Cefn Druids 1-0 Cardiff Metropolitan University – Resilient Druids secure Europa League spot

Cefn Druids defeated Cardiff Metropolitan University 1-0 at The Rock to seal a Europa League preliminary round place.

Huw Griffiths and Christian Edwards made one change apiece from last time out. Neil Ashton entered the starting eleven for the Ancients, while Matt Swindlehurst came in for the students.

The Archers had the opening opportunity after two minutes through Emlyn Lewis. From the left flank, Eliot Evans delivered a free-kick towards Swindlehurst and he failed to connect. However, the ball reached the 21-year-old at the back post and his effort was deflected wide by a covering defender.

Nine minutes later, the hosts came close from three attempts. James Davies found possession at the back post and hammered a shot towards the rushing, Will Fuller who parried away. Then, Alec Mudimu drove the ball towards goal and the goalkeeper recovered well to push away. Mudimu was offered a second opportunity and Rhydian Morgan deflected the effort astray of goal.

Cefn Druids broke the deadlock after 16 minutes through Davies. Arek Piskorski delivered a cross from the by-line and the striker struck on target from close-range – Fuller superbly kept it out before the follow-up found the net.

The South Wales side almost equalised two minutes later through Morgan. From the left wing, the defender fired a volley towards goal and Michael Jones strongly denied.

Davies almost secured a brace as the North Wales side came close to a second after 32 minutes. The No.11 found space in the area and turned to shoot – Fuller closed him down and made another superb save.

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Ten minutes later, the Archers had a terrific opportunity to level the scoring. Jordan Lam sped down the left flank before delivering a low cross towards Evans. The midfielder ran onto the ball and swept it over the crossbar.

After the interval, it took the hosts three minutes to have a shot on target. From a narrow angle, Matty Owen produced a solid effort that Fuller parried down before gathering.

As the affair progressed, the students became dominant against a resilient defence and were denied a clear-cut opportunity. Edwards’ side looked to exploit Lam on the left wing at every possible opportunity. However, the 23-year-old’s trickery was not enough to produce anything more than few nervy moments for the hosts.

The Archers did have a free-kick on the edge of the box after 80 minutes. Kyle McCarthy stepped up and drove the ball low, into the wall and the opportunity came to nothing.

Two minutes later, the visitors were denied a chance as Adam Roscrow was beaten to the ball. Dan Spencer provided a crafty cross for the striker and Naim Arsan was swift to get there first.

That proved to be the visitors’ last opportunity and the Ancients saw out their 1-0 lead to win the Welsh Premier League Final – securing their place in the Europa League preliminary round for the 2018/19 season.

FINAL SCORE: CEFN DRUIDS 1-0 CARDIFF METROPOLITAN UNIVERSITY

Cefn Druids: Jones, Arsan, Peate, Owen, Mudimu, Pritchard, Davies, Burrows, Hajdari, Piskorski (Ruane 67’), Ashton. Subs not used: Thompson, Simpson, Taylor, Ap Gareth.

Cardiff Metropolitan University: Fuller, Morgan, Swindlehurst (Baker 50’), Corsby, McCarthy, Lewis, Edwards, E. Evans (Spencer 74’), W. Evans (Howell 88’), Roscrow, Lam. Subs not used: Parker, Lloyd.

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