A great reaction and effort from Druids last night, as we came away with a 1-1 draw against 2nd place Flint Town and were unlucky to not hold on for all 3 points!
It was an important match for Druids last night as we were coming off a poor 5-0 home loss to Newtown on Friday. We needed to show a reaction and high-flying Flint Town was going to be a tough battle. More rotation coming into this game, Joe Faux and Agy came back in up front, Niall Flint and academy graduate Mitchell Williams started in midfield and club captain Michael Jones returned in goal for us.
The match kicked off and it was Druids who set the pace early on. Pressing high as a team, we showed a great work rate to take the game to our opponents and pen them back. A few corners won early on and a shot from range to test the Flint backline. And less than five minutes in, our great start paid off! A break down the left wing from Agy was cut back and fired into the box by Flint, the ball ricocheted off a defender into the path of Mitchell Williams at the back post who slotted it home to give us the early lead!
Our shape was working well as we were frustrating our opponents with the press, forcing them to kick long. Our midfield and defence were staying solid so far with Faux and Agy looking a threat up front, both getting crosses and shots off to test Rushton in the Flint goal. Our opponents began working their way into the game as the half progressed with Wilde and Kenny both coming close as they got on the end of the balls over the top. However, Michael Jones was commanding his box well and organising the lads to keep us focused until halftime.
We went into the break 1-0 up knowing our opponents were going to throw everything at us second half to try and get back into the game. However, less than 5 minutes into the second period, it was Druids who created a golden opportunity to get another and take control of the game. Joe Faux picked up the ball in the middle of the pitch, driving forward he beat his man and found Charley Edge on the left wing. Edge whipped in an excellent cross for Williams arriving in the box. It looked like Mitch had his second of the night, but his header agonisingly went off the crossbar at out for a goal kick. So close for Druids who were still looking threatening in attack.
However, as the clock ran down, Flint began to gain more possession of the ball as Druids sat back trying to hold out for all 3 points. Our opponents were getting a lot of long balls into our box for their forwards, but our back 4 of Phil Mooney, Stef Edwards, Liam Buckley and Max Davidson were battling well to clear the danger and keep us in it.
We were closing in on the final 10 minutes now and the lads were giving everything to get the 3 points. However, another cross towards our far post was headed back across goal by Flint defender Ben Nash. Mike Wilde was there to head it in and give Flint their equaliser. Disappointment for Druids, who still had work to do to stay organised and try and get a winner. In the final minutes, Niall Flint was shown a second yellow card for what appeared to be a harsh handball and we were forced to finish the game with 10 men.
In the end, neither side could get a second goal and it ended 1-1.
A great reaction from the lads after Friday’s result and something to build on going forward. The lads gave 100% for all 96 minutes and weren’t afraid to take the game to our opponents and put them under pressure!
No game this weekend for Druids. We return to action on the 20th November with a trip south to Barry Town.
More than just a football club.