Druids played out a tight match against Cardiff Met yesterday evening at The Rock, ultimately ending 2-1 to The Students. Ryan Kershaw equalised for Druids just before half time with a brilliant freekick after an early Eliot Evans goal. But five minutes into the second half, Matt Chubb’s finish off a corner ultimately won the game for our opponents.
Druids went into this game only two points behind our opponents and desperately in need of a reaction after a poor performance to Flint Town midweek. More rotation to the Druids squad as Harry Fuller, Jacob Wise and Harry Brazel came into the starting 11, while Naim Arsan was pushed up into a right-wing role.
The match began and it was The Students who started the better side, having more possession on the ball and attacking down their left-hand side, with Eliot Evans driving with the ball at Druids fullback Kieran Smith. Evans had a few early sights at goal, just going off target and Druids were trying to work their way into the game. Our first chance came not long after, when Arsan cut inside off the right wing onto his favoured left foot and curled a great effort inches wide of the top corner. Encouraging signs for Druids who were gaining some confidence.
However, on the half hour mark, The Students had their opener. Again, a similar story for Druids, a ball into our box was unable to be cleared after bouncing several times. The ball came down to Eliot Evans on the edge of the area who did well to hold off Aaron Simpson, control the ball and then finish smartly into the corner to make it 1-0. The Students almost had another not long after. A mix up at the back left forward Ollie Hubert 1 on 1 with Michael Jones. Hubert attempted to chip Jones, but he stayed up well to parry it away, however Hubert looked to be about to poke the loose ball in, only for Jacob Wise to get there in the nick of time and brilliantly head the ball over the bar to keep us in the game.
Druids hung in there and continued to press until the half. Moments before the whistle, Harry Brazel was tripped in a very good position just outside The Students box. Ryan Kershaw stepped up and whipped an excellent free-kick over the wall into the corner of the net, leaving the Cardiff Met keeper no chance. We went into halftime at 1-1, hoping to push for a winner in the second period.
Joe Faux came on for the second 45 on the left-hand side to offer fresh legs, however 5 minutes or so after the restart, Cardiff Met had another. Poor defending again from a corner left Matt Chubb completely free in the six-yard box, who slotted it in the corner to give our opponents the lead. Again, really disappointing from a Druids point of view who had fought their way back in the game only to offer a gift to our opponents through a lack of concentration.
However, there was still a long way to go in the second half and Druids kept pushing for an equaliser. Joe Faux began to make an impact from the wing and had a great chance after a mix-up at the back from The Students gave him a gap to get into the box and get a shot off. Two Cardiff Met defenders were closing in on Faux from both sides but he got a powerful shot off just in time, only for keeper Alex Lang to pull off a solid reflex save to deny him.
The game became somewhat scrappy towards the end as Cardiff Met were holding on for the win. Faux again picked up the ball on the left wing and did well to jink past his defender, his cross deflected off an opposition player and almost caught the keeper off guard, looping over him towards the goal, however Lang again pulled off a fine save to tip it over the bar.
Druids continued to push for a goal, however The Students defended well and ended up holding out for the win. Another disappointing result for us where two lapses of concentration led to us conceding goals. However, credit to Cardiff Met who put on a professional display and took their chances.
The lads need to reset and recover quickly as we are back at The Rock on Tuesday night when we host Aberystwyth Town.
Come on you Druids!
More than just a football club.