Barry Town United - A Trip Down Memory Lane
20 July 2023
As Merthyr Town prepare to face Barry Town United at Penydarren Park on Friday Night, we take a look back at the history of the fixture, with a trip down memory lane...
Our nearest rivals during the immediate pre and post World War period, the local derby games were always fiercely contested to secure the bragging rights in South Wales, until the Linnets left the Southern League in 1982. Initially playing for seven seasons in the Welsh League before rejoining the Southern League in 1989. During this period they ground shared with Worcester City, while the Martyrs were members of the Conference, before Barry decided to join the newly formed League of Wales in 1992/93 season.
Subsequently, the games between the clubs were then only restricted to Welsh Cup, South Wales Senior Cup and the FAW Premier Cup. The pre-season friendly will be the first meeting between the teams since September 2014 when the Martyrs won 7-1 at Jenner Park in a Welsh League Cup tie with Ryan Prosser scoring a hat-trick that night and goals from Corey Jenkins, Ian Traylor, Ryan Newman and Kerry Morgan.
Southern League fixtures at Penydarren Park and Jenner Park were generally tight, dour affairs and often low-scoring encounters.
In 1984 the Clubs met in the final qualifying round of the FA Cup, when it would eventually take two separate replays to eventually settle the outcome. After the teams drew 1-1 at Penydarren Park with Nick Deacy putting the Martyrs ahead with a first half header, Steve Williams equalised for the visitors ten minutes from time. In the replay at Barry, played during a mid-week afternoon because there were no floodlights at Jenner Park, Ian Love gave the Vale of Glamorgan side the lead before Phil Fisher equalised for the Martyrs. With no further goals the game went to extra time as the light deteriorated badly and the game ended 1-1.
Barry won the toss of the coin to determine where the second reply would take place and they went into a two goal second half lead before Nick Deacy pulled a goal back to reduce the arrears. Phil Fisher was guilty of missing a penalty to equalise before the Seasiders added a third. The game finished 3-2 to the home side as Phil Fisher added a late second goal for the Martyrs.
Over the years numerous players have turned out for both sides including Clive Ayers, Dicky Batt, Phil McNeil, Phil Green, Ian Love, Mike Cosslett, Neil O'Halloran, Matthew Holtham, Ryan Newman, Steve Westerberg and Martyn Goldsmith to name just a few.
By Robert Davies