Pontypridd United 1-0 Barry Town
USW Sports Park / JD Cymru Premier / Saturday 2 September 2023
A controversial first-half penalty was the only difference between the two sides at the USW Sports Ground in Treforest last Saturday.
Barry manager Steve Jenkins had a busy few days in the transfer window last week, bringing in loan signings Harrison Bright from Newport County and Ben Blythe from Swansea City, both defenders.
The Pontypridd line-up featured no fewer than four former Barry Town players, as well as former Barry manager, Lee Kendall, on the sidelines.
The game’s key moment took place in the 18th minute when Barry defender Callum Sainty shrugged off the challenge of Curtis Jemmett-Hutson in the box and was shocked to see the assistant referee flagging for a foul.
Pontypridd’s Ben Ahmun scored the resulting penalty, sending his shot low to the left of Barry ‘keeper Mike Lewis.
Barry’s best opportunity of the first half came when Jamie Veale’s free-kick forced Ponty’s George Ratcliffe to dive full length to his right.
At the other end, Ahmun hit the post, having cut inside his marker.
With fifteen minutes remaining, Ponty went down to ten men when Ethan Vaughan saw his second yellow card of the match.
Barry pushed up to try and force an equaliser. From a corner, Sam Snaith saw his downward header cleared off the line.
Minutes later, fellow substitute Lucas Tomlinson took the ball past Ratcliffe, but his shot was again stopped on the line by the outstretched leg of Ben Margetson.
Defender Ben Blythe, on his debut, also forced Ratcliffe into action, his far post header being saved.
However, Barry’s search of an equaliser left them vulnerable to Ponty’s counter-attack.
On one occasion, Corey Sheppard outpaced the defence but fired wide, while late in the game, Mike Lewis pulled off excellent one-on-one saves, firstly from Clayton Green and then from Curtis Rees.
Barry welcome Connah’s Quay Nomads to Jenner Park on Saturday, kick-off at 2:30pm.
Image courtesy of Perry Dobbins Photography