contest, Barry Town put the victory beyond doubt in the 80thminute.
Substitute Curtis Jemmett-Hutson struck a fantastic effort past Ramsay in the Bala Town goal to add a sixth goal for the hosts and seal the three points.
On the final day of Phase One, Barry Town travel to Cardiff Metropolitan University, while Bala Town host Flint Town United.
Barry Town: Mike Lewis, Chris Hugh, Luke Cooper, Callum Sainty (Theo Wharton 57’), Kayne McLaggon (Curtis Jemmett-Hutson 78’), Nat Jarvis (David Cotterill 86’), Jordan Cotterill, Luke Cummings, Curtis McDonald, Michael George (Rhys Kavanagh 86’), Evan Press
Goals: Kayne McLaggon 12’, 66’, Evan Press 15’ 71’, Chris Hugh 50’, Curtis Jemmett-Hutson 80’
Yellow Cards: Callum Sainty 43’, Nat Jarvis 47’
Bala Town: Alex Ramsay, Sean Smith, Nathan Peate (Jonny Spittle 73’), Will Evans (Kieran Smith 73’), Antony Kay, Shaun Kelly, Lassana Mendes, Jack Mackreth, Ryan Pryce, Chris Venables (C), Oliver Shannon
Goals: Chris Venables 2’, Kieran Smith 75’
Yellow Cards: Lassana Mendes 60’