On Friday (August 25 2017) the reigning JD Welsh Premier League champions travel to the south coast, as we go head-to-head with old rivals, Barry Town United.
Back in the 90s and the early days of the Welsh national league, Barry Town (as they were then) dominated the game in Wales. From 1995 through to 2003, they won the league title on seven occasions.
They became the first League Of Wales (as the WPL was known in those days) side, in 1996, to progress past the first hurdle of European football.
Then, just as the millennium turned, in 2000/2001, they achieved what no other Welsh league side had managed before, they won a Champions League game.
Defeating the champions of Azerbaijan, FC Shamkir, they then went on to play Portuguese giants, FC Porto, in the next round. Down and out in the first leg, losing 8-0 on the road, the south Walians pulled off an incredible result in the return fixture, winning 3-1 back on home soil.
Unfortunately for the Dragons, the golden years didn’t last and the fall from grace has been well documented. Fast-forward to the present though and it’s great to see them back where they belong.
Although they have just one point on the board from the two opening games, Barry will consider themselves rather unfortunate, as an equaliser from Aberystwyth on MD1 continues to spark debate even now. Then, a week later, a 90+4 goal from fellow promoted side, Prestatyn Town, denied them another draw.
The game on the north Wales coast was manager Gavin Chesterfield’s 350th in charge. At whatever level of football, that is an incredible achievement.
One to watch this Friday, as 8th place hosts 5th, is Ryan Newman. The scorer of Barry’s first – and only, to date – goal back in the top flight, he looked lively last weekend as well.
The last time TNS travelled to Jenner Park was on February 6 2016, in the JD Welsh Cup. An early goal from Greg Draper was cancelled out within a minute by the home side, who then took a 2-1 lead. Another goal from Draper, one each from Edwards and Marriott plus a Ryan Evans own goal, saw the then holders of the trophy ease through 5-2 on the day.
Kick-off is 7.45 pm and for those who will not be travelling then you can listen to TNS Radio. The link can be found via NEWS here on our website, or go direct LISTEN TO TNS RADIO HERE