Caerau Ely 2-2 Bridgend Street: Cardiff Derby ends in entertaining draw
The first Cardiff Derby in the Welsh League this season ended in a draw, as Caerau Ely and Bridgend Street could not be separated.
A string of superb saves from Caerau Ely goalkeeper Elliot Matthews kept Craig Sampson’s side in the game, but both sides had chances to win the game, with a draw being a fair result.
Caerau Ely had the lead through Dean Clifford but Nicky Davison cancelled out his opener, whilst Jerome Maynard equalised for Caerau Ely after Bridgend Street went in front through Jeff White.
Bridgend Street were dealt with a blow before the match, four players were late arriving for a match due to a road accident near Butetown tunnels.
Despite players missing, Street started with a fast pace and had a goal disallowed. Nicky Davison looked to have tucked the ball past Matthews, with Jeff White putting it in for assurance, but White was ruled to be offside.
The fast-paced start, saw Owen Bancroft and Mike McDonagh make superb well-timed blocks, denying Jerome Maynard and Elijah Chilweka the chance for the opening goal.
Maynard had another chance as he was left unmarked on the corner, but his header strayed wide of the goal.
Teammate Sam Cawley then went close, as he beat the offside trap and forced Damien Lack into a save as he attempted a low shot into the left-hand corner.
Bridgend captain Paul Fowler, who scored a free-kick on the opening day against Abergavenny Town tested Elliot Matthews with a similar low-driven free-kick, but Matthews reacted well, tipping it behind for a corner.
After the save, Caerau Ely went on the counter-attack from the corner and had their goal. Dean Clifford picked the ball up in midfield, hitting a bobbling shot into the corner of Lack’s goal. Street protested for an offside, but the referee waved away the protests.
John Jones’ men weren’t behind for long though. A super run from Regions Cup right-back Richard Noyes allowed him to feed in Nicky Davison who tucked it in past Matthews for the equaliser.
It was a frantic few minutes, as five minutes later, Nathan Mathias stayed onside and tried looping an effort over Lack, but the Street stopper tipped it behind, for the last real action of the half.
As play resumed, Street had a penalty appeal turned down, as White went down under the challenge of Maynard. Harry Burge moments later, saw his low shot whistled just past the post.
They did have their goal approaching the hour mark. Osian Actie bust a gut to chase a lofted ball from Nathan Gulley, crossing it into Jeff White who sold Matthews the wrong way to put the Cardiff South side ahead, over their Western counterparts.
The lead, like the first half though was short lived. A practised free-kick saw Nathan Mathias loop the ball over to Jerome Maynard, who had the freedom to shoot as the defenders were stranded, lifted it over Lack for Caerau’s equaliser.
Caerau shot-stopper Matthews protected the game’s level standing, denying McDonagh who was free on the near post, before tipping Bancroft’s powerful effort round the post.
Fowler opted to play in White, rather than shoot and Matthews blocked his shot with his leg, denying him a second goal. Davison was also denied his second, as a cross from White, saw Davison’s header tipped onto the crossbar.
In the last action of the game, Clifford had a glorious chance to win it. Chilweka lifted it over, allowing Clifford a one-on-one with Lack, but he put his shot just wide of the goal.
Matthews, Maynard, J.Actie, Bridgeman, Evans, Burns, Corne, Mathias, Chilweka, Clifford, Cawley
Lack, Noyes, Gulley, Dale, McDonagh, Bancroft, Burge, Fowler (C), White, Davison, O.Actie
Bridgend Street manager John Jones:
“Scoring four good goals and coming away with just two is tough to take but we just have to take it on the chin along with some other things that didn’t go for us.
Saturday will be a big test for us and I’m looking forward to getting tonight out of our system.