1st May 2001: FAW Premier Cup Semi Final First Leg
|Barry Town 1||Wrexham 3|
|(York 8)||(Edwards 26, Russell 51, Ferguson 60 (pen))|
Professional Wrexham Take Command
Wrexham took control of their F.A.W. Premier Cup semi-final with a convincing first leg victory at Barry. The memories of the Robins’ only Premier Cup blemish, a home defeat in the final two years ago, remain raw, so this second consecutive occasion when the Welsh League standard bearers have been comfortably dispatched in the semi-final first leg was particularly satisfying. The outcome was certainly in doubt in the early stages, when the home side took the lead and pressed hard to capitalise upon it, but Wrexham dominated as the match progressed, and Darren Ferguson might have managed more than his one goal with a bit of luck.
Barry got off to a great start when a corner was met at the near post by the head of Evans. Kevin Dearden, back in goal in favour of David Walsh, parried the effort, sparking a goalmouth scramble in which Davies’ blocked shot fell kindly for Andrew York to tap in. Sharpe could have added to this lead when he headed over an inviting cross by Evans, and Davies had a good shout for a penalty turned down when Dave Ridler appeared to bring him down as he tried to reach the goal line. By then, though, Wrexham had responded to the opening goal with their first good spell of the match. Ferguson hit a free kick from twenty five yards which took a deflection off the wall and looped over the keeper and onto the bar.
The equaliser came when Williams intercepted a poor kick by the young goalie, Faulconbridge neatly laid the ball off for Ferguson, and the playmaker threaded a beautiful pass out to Carlos Edwards, left in space on the right, who cut in and came up with a fine finish across the keeper into the bottom left corner. Ferguson went close to sending Wrexham in ahead at the break when he again hit the bar with a free kick, this time unassisted, in the 43rd minute.
Wrexham started the second half strongly, and within a quarter of an hour of the restart they had gained a decisive upper hand. A corner was nodded on by Ridler to Mark McGregor, whose shot was blocked. Craig Faulconbridge’s shot from the rebound took a deflection, spinning up onto the bar, and Kevin Russell forced the loose ball home to gain the lead. Within a minute Ferguson produced a shot from outside the box which was well tipped over, but he finally got the goal his efforts deserved when Lee Trundle won a penalty with a typical piece of skill, shifting the ball between his feet and bamboozling Sharpe, who tripped him, Ferguson coolly scoring his thirteenth goal of the season from the spot. A fourth could have been forthcoming when Carey headed a corner into the goalmouth and McGregor’s flick deceived Johnson but was cleared off the line by Lloyd.
Barry gamely chased another goal to try to pull themselves back into the tie, but Wrexham defended solidly, with Ridler pulling off a superb last ditch tackle when a swift break threatened to expose the back four, and when a chance was carved out in the closing moments, McGregor was on hand to clear Jamie Moralee’s shot from under the bar. The two-goal margin was more than satisfactory for the visitors, though, and could have been greater if they had enjoyed a bit more luck in front of goal.
BARRY TOWN (3-5-2): Johnson; Yorke, Evans, Brown; Lloyd, Davies, Statton, Sharpe, Jenkins (Flynn 72); French (Truman 62), Moralee. UNUSED SUBS: Blake, Burke, McLean
WREXHAM (4-3-3): Dearden; McGregor, Carey (c), Ridler, Hardy; D Williams, Ferguson, Russell; Edwards (Gibson 81), Faulconbridge (Sam 76), Trundle. UNUSED SUBS: Walsh, Lawrence, Thomas.
Referee: Ceri Richards (Llanelli)
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