Yesterday afternoon, Druids travelled to Park Avenue for the third round of the Welsh Cup. It ended a 4-1 win for the home team with Druids showing glimpses of quality in the second half but couldn’t mount a comeback.
It was interim manager Andy Turner’s first match in charge, and we began with a rotated starting 11 after last weekend’s loss to Penybont. Jose Ferreira and Harry Farnsworth came into the starting 11 with EDS midfielder Mitchell Williams also earning a start, a great credit to the academy pathway at Druids.
The match kicked off at a fast pace and it was quite end to end in the opening exchanges as both sides tried to get a grip of the game. Aber created the best opportunities soon after through forward Raul Correia, who was giving centre halves Stef Edwards and Pavel Vieira a tough battle. Correia’s early shots were saved well by our returning captain Michael Jones to keep the score 0-0.
However, on 17 minutes the home side got the break through. A long ball over the top wasn’t cleared by the Druids defence with the ball bouncing and fortunately falling to Owain Jones who chipped Michael Jones in the Druids net after he had rushed out to try and clear the danger.
Following the goal, Druids did show a positive reaction with Vieira and Ben Wynne both getting shots off around the area as Druids pressed high for an equaliser. On 29 minutes though, Aber doubled their lead. A foul in the box was spotted by the referee who awarded the penalty which was dispatched by fullback Mathew Jones.
Druids aimed to dig in until halftime, reset and hopefully get back into the game in the second half. But just before the whistle, an Aber corner was cleared to the edge of the box to Mathew Jones again, whose strike was deflected into the bottom corner to make it 3-0.
A tough break for Druids just before the interval. We aimed to get one back early in the second half and see if we could keep the pressure up and get back into the game. The second half began and Druids were on top straight away. Charley Edge and Max Davidson both got great strikes off at goal that were just wide and it was looking positive for the lads. We kept pushing and changes were made on 70 minutes with Joe Faux and Liam Buckley coming on.
It looked like a goal was coming for Druids as Ben Wynne, Faux and Flint were getting on the ball in good areas and driving forward. It did eventually come on 79 minutes. Joe Faux and Charley Edge created the space on the left wing with Edge delivering the cross which the keeper fumbled and Ben Wynne was there to tap it in for his first Druids goal.
Straight after the goal was our best period in the match. We had Aber penned in their half and there was a small hope of a comeback if we were to get another. However, Aber dug in well to see the game out. Then just before full time, a counter attack from the home side led to a questionable penalty being awarded after what looked like a soft collision in the box. Mathew Jones converted the penalty to complete his hattrick and end the game 4-1.
A tough conclusion for Druids who had good spells in the second half and pushed men forward to try and mount a comeback but were caught on the break right at the death. We are back in training Tuesday as we begin preparations to return to league action next Sunday with an away trip to Cardiff Met.
More than just a football club.