This weekend 16 teams will fight for their place in the Welsh Cup Quarter Final and the Sgorio cameras will be live at Jenner Park as previous Welsh giants, Barry Town go head to head with the current Welsh Cup holders, The New Saints.
Barry Town have a remarkable history as their full-time professional club dominated the Welsh Premier League for a decade before falling into the hands of the administrators and down to the lower leagues of the Welsh football pyramid.
Barry were the team to beat from the mid 90’s up till 2003 as they won seven WPL titles in eight seasons!
During that dominative period Barry won five Welsh Cups to add to their one previous cup win in 1955, when they beat Chester in the final.
But in 2003 the club went into serious financial difficulties and after years of swimming against the tide the force that was once Barry Town United had sunk to the depths of the southern leagues.
Despite the struggles off the pitch, Barry managed to reach the 2012/13 Welsh Cup semi final but lost 1-2 to Prestatyn, who went on to lift the trophy.
With only two games left at then end of the 2012/13 season, chairman Stuart Lovering left the club, with no money, and Barry were removed from the Welsh League.
After a court case, Barry Town were put in the hands of the supporters’ trust who now run the club and Barry returned to the pyramid in Welsh League Division 3 for the 2013/14 season.
But after two back-to-back promotions under Gavin Chesterfield, Barry are back in Division 1 with an artificial pitch that was placed down in October 2015 as they look to climb back to where they belong, at the top tier of Welsh football.
In Barry’s absence, another club took over to dominate the Welsh Premier League as The New Saints have now won a total of nine league titles since their first in 1999/00 and breaking Barry’s record of seven WPL titles.
TNS have been crowned WPL champions for the last four season, also lifting the Welsh Cup three times in the last four years.
They will, of course be favourites to win this tie, but as Barry’s striker, James Dixon has already proved this season, anything is possible in the Welsh Cup!
James Dixon has netted five goals in each of Barry’s last two Welsh Cup ties – a tremendous achievement!
Dixon scored five against Aberdare in the 2nd round, becoming the first Barry player to score five goals in a Welsh Cup tie since 1914!
But just to show everyone that it wasn’t a fluke, Dixon repeated the feat in the third round, and scored another five goals against Denbigh Town, securing the ‘Player of the Round’ award for the second consecutive round.
The Important Stats
Welsh Cup Winners:
Barry – 6
TNS – 5
Reached the Welsh Cup final:
Barry – 7 (won 6, lost 1)
TNS – 8 (won 5, lost 3)
First Welsh Cup final win:
Barry – 1955 (drew 1-1 with Chester, but won the replay 4-2)
TNS/Llansantffraid – 1996 (beat Barry on pens, 3-3 a.e.t)
Last Welsh Cup win:
Barry – 2003 (beat Cwmbrân on pens, 2-2 a.e.t)
TNS – 2015 (beat Newtown 2-0)
Longest Welsh Cup unbeaten run:
Barry – April 2000 > October 2003 (14 games)
TNS – April 2013 > present (11 games)
Welsh Premier League Championships:
Barry – 7
TNS – 9
Road to the 4th round:
Barry – beat BF Llansawel (2-3), Aberdare (7-2), Denbigh (6-1)
TNS – beat Aberystwyth (3-0)
Barry Town v The New Saints LIVE on S4C, on Saturday 6 February with kick off at 5.15pm