A great performance from Druids saw us travel to 2nd place Bala Town yesterday and earn a valuable point in a fast-paced, physical 1-1 draw.
It was a frantic morning leading up to the match as Ben Wynne and Max Davidson were forced to miss the match last minute due to illness, with Emmanuel Agyemang (Aggy) and Pavel Vieira receiving late call ups. EDS centre half Dan Cabral retained his starting spot after an impressive performance last weekend, with Phil Mooney returning alongside him. Yalany Baio also started in midfield on his 27th birthday for his league debut for Druids.
The match kicked off at a very fast pace, with the home side playing direct, using their height and strength up top. Bala captain Chris Venables was giving our centre halves a battle, trying to win headers and bring his teammates into play in good areas.
Early chances came for both sides. A ball into our box was headed back by Venables into the path of onrushing Bala forward Dave Edwards. His volley just going over the bar. Moments later, Aggy controlled the ball in the air and headed past the Bala defender, smashing an effort from outside the box just wide of the post.
There was not much to report following the early attacks, until just after the 20 minute mark when Bala broke the deadlock. Again, another long ball forward was flicked on by Venables, he then got in the box to head the oncoming cross into the path of Dave Edwards who didn’t miss this time from close range. 1-0 Bala. A cruel blow for Druids who had dealt with Bala’s direct play well up until that point and were well in the game.
Druids continued working hard and stayed organised for the remainder of the half. We went into the break 1-0 down but still in it and confident we could get back into the game second half.
The second 45 began and Druids were pressing with great intensity to keep the home side on the back foot. It didn’t take long to get our reward through a great counter attack. A wayward pass from the home side was nicked by Aggy on the right wing. He played Charley Edge down the line into a 2 v 1 scenario with Niall Flint racing towards the far post. Edge’s cross found Flint who smashed it in first time to level the game! A great goal by Druids who were well and truly back in it!
Following the goal, both sides were pushing for that winner as the clock ran down. The next best chances fell to the home side. A cross into our box was headed clear by Cabral, it bounced into the path of Dave Edwards whose volley hit the crossbar. Then just before injury time, another cross into our box was met at the far post by Venables. He tried an overhead kick which bounced again onto the crossbar and away. A let off for Druids who still had time to create something for themselves.
Then seconds before full time, probably the best chance of the game. A great corner whipped in by Charley Edge found Pavel Vieira right in front of goal to win the match. His downward header looked to be in but bounced agonisingly over the bar.
The referee called for full time shortly after in a great, hard-working, determined performance from Druids. A tough place to come and get a result for any team in the league, so it ended up being a valuable point for us.
We take this momentum into Wednesday’s 6 pointer against Aberystwyth at The Rock. We can’t wait to see you all there, and for those who can’t make it, the match will be shown live online by Sgorio!
More info on Wednesday’s match coming soon.
More than just a football club.