The big preview as Cardiff Met host Barry Town United in South Wales derby for a place in European play-off final
Cardiff Met host Barry Town United at Cyncoed Campus in the South Wales Derby for a chance to play in the European play-off final.
What an occasion Saturday is going to be, with the most important match between these two teams to date in the Welsh Capital, and it is set to be some game.
The hosts have had a poor run of form in Phase Two, but they have shown glimpses of late which makes them such a threat going forward, scoring seven goals in two games, as well as scoring an impressive three goals away against The New Saints.
The Archers also impressively defeated Bala Town in a seven-goal thriller in Cyncoed, winning 4-3. They have got real quality about them, but they need to deliver when it matters the most, against the Linnets come Saturday evening.
One Derby. One Semi-Final. One Winner.
Are you Team Met or Team Barry? pic.twitter.com/c6MJHta5Ls
— JD Welsh Premier League (@WPL_Official) May 8, 2018
Unlike Met, Barry have been in superb form, which has been supplemented with some tremendous signings, including Jon Hood, who has buried five goals since his move from Port Talbot Town.
Gavin Chesterfield described his delight of going the season unbeaten after the 1-0 win over Carmarthen Town and they will be heading into the game against Met with high spirits. Make absolutely no mistake about that.
Anything can happen on derby day, but they can be quietly confident of picking up a result following their spectacular form in the second-half of the campaign.
Christian Edwards’ side will also fancy their chances, especially given that they will have the home advantage and won when the last time the two sides met.
This game could well be a cagey affair, but it’s going to be some occasion for both sides as they look to book their place in the final.
There have already been two great games between these two teams in the JD Welsh Premier League this season, with Barry winning the game at Jenner Park 1-0 courtesy of Luke Cooper’s goal.
The students won the game at Cyncoed Campus comfortably on New Year’s Eve and it will provide them with confidence heading into the big clash this coming weekend.
Met narrowly missed out last season as they were beaten Bangor City last season, but they will most certainly looking to go one better this time around and the experience element will no doubt put them in good stead heading into the clash.
It has been an unbelievable season for Barry regardless, but if they were to advance to the final, it would be some feat, especially taking into account that this is their first season back in the top-flight in 13 years.
Saturday has got so much riding on it. Expect it to be feisty and have a real tempo to it, with both sides desperate to make their mark and create history.
The students have never been in Europe, and they may not get a better chance this season, having the likes of Adam Roscrow up front, as well as the creative zest of Eliot Evans in midfield, but Barry will be looking to spoil the party, of course.
The Linnets were last in Europe during the 2003/2004 season, when they were knocked out by Macedonian outfit, Vardar Skopje in the first qualifying round – they have also faced the likes of Dynamo Kyiv and FC Porto in Europe.
Elliot Evans (Cardiff Met)
Has been phenomenal for the students this season, and has the brilliance to create a moment of magic in an instance. He finished off second top scorer on 14, eight behind The New Saints’ Greg Draper, who netted on 22 occasions.
If he and Adam Roscrow can combine, then the Barry backline will be in big trouble, because if they’re given a moment of space, they do have the capacity to punish you.
Jon Hood (Barry Town United)
Hood is a player who can score out of absolutely nothing, he possesses loads of quality and Met will need to keep close tabs on the forward.
He has been a fantastic signing and will no doubt be looking to add to his tally of five for the season against the Archers on saturday evening in the Welsh Capital.
The Key Battles…
Jonathan Hood Vs Rhydian Morgan
Hood against Morgan is an intriuging one, because without Dylan Rees, the former Port Talbot Town man could cause step-in full-back Morgan all sorts of trouble.
However, if Morgan can keep him quiet, it could stifle Hood, who has been in scintillating form for the Linnets in Phase Two of the Welsh Premier League.
Adam Roscrow Vs Luke Cooper
Perhaps the most vital battle of all. It is vitally important Cooper stays cool, calm and collected against Roscrow, who has the potential to pull the trigger and make a goal out of nothing.
If Roscrow gets on top earlier on, then it could be a long afternoon for Barry. But Cooper is more than capable of keeping the Met striker relatively quiet – it is important Cooper uses his physicality to an advantage, which has seen him get the advantage of various different strikers in the league this season.
Ryan Newman Vs Eliot Evans
Two tremendously technically gifted players, but the industrial-like Newman needs to get on top early to keep Evans firing Met to the final.
He is by far the most creative player for the Archers, and if he starts pulling the strings and making Newman frustrated, then he may well add to his 14 goals for the season.
Newman will need to break-up play as effectively as possible and look to quash the link-up play between Evans and Roscrow, which could be essential to Barry’s success come Saturday evening.
Head to head this season…
Cardiff Met 3-0 Barry Town United, Cyncoed Campus (JD Welsh Premier League)
Barry Town United 1-0 Cardiff Met, Jenner Park (JD Welsh Premier League)
Barry Town United 0-2 Cardiff Met, Jenner Park (Welsh League Cup)
(Featured image: Matthew Lofthouse)