Barkers enjoy a wet away day

Brett Tronconi (left), pictured with fellow player Ross Clark, will be hanging up the boots after 282 games and 23 years at the Barkers. Picture: ROB CAREW. 242569_01

By Peter Stephenson

Way back in 2001, a youngster made his debut for Barkers. Almost 23 years later, Brett Tronconi has called time on a storied career, which has seen him play a record 282 games, score 31 goals, win a championship and two runners-up medals. From now on, Barkers would have to make do without the Flying Salmon.

Barkers (fourth) made the trek to a cold, rainy Skye United (10th) hoping to get back on track after a 1-3 loss at Hampton. Skye had never beaten Barkers in eight attempts, so this could be just the tonic they needed. Barkers made one change from last week, with Dan Burrows replacing Steve Nittoli.

After only two minutes, Barkers signalled their intent when Danny Aye put Geordie Scott in on goal, but keeper Steven Hadjikakou blocked well. Six minutes later, Barkers overhit a cross from the right, Aye chased the ball down and crossed low for Scott to score his 14th of the season and put Barkers on their way – 1-0.

On 10 minutes, a Barkers free kick was cleared out to Aye, who shot over. Then Scott fed Aaron Porcaro, whose shot was blocked by the keeper. After that Skye began to get into the game more, though Barkers were content to play a patient passing game. Just after the half-hour, the hosts’ Nhan Than hit a low ball from the right which Mark Naumowicz did well to cut out under pressure.

A minute later, Barkers thought they had doubled the lead when Aye hit a great ball from the left which was volleyed home by Burrows, but he was offside. Then a Barkers free kick on the left was cleared out to Chris Potter, whose magic wasn’t enough as he hit over from an acute angle.

A brief period of Skye pressure saw Than turn and shoot over, but Barkers regained the initiative before the break. First Aye was released and his shot was blocked by the keeper. Then a Burrows free kick found Aye, who fed Ross Clark, who was in on goal, but the keeper turned his shot over. Half-time: Skye 0-1 Barkers, with the visitors in control.

Three minutes into the second half, Barkers again made their supremacy count. An attack on the right wing saw the ball played to the far side, Aye gave chase, got the ball, beat a defender and smashed a low acute shot to goal, which the keeper got his body behind, but it was so strong that the ball cannoned off the keeper into the roof of the net for 2-0.

On 51 minutes, Christian Porcaro won a tackle and fed Scott, who played a one-two with Clark before shooting, but Hadjikakou was down well to save. In a very open game, the next chance fell to Skye on the hour. A long ball was played from the left to the far post and was volleyed wide.

Barkers looked comfortable as the game drew to its close. Clark hit the post, and then Sean Perrin found Ray Markley close in, but his attempted flick went over. Then Aye played the ball down the left for Perrin, who crossed for Ben Cooper to hit a low shot wide.

As the game went into stoppage time, a throw in from the left eventually found Cooper on the edge of the box. He simply danced through the defence and shot past the keeper for a very neat goal. Full time: Skye 0-3 Barkers.

Barkers were never seriously threatened by Skye, and stayed in fourth, nine points off the promotion spots with nine games to play.