What we learned as Cardiff Metropolitan University progress to Nathaniel MG Cup final
An evening kick off graced the Cyncoed Campus this Wednesday as Cardiff Metropolitan University faced Newtown AFC in the semi-final of the Nathaniel MG Cup.
A place in the final beckoned for either side that could take advantage, with either The New Saints or Connah’s Quay Nomads awaiting them, with the fixture being decided this Monday.
We look at what we can take away from the encounter, as a 9th placed Newtown looked to cause a cup upset on top of the league Cardiff Met.
Cardiff Met show gritty cup performance in late victory over the Robins
The Archers left it late to advance to the final of the Nathaniel MG Cup, showing why they remain top of the league after grinding out a physical one-goal win over Newtown AFC.
An 87th-minute winner from the player of the month Eliott Evans ultimately decided the tie, but the game was an evenly matched affair, with the Robins looking the better of the two sides at times throughout the match.
Cardiff Met showed their superior fitness levels and displayed a sharp concentration to see out the game and poach a late winner. Manager Christian Edwards will be pleased to see his side reach the final, and will no doubt hope to complete a league and cup double by the end of the season.
Dylan Rees shines in sublime individual performance
Cardiff Met fullback Dylan Rees put an excellent display on show for the game against Newtown AFC. First to every ball with a determination showcased throughout the affair, Rees often offered another option out wide, and although not always utilised, his efforts to break free and give his side another route through the Newtown defence did not go unnoticed.
Furthermore, his defensive capabilities were effectively utilised, as he made his matchup work for every loose ball, kept his shape well along the back four and stuck tight to his man, even making a critical goal-line clearance in the first half. The right-back covered his fellow defenders superbly, dropping deep at the right times and getting forward when given the opportunity. Overall, Dylan Rees will no doubt be pleased with his performance.
Newtown put in competitive display at Cyncoed Campus
Chris Hughes will undoubtedly take positives from his team’s improved performance at Cyncoed Campus, as the last time these two sides faced off Cardiff Met ran out comfortable 2-0 victors.
Instead, a completely different Newtown side showed up this Wednesday, as they looked to frustrate Met’s possession-based style, and did so with much effect throughout the encounter.
Newtown organised themselves like a well-oiled machine, switching formations effortlessly whenever they lost possession and maintaining high pressure on their opposition, giving them no time on the ball to operate or develop a consistent level of play.
Met frustrated despite possession dominance
Possession didn’t equate to a plethora of goals for Cardiff Metropolitan University this time out against Newtown, as despite their usual passing display they failed to create many clear-cut chances.
Instead the Students were limited to long-range efforts and heavily contested half chances, and were unable to conjure a killer final ball to striker Adam Roscrow, and this lack of service was a huge detriment to the striker’s overall performance, as despite his hard work he was stifled at almost every opportunity by defenders Ryan Sears and Kieran Mills-Evans.
Jordan Lam missed as creative alternative for Cardiff Met
The natural width and pace of Cardiff Met winger Jordan Lam were sorely missed by the Archers this Wednesday, as his speed on the counter-attack looked to have been needed throughout the second period. Not in contention through fitness concerns, manager Christian Edwards will no doubt be glad to have the winger available for selection as soon as possible, as despite the victory the game could have been a much higher scoreline with the wide man’s presence.
(Featured Image: Matthew Lofthouse)