Connah’s Quay Nomads looked to steal a huge three points against Cardiff Met this Sunday at a chilly Cyncoed Campus, as they sat just one place down the ladder coming into the encounter and looked to bounce back from their 1-0 defeat in the Nathaniel MG Cup to league leaders The New Saints.
Meanwhile, Cardiff Met looked to get back to winning ways after a 1-1 draw with Cefn Druids last weekend, but what can we learn from this clash between two sides looking to make stake their claim in the title race.
Andy Morrison keeps Nomads well organised in hard-fought draw
Connah’s Quay put in a steadfast performance at Cyncoed this Sunday, in a gritty display that frustrated any attempt from the Archers to build up a continuous piece of attacking play, as they have done so well many times throughout this season.
The Nomads more than matched up with the home side, turning the game into a midfield battle and forcing the Students into long spells of possession along with their back line.
The away side seemed more than comfortable sitting in and picked up any run in behind superbly, stifling many Met attacks simply by getting an array of bodies behind the ball, putting themselves in the way of any effort in a near-heroic style of defence. Andy Morrison can undoubtedly take positives away from the affair in a resolute display from his side.
Met miss out in final third as they fail to conjure killer ball
Despite their usual display of possession and movement, Cardiff Met could often not muster the final pass to see them pull away in the game against Connah’s Quay.
Time after time, misplaced passes or sloppy play saw them lose the ball in key attacking areas, as throughout the first half they often lost momentum and goal scoring opportunities, at points appearing flustered by the high pressure put on them from their opponents.
However, the chances were still there for the home side, as they looked to pick up the points against tough opposition, Dr Christian Edwards will be pleased with the point, but as equally frustrated knowing the scoreline could have been much higher with more composure in the opposition’s half.
Top Two Defensive sides show their class, as Lewis and Wilde go toe-to-toe
In an evenly matched game with very little to separate either side, it was not difficult to see why both these teams have the best defences in the Welsh Premier League.
Scrappy efforts were commonplace throughout the encounter, with an effort on goal from either side being met with two or three players waiting to close down hard, and both Will Fuller and John Darby were rarely called into serious action.
The standout battle of the match came between Emlyn Lewis and Michael Wilde, with both men throwing themselves at the ball at any opportunity, but the Cardiff Met defender was able to keep the Nomads danger man quiet for most of the game.
The Nomads saw their best opportunities come from set-piece play, but neither side looked to show any frailties in their back line, with Met holding firm to see out the game with a clean sheet.
Ben Bowler looks comfortable in holding role
Ben Bowler put in a resolute performance in midfield for the home side this Sunday, as his organised and disciplined display helped the Archers keep a clean sheet at Cyncoed.
Bowler embodied the steadfast and gritty work ethic Cardiff Met have employed throughout this season when not in possession, as the midfield man was often involved in challenges and came out on top almost every time, winning battle after battle against his opposites.
Bowler also at times controlled the tempo of the game, becoming the main option in connecting their defensive duties and attacking play, linking both in an all-around display that will no doubt get the player plaudits from manager and fans alike.
(Featured Image: Matthew Lofthouse)