Friday 20th November, JD Cymru Premier, Deeside Stadium
Last night, Druids returned to competitive football with an entertaining match against last season’s champions Connah’s Quay, narrowly going down 2-1.
Druids began the game well, aiming to play our possession-based football in the tough conditions at Deeside, with Chris Aziamale pressing the Nomad’s defence high up the pitch, forcing them to kick long. However, our early pressure couldn’t yield any clear-cut chances with the Nomad’s defence holding firm. In the 14th minute it was the hosts who caught out the Druids defence with a long switching ball resulting in a cross and headed finish by Mike Wilde. Following the goal, Druids stuck to their game plan and it seemed were going to go into half time only 1 goal behind. However, a Nomad’s free kick seconds before the whistle was whipped in near post and unknowingly flicked off Druids midfielder Ryan Kershaw into the back of our net to make it 2-0 to the hosts.
Whatever was said or changed by Bruno at half time clearly worked, as the Druids came out of the dressing room a new team, clearly not given up on getting a result out of the game. They continued to press the Nomad’s high up the pitch and showed character to get the ball on the ground and play out from the back under pressure. Their intensity finally bared fruit in the 63th minute when striker Joe Faux latched on to a clipped pass by Phil Mooney getting in behind the Nomad’s defence and finishing under the keeper. The goal set up an eventful end to the game as Druids continued to press in search of an equaliser. The hosts were restricted to a few half chances towards the end as it was the Druids who created more clear-cut opportunities, most notably fullback Josh Green was found open in the box by a Faux cross, unable to head his effort past the keeper. Controversy erupted in the 88th minute when it seemed Joe Faux was fouled in the box by a Nomad’s defender, however referee Iwan Griffith waved away the Druids appeals. We earned one more opportunity in injury time when Charley Edge whipped a freekick on the edge of the box inches over the bar. However, Druids continued to attack right up until the final whistle but unfortunately went home empty handed as the referee called full time.
Despite the loss, Bruno and the squad can be proud of the character shown in the second half against a side challenging for the title this season. Any neutral watching that match may have said the black and white team deserved more. Druids need to dust themselves off and take that intensity into a very busy December with 2 games a week for the majority of the month. More performances like the second half last night would give us a great chance to escape the bottom of the table and get right back in the mix!
More than just a football club