Similar to our previous match against Newtown, a second half capitulation cost Druids as we finished the game with 9 men, with Flint Town running out convincing winners at The Rock.
The match kicked off in our final home game of the season with a greatly reduced squad due to multiple injuries and absences. A change in formation was giving Druids more options in midfield to play our way out and work our way into the game. However, in the 8th minute a mistake playing out from the back cost us. Off our goal kick, Jones found Darlington on the edge of our box, the ball was nicked by Connor Harwood who was clean through, he squared it to Josh Amis for a tap in, 1-0 Flint.
From that point on, Druids tried to stay organised and build back our confidence. Flint had a number of corners and set pieces, getting balls into our box but were unable to convert. Druids created a few chances around our opponents’ box but were just going off target. We kept our composure and went into half time 1-0 down but still in the game.
The second half began, and Druids had a good chance to level things early on. Joe Faux drove at the Flint defence and shot low heading for the bottom corner. The shot was blocked but fell to Niall Flint whose effort went just wide of the post. Shortly after however, was where Druid’s collapse began. Darlington flew in with a big challenge on an opposition player dribbling with the ball, the Flint players appealing in anger, but the referee waved for advantage. They continued up the field, playing through Amis who slotted it into the corner for his second. Following the goal, a brawl ensued on the pitch after Flint captain Foulkes and Darlington confronted each other. Darlington was shown a red card however Foulkes only a yellow after having Darlington in a choke hold visible to the officials. There were multiple other yellows to both sides as the referee tried to calm things down.
Against the 10 men of Druids, Flint found the gaps and scored two more. Then in the 68th minute, Kieran Smith who was already on a booking, put in a late challenge on a Flint forward and was shown another yellow. Druids now down to 9 men. We sat back into a block and tried to see the game out however Flint were ruthless and exploited their two man advantage, scoring two more before full time.
We seem to concentrate well in the first half but fall apart in the second at the moment, an area we will need to work on before we travel to in-form Cardiff Met on Saturday. Two more games to go now before we reset and rebuild for next season.
More than just a football club.