Barry Town manager GHaviun Chesterfield pictured with club coaches including Lee Kendall (left).

McLaggon Nets In Hard Fought Barry Clash With Panjab

Almost 250 spectators watched Barry Town United battle to a 1-1 draw against Panjab FA in the first pre-season friendly at Jenner Park.

Kayne McLaggon fired Barry ahead by half-time, but a defensive error during second half injury time let Panjab in for their equaliser.

It was a highly competitive match to keep Barry’s preparation for their Europa League challenge on course.

Manager Gavin Chesterfield and his team are preparing for their Europa preliminary round tie against Cliftonville.

The first leg against the Northern Irish club is scheduled for Thursday, June 27 at Cardiff Athletics Stadium with the return in Northern Ireland on Thursday, July 4.

Panjab manager Manraj Singh Sucha described the clash with Barry as: “The most tactically challenging game I’ve faced as manager.

“The lads applied themselves well and stuck to the game plan. 

“With a bit more composure we could have had more goals, but the work rate and commitment was exceptional! Good luck to @BarryTownUnited in Europa League.”

Barry now turn to a home game against The New Saints at Jenner Park on Tuesday (7.15pm) before they fly out to take on Ballymena on Saturday (1pm).

Evan Press was outstanding for Barry against Panjab, whose team is a member of the Confederation of Independent Football Associations – the international governing body for non-Fifa affiliated associations.

They represent areas in North East India and North West Pakistan. Players in the Panjab squad, all semi-professionals mainly with clubs in England, are descendants of ethnic Punjabis who emigrated out of the region in the northern part of the Indian sub-continent to other parts of the World, mainly Britain, North America, Southeast Asia and the Middle East. 

The team was formed in 2014 in the United Kingdom with the primary aim of representing the community of the Punjab across the world.

Barry had the majority of possession and there were moments when they played some excellent passing football. McLaggon went close after two minutes and then the striker forced a big save from the goalkeeper.

The home team took the lead with 38 minutes gone when McLaggon forced the ball home after two shots had been blocked.

McLaggon almost made it 2-0 with a wonderful chip, but the ball was headed off the line and hit a post.

There were big shouts for a Barry penalty when Jonathan Hood went down inside the penalty area, but nothing was given.

A home win still looked likely, but Barry made a rare and devastating error at the back and Panjab broke to equaliser just before the final whistle.

During the build-up to their match against Panjab, Barry announce that Welshman Lee Kendall has rejoined the club. The former Cardiff City, Barry and Rhyl player has been appointed head of goalkeeping and first team assistant coach.

Kendall, who will also help Chesterfield with player recruitment, is back following a short break where he managed Pontypridd Town in Division One, helping the Welsh League club avoid relegation.

“I’m delighted to be back at Barry ahead of our exciting Europa League campaign,” says Kendall. 

“My commitments outside of football changed at the end of last season, so I was unable to manage a football club fully.

“When Gavin asked me to come back, I had no hesitation in accepting the offer. It works for Barry, myself and my family.

“It’s a club close to my heart and it’s great to be back.”

Barry have also announced a number of signings – all players returning – including goalkeeper Mike Lewis, Troy Greening and Curtis Watkins.

Barry Town (v Panjab): Mike Lewis, Paul Morgan (Luke Cummings 66), Luke Cooper (Lewis Cosslett 78), Evan Press, Chris Hugh, Robbie Patten (Clayton Green 66), Jordan Cotterill, Troy Greening, Drew Fahiya (Tom Fry 66), Jonathan Hood, Kayne McLaggon (Louis Gerrard 78).

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