Newtown savour old rivals clash

Reporter:

Gavin Grosvenor

NEWTOWN return from a fortnight hiatus with a trip to Barry Town United in the JD Welsh Premier on Saturday.

The Robins make the trip to Jenner Park having forged a great rivalry and mutual respect during the early years of the league when the South Wales club were flag bearers.

Newtown came as close as any side to rivalling Barry’s dominance during the 1990s, ending second in 1996 and 1998 in the pinnacle of the Brian Coyne era.

However both clubs have endured turbulent times since with the Robins fortunes low point coming with a 16th place finish in 2006 and 2007 before embarking on a revival which culminated in a return to Europe in 2015.

The recent history of Barry is even more staggering with the club’s decade of dominance ending with entering administration in 2003 with the ownership of controversial benefactor Stuart Lovering.

Exile from their ground and successive relegations followed before supporters wrestled back control of their club and overturned a Football Association of Wales (FAW) decree denying them Welsh League status in 2013 after Lovering withdrew the club from the league.

Successive promotions followed before the club regained its Welsh Premier status this season.

The Robins make the trip with confidence soaring having not lost since the opening weekend of the season but winger James Murphy is ruled out with an ankle injury sustained a fortnight ago.

Email:

gavin.grosvenor@nwn.co.uk

See full story in the County Times

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