McCarthy the hero as Archers win to exact revenge over Ancients
A late Kyle McCarthy free-kick was enough to give Cardiff Metropolitan University a narrow 1-0 win against a tenacious Cefn Druids at Cyncoed Campus.
In a game of few clear-cut chances, the wing-back’s intervention in the 76th minute proved decisive, as the Archers exacted revenge for last season’s defeat to the Ancients in the Europa League play-off final at the Rock.
An intricate move by the home side in the first minute resulted in a ball being flicked over the top to Sam Snaith, however Druids keeper just beat him a foot race to the ball.
The visitors started a quick attack in the fourth minute, with the ball falling to James Davies on the edge of area,he took a touch and unleashed a curling effort which was tipped over by Aalto.
The Archers had their first real chance of the game in the 11th minute. From a corner, the ball fell to Eliot Evans, who took a touch and volleyed a shot which was blocked on its path to goal.
There was a nasty clash of heads between Ben Bowler and Alex Piskorski in the 18th minute. The Druids player remained on the ground for a couple of minutes, but after receiving medical attention he was able to continue.
Eight minutes later, a long free-kick into the Met box fell to Nathan Peate, who’s shot on goal was well blocked by Dan Spencer.
Spencer was involved again seven minutes later, showing quick feet to get on the outside of Cartwright and create a good chance to cross, however his ball in was fired over the bar.
A strong challenge by Joel Edwards on James Davies resulted in the Ancients player having to be stretchered off the field.
It was the away side who had the first opportunity of the second half, a corner from the right found Aaron Simpson who failed to get the required contact to direct it goalwards.
Archers wing-back Kyle McCarthy showed some good skill to evade a challenge and get into the Druids’ box, however he stumbled over the ball, ending what was a good opportunity.
Jordan Evans had another opportunity in the 72nd minute, his left-footed shot was drilled comfortably wide of Aalto’s left post.
The pivotal moment came four minutes later. Druids keeper Michael Jones made the mistake of picking the ball up after a back pass, and referee Huw Jones awarded the Students an indirect free-kick.
Left wing back McCarthy stepped up and fired the ball into the Ancients wall, which was situated on the goal line, and it took a deflection and flew into the net, allowing the goal to stand.
The Wrexham-based side went agonisingly close to an equaliser in the 83rd minute. Peate battled with Edwards for a long ball which was whipped into the box, the defender got the final touch and the ball cannon off the crossbar and away to safety.
Edwards was in the action again in stoppage time, after Peate met a corner at the near post, flicked the ball towards goal and saw his effort cleared away by the Archers defender.
This was to be the final action, as the Students held on for a narrow win which sees them move up to third place in the JD Welsh Premier League.
(Featured image: Matthew Lofthouse)