On a sunny afternoon at Cyncoed Campus, Cardiff Met moved up to third in the JD Welsh Premier League. They leapfrogged Connah’s Quay with a hard-fought 1-0 victory against a Llandudno side that will have left Cardiff wondering what might have been.
The win sees Met maintain their unbeaten home record this season, highlighting their good start to the season.
It was the home side who had the lion share of the ball in the opening 10 minutes. Their only chance of note falling to left-winger Jordan Lam, who did well to create space for the shot, only to blaze wildly over the bar.
The Students were finding pockets of space in between Llandudno’s midfield and defence with ease. Something which manager Alan Morgan was not too pleased with.
Met’s first corner came in the 11th minute, it was played short and then the cross was whipped in, which Llandudno keeper Dave Roberts easily cut out.
It was Jordan Lam who had the first real chance of the afternoon, the ball was accurately crossed in to him, however he couldn’t get the required power on the header, and Roberts did well to parry the ball to safety.
The chances were coming with regularity for the Archers, and they had a great opportunity to score when Will Evans’ squared ball to the impressive Chris Baker was well saved by keeper Roberts. The No8 will be disappointed that he didn’t score, he was yards away from the goal line, so a shot either side of the keeper would surely have yielded a goal.
It took 21 minutes for the away side to get their first shot away. The lively Ryan Edwards broke down the left, cut back inside and unleashed a curling effort which was well saved by Met’s Will Fuller, who would go on to have an impressive game between the sticks.
Met’s No.7 Eliot Evans was beginning to have an influence on the game, and he cleverly played his namesake Will through on goal, however he didn’t get the best connection on his shot, and saw it dribbled wide of the left post.
The Students were awarded a free-kick in a dangerous area in the 28th minute, however Eliot Evans was disappointing in his connection. His dipping free-kick was easily collected by Dave Roberts.
Llandudno found it difficult to retain possession in the first half, and this was inevitably proportional to the number of chances they were able to fashion.
However, the away team finished the half the stronger, they managed to get a foothold in the game and started to move the ball around nicely. Their transition play from midfield to attack was easy on the eye, Alan Morgan’s men were starting to threaten the Met goal for the first time in the half.
Llandudno were finding it easy enough to get in to the final third, however their clinical touch was letting them down, along with some committed defending from the Archers.
The North Wales side had the final chance of the first half. A free-kick was headed back to skipper Tom Dix, who, in hindsight, rushed his shot and fired way over the crossbar.
The first half was a tale of three quarters, Met controlled the opening two, whilst Llandudno came back well in the third.
The Students got the second half underway, playing from right to left.
Llandudno started the second period in the same way that they finished the first. The lively Ryan Edwards broke down the middle with speed, cut back inside and won a free-kick.
The resulting free-kick was tipped on to the bar by Fuller, and then almost went in to the net off the back of the Met keeper. This was to be the closest that Llandudno came to scoring.
The opening 10 minutes of the second half belonged to Llandudno, they controlled the ball well and looked threatening in their attacking play.
Cardiff Met’s goal came in the 58th minute, and it was admittedly against the run of the play. Llandudno were the better side before Eliot Evans found space in the box to square the ball to Carl Baker, who made no mistake this time and finished low into the bottom right corner.
The Archers goal meant that Llandudno were going to have to press more to try and get a goal back, and that’s exactly what they did. In the 67th minute, a brilliant reverse pass by Toby Jones played in Ryan Edwards, who was well marshalled out of the box by Danny Shaw.
A glancing header by Llandudno’s Marc Williams went just wide of the left upright in the 76th minute.
A flurry of substitutions followed, and this resulted in the game losing some of it’s tempo and rhythm. The final 15 minutes were uneventful, and an exciting contest rather fizzled out. The homesters held on to win 1-0.
The win for Cardiff Met puts them 3rd in the Welsh Premier League. Llandudno stay 5th.
Cardiff Met: 1. Will Fuller, 2. Dylan Rees (Rhydian Morgan 90), 3. Kyle McCarthy, 4. Bradley Woolridge (c), 5. Emlyn Lewis, 10. Charlie Corsby, 7. Eliot Evans, 8. Chris Baker (Rhys Thomas 81), 9. Adam Roscrow, 18. Will Evans, 11. Jordan Lam (Gwion Howell 78)
Cardiff Met Unused Subs: 16. Josh Barnett, 19. Aaron James, 30. Daniel Evans.
Llandudno: 1. Dave Roberts, 2. Danny Taylor (Sam Hart 82), 3. James Joyce, 4. Danny Shaw, 8. Danny Hughes, 10. Marc Williams, 11. Ryan Edwards, 17. Shaun Cavanagh (Owain Jones 70), 18. Mike Williams, 20. Tom Dix (c), 21. Toby Jones.
Llandudno Unused Subs: 13. Patrik Rutter, 14. Aaron Hassall.
(Featured Image: Matthew Lofthouse)