Caernarfon Town 0-1 Barry Town United
Barry Town United scorer: Marcus Jones 87’
It was quite the battle between the Cofis and the Dragons at the Oval on Saturday afternoon, particularly between the two sets of fans who did their utmost to one-up each other in terms of creating an atmosphere, but there was quite the battle on the pitch too, in a very competitive game.
Caernarfon started the brightest, although they didn’t really create too much in the opening exchanges and Barry did well to weather the storm, growing into the game themselves to the point where they will have been annoyed not to have gone in at the break leading the fixture.
Jonathan Hood had a strike crash off the post after 15 minutes for the visitors, and from there Barry built in confidence, with Kayne McLaggon and Momodou Touray in particular involving themselves in a great contest with Cofi stopper Alex Ramsey, which the keeper won in the first half without a doubt, pulling out some superb saves.
His best moment came with minutes left in the first half, however, as Barry were awarded a penalty which McLaggon stepped up to take – Ramsay saved excellently from the initial strike and also from Touray’s rebound, and he was instrumental as Caernarfon held on to halftime with the deadlock intact, but Sean Eardley had some work to do to get his side back in the game as they will have been disappointed with their efforts in the first half.
The home side started the second half on the front foot and had much more fortune in the opening exchanges after the restart than they had throughout the first half, with Barry simply restricted to counter-attacks,
Jamie Breese lashing a first-time volley into the side netting after 57 minutes was the highlight of Caernarfon’s efforts before the hour-mark, but Clive Williams also went very close to opening the scoring with a close-range header from a corner, which Mike Lewis did very well to palm away.
Gareth Evans was played in one-v-one with a neat pass that found him on his own in the six-yard box, but the fact that the ball reached him seemed to catch Evans off guard, and Lewis swept in to collect the ball, and Evans minutes later again squandered a decent opportunity on the half-volley eight yards out, as Caernarfon were on top at this point.
The Barry squad celebrate Marcus Jones' late winner. Photo: Rhys Skinner
Caernarfon were getting closer and closer to that opener, as Sion Bradley fired a half-volley wide from the edge of the box after 73 minutes, but it deflected wide to give the Cofis another chance at opening the scoring – Rhys Roberts came very close, with his looped header just finding its way over the bar, having beaten Lewis to the ball.
Barry responded with their best chance of the half, as Hood broke into space and found himself one-v-one with Ramsey, opting to shoot from some 12 yards out on an angle, but he couldn’t quite curl his strike inside the far post and Caernarfon were let off the hook.
A second yellow card for Clive Williams saw Caernarfon down to ten men with ten minutes to go in the fixture, as this game was very much still in the balance as well at 0-0. Caernarfon battled well despite their numerical disadvantage, and to their credit it took an absolutely superb strike to break the deadlock as Marcus Jones curled a beautiful effort from outside the box beyond Ramsey and into the far corner of the Caernarfon net for 0-1 with 87 minutes played.
The Cofis battled hard to get back on level terms, but the visitors made their man advantage count and held on for a huge three points.
Reaction from Gavin Chesterfield and Sean Eardley
Cefn Druids 4-0 Carmarthen Town
Cefn Druids scorers: Ryan Kershaw 4’, Nathan Peate 7’, Jordan Evans 80’, Dean Rittenberg 88’
After a tough defeat to take at Cyncoed last weekend, Cefn Druids returned to the Rock on Saturday afternoon to welcome Carmarthen to north Wales for another north-south showdown, but it was far from an ideal start to the game for the visitors as they found themselves behind early-on.
Ryan Kershaw gave Huw Griffiths’ side a lead after 4 minutes with a beautiful strike from 25 yards which concluded a really nice passage of play down the right-hand side for the Ancients, and with the visitors reeling Druids capitalised to make it 2-0 as Lee Idzi made a bit of a mess of catching a cross and Nathan Peate dived on the drop ball to double the home advantage.
Idzi made amends for his error moments later, however, as an outstanding double-save saw him deny Druids a third goal inside 20 minutes which may well have put the game to bed, and Druids went into the interval happy with their two-goal lead.
The Old Gold started the second half brightly, as they rattled the woodwork twice in quick succession following the restart to put the home side under some early pressure, but Druids appeared to have weathered that storm and pushed on to grab another goal of their own.
Jordan Evans came very close to delivering that third strike for the Ancients, firing a stinging shot at the keeper which Idzi could only palm into the path of Mudimu, but the Zimbabwean international could only prod wide as the ball came at him at speed.
Evans again went close with a header, but that trickled wide too, before he eventually got the goals the chances he created deserved to make it 3-0 after 80 minutes, and Dean Rittenberg rounded out an emphatic victory moments later by making it 4-0 and Druids were off the foot of the table.
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