With the clocking ticking towards the big kick-off, Welsh Premier League hopefuls Barry Town United set out their stall for 2017-18 with a credible 2-0 win over League Two outfit Newport County AFC.
A Jenner Park crowd of over 700 saw new signing Kayne McLaggon open his account four minutes into the midweek friendly, sliding in to meet Chris Hugh’s cross and tap home from close range.
McLaggon would then capitalise on a Newport error to fire in the second on 32 minutes, as Barry (wearing their new green and white strip) enjoyed an encouraging outing in the late-July sunshine.
County, who brought England under-21 international Zavon Hines, former Cardiff starlet Jazzi Barnum-Bobb and local boy Ben Swallow to the Vale, did have their fair share of possession.
However, their experimental line-up would rarely threaten the Barry goal, despite manager and former Town favourite Mike Flynn being able to call upon former Arsenal prospect Sanchez Watt.
The 2-0 win over the visiting Exiles ensured Barry’s unbeaten pre-season remained on track, as the Town squad built upon their 1-1 draws with Goytre and Goytre United and 1-0 victory at Penybont.
Among those who particularly impressed against Newport were 23-year old Ryan Newman, who the club would sign terms with later in the week, bolstering their playing personnel to 18.
The central midfielder from Barry, who celebrated his 24th birthday at weekend, most recently turned out for Bovingdon and adds to a strong contingent of hometown players at Jenner Park.
After coming through as a youth with Barry Athletic, Ryan would wear the colours of both Manchester United and Bristol City, moving back across the Severn to Newport in 2009-10.
A professional with the Exiles, Ryan would later turn out for Merthyr, Kingstonian and Hampton and Richmond Borough, as well as spending time on loan at National League South Hemel Hempstead.
Barry manager Gavin Chesterfield commented:?“I’m excited to be working with Ryan. He’s a player that I’ve admired from his time with Newport and Merthyr and once I heard he was returning home from London, I was naturally keen to work with him.
“Being a local lad, he’s already close friends with many of our players and as such he’s fitted into the changing room very well. I believe he’ll add a different dimension to parts of our play.”
Joining Newman on teamsheets in 2017-18, will be another Barry boy, as vice-captain and defender Ryan Evans, who became the 19th player to put pen to paper for the coming Welsh Premier season.
With almost 150 appearances in Town colours, the former player of the season has three Welsh League championship trophies to his name and continues a decorated stint that began in 2011-12.
Meanwhile, former Barry Town teammates Lee Baldock and Michael Hartley have both signed with Port Talbot Town, continuing the close relationship between the two clubs and their supporters.
After being put through their paces by the MOD St Athan last weekend, Barry wrap up their pre-season programme this Saturday against neighbours Ely Rangers at Station Road, Wenvoe (2.30pm).
The Town then begin their Welsh Premier adventure against Aberystwyth Town at Jenner Park on Sunday, August 13 in a 5.15pm kick-off for the S4C cameras.