A busy weekend of Cymru League fixtures for Druids over the Easter long weekend. Beginning on Friday night at Aberystwyth Town followed by a trip to Cardiff Met yesterday afternoon.
With a multitude of injuries and suspensions in the squad, there was more opportunity for our EDS players to step up into the first team. Fred Whiles, Eric Durnell, Josh Walker and Mitch Williams all started Druids after impressing in last week’s fixture.
The match kicked off and the young Druids were putting their bodies on the line to hold Aber off, as our opponents committed bodies forward to get an opener. We stayed solid at the back for the opening 30 minutes, until a near post corner was flicked in by Lee Jenkins to give Aber the lead. Then minutes later, the turning point in the match when Druids keeper Michael Jones rushed out of his goal as an Aber striker was played through. Jones was deemed to have handled the ball outside his area to save the shot and was shown a straight red card. With no substitute goalkeeper on the bench, EDS midfielder Mitchell Williams stepped up to go in goal for the remainder of the game.
Aber took advantage of the extra man and no natural goalkeeper to go on and win the match. However, credit to Druids who never gave up despite the situation they were faced with on the pitch and special mention to Mitch Williams who stepped up to go in goal and also pulled off a fine 1v1 save towards the end.
The lads needed to shake off the result and recover quickly as we were back on the road again on Easter Monday to to face Cardiff Met. Again, a youthful squad travelled to the capital however a welcome return for midfielder Charley Edge who came back into the side after serving a short suspension. However, with first choice goalkeeper Michael Jones suspended due to the red card at Aber and Rhys Williams also out injured, 17 year old EDS goalkeeper Cameron Dutton stepped up to make his Cymru League debut. A huge achievement for the young man with a long, bright future ahead of him!
It was a windy day at the Cyncoed Campus, and our young side had to adapt to the conditions early on. The lads were playing some great football and competing well with our opposition. Eric Durnell and Liam Buckley showed great maturity on the ball to keep us ticking and organised. However, after 10 minutes, a bit of a fluky goal went to Met as Emlyn Lewis stepped in to make a tackle/clearance on the halfway line. However, the wind carried the ball miles over our backline on the bounce and into the net. Not an intentional shot from Lewis, but frustration for Druids who were taking the game to our opponents at that point. The lads kept playing after this and were showing a good attitude and some nice football. Then on 21 minutes a Met corner from Eliot Evans flew high into the box. Again, wind assisted, it evaded everyone and looped into the goal to make it 2-0. A tough afternoon as the hosts were capitalising on the conditions at the ground. Despite this, the lads head’s didn’t drop and they kept playing as the half came to an end. Just before the break, Cameron Dutton pulled off an excellent diving save to keep us in it. A great moment for the 17-year-old, stepping up for his first team debut.
The second half began, and an experienced Met side kept their discipline to win the match in the end. However, valuable lessons learned by our young squad who showed an excellent attitude throughout the 90 minutes. A credit to the club.
We look forward now to our final fixture of the season as we play Barry Town at The Rock on Saturday the 23rd. We would love as many of you down there to support the team as we close out the 2021/22 season.
More than just a football club.