A Cardiff City XI beat Barry Town 2-1 on Wednesday night
As part of their centenary celebrations, Barry Town welcomed a Cardiff City XI to Jenner Park on Wednesday evening. Over 1500 people piled into the ground for the big game and they witnessed a young Cardiff City team defeat a valiant Barry Town by 2 goals to 1.
The opening goal of the game was scored on ten minutes, Bluebirds midfielder Tommy O'Sullivan swinging in a great corner for Dekel Keinan to head home. The young Cardiff eleven controlled the first half with Ben Nugent and Adedeji Oshilaja standing out in a composed performance.
It was another young talent in substitute Declan John that helped Cardiff to their second goal. John came on for the away side at half time and didn't take long to influence the game providing a great cross after a mazy run down the left hand side. Jesse Darko fired a shot from inside the area that was superbly saved by Town keeper Brendan Cropley. The home defence though struggled to clear the ball and Kevin Sainte-Luce managed to smash a shot into the bottom corner from just outside the six yard box.
The biggest cheer and arguably the best goal of the night came on 84 minutes as Barry Town grabbed a fantastic consolation goal through last season's top scorer Josh Bell. A well worked free kick from the home side on the edge of the Cardiff area and Bell fired through the wall and into the back of the net. A really clever goal that the loud home fans thoroughly deserved to see from their heroes.
It was a calm night at Jenner Park on Wednesday where old rivalries were renewed as Cardiff City were the visitors to face Barry Town. Although nowadays mostly known for its Viper rollercoaster and for being the place hit TV show Gavin and Stacey was filmed, the town of Barry has a deep and proud football history and a history of great games against the Bluebirds too. The last competitive fixture between the two clubs was over 12 years ago and, although the fixture was only a friendly, it was clear from the beginning that neither side wanted to lose the game.
Kevin Cooper was in charge of the visitors; many of the squad that faced Barry will be involved in the Under 21's team that Cooper will be coaching for Cardiff next season. Darcy Blake captained the Bluebirds on Wednesday night and he was partnered in defence alongside impressive youngsters Ben Nugent and Adedeji Oshilaja and Israeli international Dekel Keinan. Exciting forwards Jesse Darko and Nathaniel Jarvis were given the opportunity to impress up front.
The home side lined up extremely attackingly themselves with clearly no intent to sit back and defend, last season's top scorer Josh Bell, lively young forward Christian Doidge and TJ Nagi, Barry's goal of the season winner for the previous campaign, all starting for the Linnets.
It was the Bluebirds who came out of the blocks the strongest with Kevin Sainte-Luce heading on target for the games first real attempt at goal. Sainte-Luce's header was well held by Linnets keeper Bredan Cropley.
The packed Jenner Park didn't have to wait long for the first goal though as Dekel Keinan gave Cardiff the lead on 10 minutes. A corner earned by the run of Jesse Darko was taken by midfielder Tommy O'Sullivan, and placed perfectly onto the head of the Israeli international Keinan who powered it home to give the Bluebirds an early advantage.
GOAL: BARRY TOWN 0-1 CARDIFF CITY (Dekel Keinan, 10 mins)
The first real effort on goal from a Barry perspective was a 25 yard volley by Pakistan international Atif Bashir on 17 minutes. Bashir controlled the ball with his first touch before he fired towards goal; the shot was well saved by Cardiff keeper Hubert who rather theatrically pushed the ball away for a corner. Hubert was in action again just a minute later as TJ Nagi combined well with Josh Bell; Nagi struck the ball from the edge of the area but straight at Hubert who held comfortably.
Kevin Sainte-Luce troubled the home defenders, continually switching wings while making darting runs and he nearly scored a superb goal on 21 minutes. Omar Lawson crossed the ball from the right wing after some good work from Nat Jarvis, Sainte-Luce met the cross acrobatically with an overhead kick that flew just wide of Cropley's left hand post.
Brendan Cropley was soon in the thick of things again as the Bluebirds attacks came thick and fast, this time it was left back Adedeji Oshilaja who troubled the experienced keeper. Oshilaja cut in from the left wing and struck the ball with his right foot, whether a cross or a shot it was definitely heading for the top left corner before Cropley plucked the ball to safety for a corner.
Oshilaja was impressing at left full back for Cardiff and the young defender looked very unlucky not to earn a penalty on the half hour mark after being brought down by Town captain Dan Clare. Oshilaja made a darting run into the box from the left before going down under a challenge from Clare, the referee though waved away the Bluebirds appeals.
Although Gavin Chesterfield's men struggled to break down the away defence they did have a few fleeting sights of goal in the first half. One of these fell to last season's 15 goal striker Christian Doidge who poked the ball wide from inside the box after a good through ball from TJ Nagi. The height and presence of Ben Nugent made any sort of breaks hard work for the Barry forwards.
Barry were making a good account of themselves, especially defensively, but Cropley in the Barry goal couldn't stop a Nathaniel Jarvis header just before half time. The veteran keeper was saved by his left hand post as Jarvis' attempt hit the outside of the upright and went wide.
HALF TIME: BARRY TOWN 0-1 CARDIFF CITY
Substitution Cardiff: Declan John on for Adedeji Oshilaja (46 mins)
The away side made a half time substitution with second year apprentice Declan John coming on for Adedeji Oshilaja, and Declan didn't need long to make a big impact in the game. The speedy youngster picked the ball up on the left wing and darted forward before crossing for Jesse Darko to fire from 10 yards. There was nothing wrong with Darko's strike but Barry's goalie Cropley saved superbly. The home side however failed to clear from Cropley's save and the ball fell for Kevin Sainte-Luce on the right hand side of the penalty area with him making no mistake, smashing it past Cropley to give Cardiff a 2 goal cushion.
GOAL: BARRY TOWN 0-2 CARDIFF CITY (Kevin Sainte-Luce)
A controlled and composed young performance from Cooper's young side who continued to look for openings in the Barry back line, it was one of the most experienced players on the pitch who next tried to beat Cropley as Welsh international Darcy Blake struck the ball from 25 yards with his left foot only to see it just inch past the post.
The home side never gave up on grabbing a goal and Josh Bell continued to look lively for the Linnets. Bell shot from distance on 55 minutes but his attempt was well held by Hubert, and the keeper kept the ball out again 10 minutes later when Dan Clare rose highest from a corner.
Substitution Cardiff: Connor Morrissey and Gethin Hill on for Darcy Blake and Jesse Darko (64 mins)
Substitution Barry: Dale Howarth and Mike Hortley on for Atif Bashir and TJ Nagi (70 mins)
Substitution Cardiff: Brad Williams on for Tommy O'Sullivan (76 mins)
Substitution Barry: Paul Morgan and Damon Searle on for Dan Clare and Geraint Frowen (76 mins)
Assistant Manager of Barry Town, former Cardiff player and current commercial sales executive at Cardiff City Damon Searle was given a great welcome on 76 minutes as the veteran player entered the field of play. Searle actually played for Cardiff in their loss to Barry Town in the 1994 Welsh Cup final and the defender nearly grabbed a goal from a corner only 2 minutes after coming on.
Substitution Barry: Geraint Goodridge on for James Saddler (83 mins)
After the fantastic support from the Barry fans there is nobody that would deny they deserved a goal and it came on 84 minutes. Josh Bell scored a fantastic free kick for the Linnets in last season's Welsh Cup win against Haverfordwest County and it was another free kick that got him on the score sheet against Cardiff. Unlike his finish against Haverfordwest it didn't thunder into the top corner but instead a well worked move gave Bell time to pick the perfect spot in the bottom right hand corner of Hubert's net. A great finish from Bell, a fantastic move from Barry and a very much well deserved goal for the fans to see after the superb support they had given this occasion.
GOAL: BARRY TOWN 1-2 CARDIFF CITY (Josh Bell, 84 mins)
Although the game resulted in a 2-1 loss for Barry, the game was a huge success for the club. The supporters club paid for the entirety of last season, keeping the club afloat, and it is believed that the money raised in the high profile clash against the Bluebirds will have raised a lot of the funds needed to keep Barry afloat for most of next season already. It was a superb occasion for all who attended and a great outcome from the game.
FULL TIME: BARRY TOWN 1-2 CARDIFF CITY
Barry Town: Brendan Cropley, Geraint Frowen (Damon Searle, 76), Lee Baldock, Ryan Evans, Dan Clare (Paul Morgan, 76), Atif Bashir (Mike Hortley, 70), James Saddler (Geraint Goodridge, 83), Josh Bell, T.J Nagi (Dale Howarth, 70), Christian Doidge, Nickie Jones. Subs not used: Richard Johnston, Ryan Smith.
Cardiff City: Guillame Hubert, Darcy Blake (Connor Morrissey, 64), Dekel Keinan, Ben Nugent, Adedeji Oshilaja (Declan John, 46), Kevin Sainte-Luce, Theo Wharton, Tommy O'Sullivan (Brad Williams, 76), Nathaniel Jarvis, Omar Lawson, Jesse Darko (Gethin Hill, 64). Subs not used: David Richards.