Heartbreak for Druids last night after another impressive performance and a lot of chances created were unable to punish The Seasiders, who clinched the 1-0 win.
Druids kept the same starting 11 from our impressive draw away at Bala Town on the weekend and had an air of confidence coming into this match. We kicked off and were immediately on the front foot. Joe Faux nicked the ball off the Aber defence, drove forward earning us an early corner. Then Aber cleared the corner, countered up the pitch and made a chance themselves. End to end stuff early on as the game had yet to settle.
Our opponents did eventually get the ball down and played their football, but Druid’s kept a solid defensive shape, and we were looking dangerous on the counter-attack. We were creating down both wings and Charley Edge had an early shot from a low cross, going just over the bar. Emmanuel Agyemang (Aggy) was also threatening down the right and got a shot off from range that Zabret in the Aber goal claimed.
Although Aber had good spells of possession, most of the meaningful attacking play was coming from Druids as Ryan Neild was yet to be tested. Another counter-attack through Aggy led to a great cross from him to the far post. Zabret came out to claim but dropped it with Charley Edge close to tapping it in. Then on 30 minutes, another cross to the far post from Faux this time, found Liam Buckley, who’s header went straight at the keeper.
As the momentum was swinging our way, The Seasiders earned a free kick in a dangerous area just after the half hour mark. The ball was whipped in by Ex-Druid Alex Darlington for defender Lee Jenkins to rise highest and head in, giving Aber the lead. A cruel blow for Druids who hadn’t looked troubled defensively up until that point. We kept pushing and created two more chances before the break. Joe Faux broke free into the box, cut onto his left foot and struck it well, but again Zabret was equal to it in the Aber goal. Then right on half time, Buckley earned a freekick for us on the right hand side. It was whipped towards the near post by Edge with Aggy attacking it. It seemed to bounce off the keeper with Aggy inches away from prodding it in. The referee blew for halftime shortly after and Aber were able to maintain their clean sheet going into the break.
Frustrating to go into halftime 1-0 down after creating so many chances, but we were still in the game and needed to regroup and go again for the second 45.
The opening 10 minutes or so was quite scrappy as both sides were unable to get the ball down. A shot from range from Aber was spilled by Neild, who recovered well to grab the ball before it rolled over the line. Phil Mooney and 16 year old Dan Cabral were again solid at the back, both were battling and blocking shots to keep us in the game. However, on 60 minutes, Aber midfielder Harry Franklin dribbled into our box and looked to have gone down questionably after coming into contact with Yalany Baio. Following appeals from The Seasiders and referral with the linesman, the referee deemed it a pen. It seemed harsh in the eyes of the home side as the contact looked minimal. Justice came however, as the penalty went over the bar by Raul Correia, which gave Druids a lift that we could get back into it.
Druids were on top following this and were pushing for that equaliser as the clock ran down. More crosses into the box were just unable to get that finishing touch. Off a short corner Charley Edge played a great ball in that pinballed around the box but couldn’t be put in. We continued to get balls in the box and press high in the final minutes, but Aber’s defence held firm, as it had all night, and the referee eventually blew for full-time.
Heartbreak for Druids who had battled throughout and showed good attacking play, but were unable to provide that final touch to finish off our chances. An area to improve as a team. The Seasiders showed quality on the ball, were organised defensively and took their chance. However, besides the set pieces, Aber didn’t really create any clear-cut chances from where they felt they should have had a second.
A cruel result for Druids who deserved more from the game. However, we dust ourselves off and with a weekend off should be well rested for our next match at Haverfordwest on the 23rd.
More than just a football club.