Druids finished the season on a high note yesterday, with a fine victory against Barry Town at The Rock.
Druids were looking to put it on a positive display in their final fixture of the season, for themselves and the fans. We were boosted by the return of captain Michael Jones in goal and Phil Mooney at centre half after serving short suspensions. The match kicked off and Druids started on the front foot, playing some quick attacking football, looking to break down the Barry defence and get in on goal. Ioan Evans got some solid strikes off around the edge of the area, but the Barry defence were doing well so far to block and clear the danger. Shortly after, Phil Mooney headed at the far post off a Druids corner, just hitting the side netting. We were on top at this stage and playing some fine football, but just needing that opening goal. On 19 minutes, Niall Flint did excellently to break free of a challenge and drive up the pitch, he played it to Charley Edge on the 18 yard box whose strike again was just blocked by a Barry defender. Another good chance.
However, Barry were coming into the game at this stage and finding space down the wings. They got a few decent crosses into our box, but skipper Michael Jones was alert to clear any danger.
The referee blew for halftime in what was an excellent first 45 for Druids. We were taking the game to our opponents and just needed to keep being positive and creating in front of goal, to get the opener we were after.
It was another great start for Druids in the second 45. Mitch Williams got a shot off from just outside the area straight away, which was deflected behind. The resulting corner was headed just over the bar. Encouraging signs for Druids who felt a goal was coming. Then on 57 minutes, our best chance of the game. Liam Buckley did well to drive forward and play in Niall Flint down the right wing. His first-time delivery was whipped in with pace for Charley Edge arriving at the back stick. Edge lunged for the ball but could only steer it onto the crossbar. Agonisingly close for Druids. Then minutes later, the roles were reversed when Edge flashed a great delivery across goal for Flint to tap home, but he just couldn’t reach it.
On 64 minutes, after a scramble in the Barry box, the ball fell to Niall Flint whose volley was saved well by the opposition keeper. It was frustrating for Druids at this point as we had created a lot of great opportunities in front of goal but just couldn’t get the opener. The clock was running down but the lads kept pushing.
Then on 88 minutes, Niall Flint did excellently again to evade a challenge on halfway and drive up the pitch. He played a perfect long diagonal to Charley Edge at the back post who first touch beat his man and had him clean through on goal. His strike was just tipped away off the keeper but hit Barry defender Rhys Abbruzzese and bounced into the net. A massive goal right at the death for Druids to put us 1-0 up and deservedly so!
The lads held their nerve for the remaining minutes, and it finished 1-0 at The Rock. It could have been more for Druids after creating some great opportunities in front of goal, but the lads and coaches will be proud of the fine performance and victory, finishing the season on a positive note.
Although that concludes the 2021/22 season, we still have some exciting news to share this week as we prepare for next season in the JD Cymru North. So keep an eye out on our social media this week for any updates!
More than just a football club.