Early strikes condemn Village to opening day loss

By Owain Johns - August 11 2007
Early strikes condemn Village to opening day loss The new season is finally underway but it was a day that Garden Village will certainly want to forget after defeat at fallen giants Barry Town

BARRY TOWN  3 - 0  GARDEN VILLAGE

MacWhirter Welsh Football League Division 2
Saturday August 11, 2007

Garden Village suffered a disastrous start to the new Second Division season with defeat against a technical Barry Town side at Jenner Park.

The visitors made the trip to the Vale of Glamorgan without first-team manager Bob Lloyd, due to his daughter’s wedding, so his assistant Dennis Pitt was put in charge for this contest against the seven-time Welsh Premier League champions.

Also missing from the travelling party were the likes of Stuart Lloyd, Sam Brown and Lee Rastatter but caretaker boss Pitt handed competitive starts to six of Village’s new summer signings.

It was a nightmare of start for the side from Stafford Common as they found themselves a goal behind after only two minutes. Barry were awarded a free-kick just outside the area after Gary Davies handballed and that was curled in to the top corner by the Dragons’ captain, dipping over the top of debutant ‘keeper Nicky Pritchard.

Their goalscorer was involved in the making of their second goal seven minutes later as his corner from the right floated over the top of the defence, was put back into the heart of the box and easily converted from close range.

David Rimmer and Nicky Pritchard came to Village’s rescue as Barry continued to dominate and the vistors has to wait until the 18th minute for their first clear-cut chance as Liam Soroka had his effort cleared off the line.

Barry all but ended any chances of a Village comeback as they added a third goal on 31 minutes with the home side’s impressive right winger striking a clean shot beyond Pritchard and into the far bottom corner. Gary Davies had a header saved on the stroke of half-time just before the referee brought an end to a forgettable 45 minutes for Garden Village.

The second-half saw the visitors keep the ball a lot more and Dennis Pitt’s side managed to carve out a fair amount of chances.

Substitute Jeff Aspell and Liam Soroka both had early chances while the former Ystradgynlais forward shot just over mid-way through the second period. David Evans headed wide of the target from Marc Lloyd’s corner minutes after replacing Mark Jones while less than ten minutes later the pacy Gavin Guy, who had caused Barry problems down the right-hand side during the second-half, saw his close-range effort saved after breaking through on goal.

The Dragons has the final say after a number of attacks on the Village goal, including a strike which ricoched off the post with two minutes remaining, and it was an opening day encounter that Village management, players and supporters will want to forget.

Village: Nicky Pritchard; Christian Richards (Jeff Aspell, 52'), David Rimmer, Gary Davies, Mark Jones (David Evans, 71'); Gavin Guy, Anthony Wright, Paul Bromage, Cameron Hopkins (Marc Lloyd, 62'); Liam Soroka, Ashley Richards.

Not Used: Matthew Martin (GK), Craig Davies.