Barry Town stretched their winning run to 12 league matches as they beat Llantwit Major 2-1 at Jenner Park to keep hold of top spot in the Cymru South.
Josh Graham’s second-half strike settled the game after Nathan Evans had cancelled out Liam Warman’s opener. Barry had been under pressure before Graham’s goal and endured a tough time until they went in front for a second time.
With their victory, Lee Kendall’s men remain a point above second-placed Briton Ferry Llansawel, who comfortably saw off ten-man Goytre United. Kendall’s only blemish since succeeding Gavin Chesterfield was a Welsh Cup defeat to Gresford Athletic.
The visitors almost opened the scoring in the first attack of the game but failed to take their opportunity. Matt Kimmins dribbled into the box but Rob Jones could not scruff his shot at goal having fallen to the floor.
Barry had seen their fair share of possession in the opening stages but it was a set piece that almost saw them take the lead. Chris Hugh’s corner-kick was floated in and Luke Cooper with a free header cleared it over the bar. Liam Warman and Jordan Cotterill then had half-opportunities from uncleared corner kicks, but could only blaze their shots from outside the box over the goal.
Barry changed their game up from crosses to playing on the deck and almost scored from it. Graham tackled and from the centre, Sainty played a pass out to Warman, before receiving the ball back in the box and scooping his wide.
The deadlock was broken in fortuitous fashion with Llantwit’s hard work undone by the slippery surface. Warman received the ball from Press and drilled a low shot underneath Jack Lansdowne, who fumbled his effort, with the ball going underneath him.
Barry’s lead would be short-lived however and it could be Mike Lewis that would be looking to the heavens after relentless rain. Nathan Evans let fly from 25 yards out and it slipped out of the Barry keeper’s hands into the net.
Llantwit finished the first half strongly with Kimmins twisting and turning but his teammates’ route was blocked for a clear run at goal. Rob Jones fizzed a low attempt just past the post. A similar opportunity fell in stoppage time with Kimmins again showing neat footwork and setting up Jones, but the shot would take a deflection as it agonisingly missed the target.
The second half started with a half-opportunity for Michael George, who enjoyed his partnership with Warman in front of him. George was influential down the right side and found Sam Johnson with a delightful ball, but he was blocked numerous times by Lansdown as he tried to touch a shot home.
Llantwit carved several opportunities with Lewis almost gifting substitute Ryan Harris a gift with a low cross nearly trickling underneath him. The tricky Kimmins then had two chances to score, with one saved and another going wide.
The tenacious Graham scored his fourth goal of the season to put Barry in front. He drilled a low shot past a sea of bodies that obstructed Lansdown’s view to restore the hosts’ advantage.
Barry’s second goal gave them fresh confidence to add a third and Johnson – who endured a difficult day in front of goal – could not get a first-time shot from George’s cross.
A raft of substitutions came as the game entered the last 15 minutes and that took the sting out of the game. Llantwit did have a few half opportunities to score with Joel Woodington flashing twice two shots, but ultimately they fell to defeat.
Byof Y Clwb Pêl-droed