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James Young

Co-Host of Saturday Sport and reporter on Barry Town.

Wales have drawn 1-1 to a competitive Denmark side at the Cardiff City Stadium in Gemma Grainger’s second game in charge of the side. A goal from Pernille Harder on 24 minutes gave the Danes the lead and Jess Fishlock’s volley on 60 minutes drew the sides level. Despite several good chances from both sides, the game ended level.

Ceri Holland and Jess Fishlock both had decent attempts but were unable to break the deadlock before half-time and it was Denmark’s high press that caused problems for Wales in the first half which led to the opener on the night. Harder went through one-on-one with Wales ‘keeper, Laura O’Sullivan, who couldn’t stop the world’s most expensive female player from giving Denmark the lead with a neat finish.

Sophie Ingle came close for Wales 15 minutes into the second half with a curled effort, and five minutes later it was Fishlock whose volley inside the Denmark box brought the score to 1-1. A foul on Kayleigh Green on 70 minutes gave Wales a good opportunity to take the lead from a free-kick and the corner that followed led to Fishlock’s header being caught by Lene Christensen between the Denmark sticks.

Denmark threatened again in the last 15 minutes, going close through Kathrine Kühl’s volley that went wide and several crosses were cleared effectively by the resolute Welsh defence. Wales played with authority for large periods of the game and these two fixtures have shown how they can hold their own against some of the best the Women’s game has to offer.

Harder (24’minutes)
Fishlock (60’minutes)

Attendance: 0

Cardiff City have secured their place in the Nathaniel MG Cup Second Round, after goals from Kieran Evans and Isaak Davies were enough to see off Cymru South side, Taffs Well, at USW Park. 

After a 12-year absence from playing in Welsh domestic tournaments, Cardiff City and Newport County have both entered this year’s Nathaniel MG Cup as ‘wildcards’ and will be looking to make it all the way to the final. 

Taffs Well didn’t go down without a fight however, providing a strong test for Steve Morison’s U-23 Cardiff side throughout the game. The low block the Wellmen employed frustrated City through the majority of the first half and it wasn’t until late into the period that Cardiff took the lead through Evans.

Other than this, there wasn’t much to speak of in terms of chances for either side through the opening 45 minutes. The fact that Taffs Well hadn’t played a competitive game since the Cymru South was cancelled earlier this year didn’t seem to phase them in the opening stages of the match. 

But after Cardiff went into the break with a one goal lead, it seemed inevitable what the outcome of the match was going to be. As City started to control possession more, as they sat onto their lead comfortably, Taffs Well’s fitness levels were beginning to wear. There were some nice spells on the ball for the side, which only led to half chances midway through the second half, but nothing major enough to challenge Jamie Cogman in the Cardiff goal. 

11 minutes before time, Cardiff sealed their place in the Second Round after Davies converted a spot kick which ended any hopes of a Taffs Well comeback in the last few minutes of the game. It was a good test for the Cardiff U-23 side who will hopefully learn more from playing in a more competitive environment. 

Elsewhere, Llantwit Major also sealed their place in round 2 after coming back from a goal down to beat Llanelli Town 2-1 through Josh Jones and Cullen Kinsella strikes.

Barry Town have lost their first match of the 2020/21 season to TNS in a behind closed doors match at Jenner Park after three second-half goals from Scott Ruscoe’s side gave them optimism for their UEFA Europa League Qualifying Round tie on Wednesday. 

Barry and TNS are two of Wales’ biggest sides domestically. The two sides have a combined total of 20 JD Cymru Premier titles between them and are two of the most successful sides in Welsh football. And so, a season opener between the two sides should be a great way to kick off the season with a bumper crowd in attendance to see new signings in action for the first time and be optimistic about what the season has in line for ahead. 

But there was none of that. The atmosphere that is renowned with Jenner Park was absent, the clubhouse was closed and the space where fans would normally stand below the gantry was cordoned off with red tape for substitutes to sit socially distanced. The official attendance was 0 due to the game being played behind closed doors. 

The game itself almost felt a bit irrelevant without the fans inside the stadium. It felt far from the occasion that these games normally are. With temperature checks and masks needed for every person inside the stadium, the perspective that is often forgotten with sport was firmly reminded upon everyone in attendance. 

The lack of fans in attendance didn’t make the match any less competitive however and Barry started the stronger side. Chris Hugh sent in several dangerous crosses into the TNS box only to find no one on the end of them, Evan Press missed with a header from close range and Kane Mclaggon also had a decent attempt saved by Paul Harrison. 

It seemed Gavin Chesterfield and his coaching staff had been working on set-pieces during the week because every time Barry had a corner, they looked dangerous. Theo Warton squandered another opportunity for the home side after managing to get a shot away from a short corner. 

The match had an edge to it as well like these matches usually do. Seven fouls inside the opening 20 minutes definitely took this fixture away from pre-season territory. 

Barry deserved the lead at half-time but failed to come out in the second half as the stronger side. Just three minutes after the restart, Adrian Cieślewicz gave TNS the lead and Barry failed to create the space in behind the TNS defence that they managed to do successfully before the break. 

The lack of a crowd didn’t help Barry. That’s not an excuse because chances were missed in the first half but normally the side would be pushed on to equalise through one of the best sets of supporters in the Cymru Premier. 17 minutes later, TNS added a second through Leo Smith which made Barry’s task of picking up their first points at home against the Oswestry based club since 2003 a lot harder. 

As Barry pushed forward to try and come back into the game, that left more space in behind for TNS to take advantage of and Barry’s fate was sealed on 65 minutes when Cieślewicz picked up his second goal of the match and TNS’ third. 

It will take time for Barry to get used to playing without their fans who have often been a source of inspiration for the Linnets to score important goals in the past. A tough home game against Caernarfon Town next Saturday could prove to be an important one to see if Barry have managed to recover from their disappointment in the Faroe Islands last month. 

As for TNS, they have put themselves in a good position to try and overcome the obstacle of Faroese opposition as they take on B36 Tórshavn on Wednesday night in the UEFA Europa League Second Qualifying Round.

Barry Town have played a total of 13 European ties but can you name all of their opponents?

Hear the latest local sports updates with Craig, James and Luke – Saturday afternoons from 3pm to 6pm on Bro Radio.

With Coronavirus suspending the JD Cymru Leagues, you’re probably desperate for football to return. The Belarusian leagues are still on but it isn’t the same. You want to be at Jenner Park with your mates, standing in the same place you always have been, listening to music played through a tannoy that has about 90% static and 10% actual music.

That isn’t going to happen for a while. Instead, here are five games you can watch on Youtube of Barry Town being really good at football.

Barry 3-1 FC Porto (UEFA Champions League second qualifying round, August 2001)

We couldn’t do this list without including this specific game. It’s an incredible achievement. This was a Porto side that three years later won the Champions League under José Mourinho. Sure, Barry did lose the first leg 8-0, but that doesn’t take anything away from how big of an event this was. Four of the players that played for Porto in this game ended up with Champions League winners medals in 2004, and two of them started on this memorable night at Jenner Park.

Despite having the likes of Ricardo Carvalho and Jorge Costa on the pitch, who made a combined total of 139 appearances for Portugal, it wasn’t enough for Porto to win on the night. This game ended up going down in Barry folklore after goals from Lee Phillips, Michael Flynn and Gary Lloyd gave Barry a night to remember.

Barry 2-1 Cardiff City (Welsh Cup Final, 1994)

This was the penultimate year that Welsh sides that play in the English leagues were allowed to play in the Welsh Cup. Some people say that the competition hasn’t quite been the same since.

For Barry, it meant the end of great days like this one. Cardiff were in Division Two at the time,(now League One), and were hoping to pick up their their 23rd Welsh Cup and qualify for the now defunct UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup in the process.

Barry, inspired by five former Swansea City players, were looking for their first Welsh Cup since 1955. They achieved that after goals from David D’Auria and David Hough put Barry’s name on the trophy for the first time in 39 years.

It’s a match from a foregone era where Welsh Cup finals used to be played at the Cardiff Arms Park with 14,500 in attendance.

Barry Town 3-3 Aberdeen (UEFA Cup first round, September 1996)

After losing the first leg of this tie 3-1, Barry had it all to do at Jenner Park, to progress into the second round of the UEFA Cup. Despite losing on aggregate over the two legs, Barry went out with their pride and dignity intact after leading twice through Dave O’Gorman and Tony Bird to give the game an exciting finale. Aberdeen were trailing 3-2 with seven minutes to play.

However, a swift reply from the one time Cup Winners’ Cup holders straight from kick off meant a comeback was off the wall. It was still a great performance though from Barry, who did amazingly well to still be in the game against such a powerhouse with minutes to spare.

Barry 3-1 Budapest Vasutas (4-2) August 1996

Another European game from the archive here. This is the prequel to the famous Aberdeen tie. Barry were 3-1 down from the away leg against the runners-up of the Hungarian league, and were underdogs coming back to Jenner Park.

However, goals from Tony Bird, Chris Pike and Dave O’Gorman, alongside a Vasutas goal sandwiched in-between, took the game to extra time. The 30 minutes couldn’t separate the two sides and it went to penalties to decide who would play Aberdeen in the next round.

Barry became the first side in League Of Wales history to progress beyond the opening round of a European competition, after Craig Evans sealed the win in a dramatic shootout.

Barry 10-0 TNS (September 1997)

This was Barry at their best in the League of Wales and this was part of a 51 game unbeaten run stretched over two seasons. Eifon Williams scored a hat-trick before half time and ended up scoring five. Terry Evans, Gary Lloyd, Craig Evans and Craig Hughes all chipped in, alongside TNS’ Evans at the wrong end of the pitch to seal a comfortable win.

Barry ended up unbeaten that season and scored 134 goals. A record that is still held to this day and probably will be for some time.

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