Cliftonville 4, Barry Town 0
(Cliftonville win 4-0 on aggregate)
Barry Town United’s European adventure is over for this season, but they left Belfast with their heads held high.
A message on the club’s official twitter account: “When you are beaten by the better team you hold your hands up.
“Thank you to our staff, players and supporters, who made a hell of racket. Once again they made a hell of a noise – and could not be faulted.
“Mark our words we won’t be gone for 16 years this time. So proud of this team.
“Congratulations to Cliftonville. Excellent hosts. Good luck in the next round.”
Barry fan Michael Marks said: “This is not the end – just the beginning. Proud Barrian. On to next season. Well done all @BarryTownUnited – the futures bright, the future is blue and yellow.”
Two goals in each half left Barry Town and out against their Northern Ireland League hosts. The final scoreline was harsh on manager Gavin Chesterfield and his team, but Cliftonville had the edge in both legs of this Europa League preliminary round tie.
With less than 10 minutes left Barry were still ins with an outside chance, trailing 2-0, but the Reds doubled their advantage.
The teams fought out a goalless draw in Barry’s home leg – played at Cardiff International Sports Arena – but Cliftonville’s European experience some through in the return and they will face Norwegian side Haugesund in the next round.
Conor McMenamin’s header (25 mins) and Joe Gormley’s fierce shot (44) gave the home team a 2-0 lead at half-time, while Conor McDermott (82) and Rory Donnelly’s side-foot finish off the inside of a post (84) completed the scoring.
Barry leave the competition having earned almost £200,000 in prize money, while Cliftonville are now certain to collect at least double that.
Manager Chesterfield made two changes from the first leg with Paul Morgan and Troy Greening replacing Luke Cummings and Jack Compton.
The JD Welsh Premier League club fought hard throughout, but they were unable to create the chances for the away goal they desperately needed.
Barry, though, can still reflect on their European adventure, having qualified for the first time in 16 years, with pride.
Cliftonville: Richard Brush, Conor McDermott, Levi Ives, Gerry Breen, Chris Curran (capt), Rory Donnelly (Thomas Maguire 85), Liam Bagnall, Ronan Doherty, Joe Gormley (Jamie Harney 85), Conor McMenamin (Ronan Wilson 85), Joe Gorman. Subs not used: Declan Dunne (gk), Aaron Harkin, Ryan Curran, Seanna Foster.
Barry Town United: Mike Lewis, Paul Morgan, Luke Cooper, Evan Press, Chris Hugh, Robbie Patten (Thomas Fry 73), Clayton Green, Troy Greening, Jordan Cotterill, Capt (Jack Compton 64), Jonathan Hood (Sam Snaith 79), Kayne McLaggon. Subs not used: George Ratcliffe (gk), Rhys Abbruzzese, Lewis Cosslett, Curtis Watkins.