A similar tale to our last meeting with The Seasiders at The Rock a week ago. Druids showed quality on the ball for periods and a solid work rate. Aber were just more clinical with the chances they created and proved their experience throughout.
As predicted, Druids rotated the squad for this match and a number of our academy prospects got their chance in the Cymru Premier. Brad Knight and Max Pritchard received their first starts in the league after impressive performances when they came on at Newtown. Harry Fuller and Mitchell Williams were also named on the bench.
The match kicked off and Druids showed a great intensity straight away, pressing the ball high and letting Aber know they were in for a battle. We created a massive chance to go ahead on 8 minutes when a cross into the box rebounded off the post and fell to Joe Faux 6 yards from goal. He smashed his effort at goal, but it was miraculously blocked on the line by an Aber defender, getting his chest in the way. A huge chance and a big let off for The Seasiders.
Phillips, Flint and Faux continued to try and get in behind our opponents and were causing issues. Brad Knight was working hard up front in his first start and rose well for a few crosses early on, his headers just going off target.
Then on 24 minutes, Druids switched off for a second and were punished by an experienced Aber side. They broke through down our right-hand side, with an Aber winger cutting in towards goal and finishing well into the top corner, leaving Jones no chance. Less than 10 minutes later, another clever ball by our opponents split our defence open and an Aber forward bundled the ball in after Jones spread himself well to try and smother it. Two quick lapses of concentration were punished, and we went into halftime 2-0 down after showing sustained periods of quality on the ball.
The second half began and after a tight opening 10 minutes or so Druids had one back! A quite brilliant piece of play. Sam Phillips starting with the ball on the right wing played it inside to Joe Faux just outside the box. Faux sold the Aber defence with a dummy, letting the ball run through his legs for Niall Flint who had made a great run behind him. Flint drove at goal and finished coolly into the corner. Game on!
Druids pressed on with some belief now in search of an equaliser as Aber were on the back foot. However, our opponents showed their experience. They defended well and didn’t collapse, slowly working their way back into it. Then in the 82nd minute, they got the goal to put the game to bed. Against the run of play, Jones saved an initial shot in the area well, however it landed right at the feet of another Aber played who tapped it home. Druid’s heads dropped as we had put in a big effort to try and get back into the game. Aber found the gaps in the final few minutes and again showed their clinical nature, getting two more goals before fulltime.
Harry Fuller and Mitchell Williams came on in the final period, making it four of our academy graduates getting minutes in the Cymru Premier. A big positive for the club moving forward.
No time to rest as we go again at The Rock this Friday against Newtown AFC.
More than just a football club.