What we learned as resolute Old Gold frustrate Archers at Cyncoed
An inspired defensive display from Carmarthen Town saw them leave Cyncoed Campus with a point, after Eliot Evans’ sensational volley cancelled out Liam Thomas’ 18th minute penalty.
What did we learn from the score draw?
Defensive display provides hope for Old Gold
Heading into today’s game, Carmarthen had conceded the second-highest number of goals in the league with 23.
However, their performance at the back belied that statistic, as they held on to claim what could be an important point.
The Archers are known for their creativity and pace in attack, but they were stymied on numerous occasions as they looked to equalise, and then find a winner.
If Neil Smothers’ side are able to replicate today’s defensive efforts, they will come close to a winning a lot more games; as their rearguard effort allows them to stay in games.
Archers missing usual incisiveness going forward
This was in part due to the heroic effort in defence from Carmarthen, but the Students would still have wanted to play better in attack.
Eliot Evans is usually the man who pulls the strings behind the strikers, but other than his brilliant equaliser, he was largely ineffective.
Christian Edwards’ were forced to play wide more than they would have wanted to, and this allowed Carmarthen to limit their threat in the centre of the pitch; where they can be very dangerous.
They’ll be hoping to improve this facet of their game before the visit of Haverfordwest County on Tuesday evening in the third round of the Nathaniel MG Cup.
Liam Thomas shows his adaptability
It was interesting to see how Carmarthen’s top scorer was deployed in this game. The forward played the majority of the game in a left wing-back position, and he was effective in cutting off a lot of the channels for passing down his side.
The positions that he took up meant that Met struggled to build their attacks down the right side.
It was a clever call from manager Neil Smothers, who had clearly set out to frustrate the Archers; and therefore it made little sense to leave two forward up front all the time.
The 26-year-old was also responsible for his side’s only goal. His goal from the penalty spot, his fifth of the season, looked like it could have been the winner before Eliot Evans’ superb volley levelled matters.
Concerns remain over Old Gold’s attack
Whilst the defensive effort was commendable, Neil Smothers’ side offered very little going forward.
The west Wales side are the third lowest scorers in the league with 11, and they’ll need to buck up their ideas going forward if they’re to win games this season.
Once Luke Bowen returns from injury, they’ll have another player up front who is capable of finding the net.
Tyrrell Webbe played in a lone role up front today, and struggled to get any service and was largely isolated on his own.
It appears as if a lot of pressure will be on Liam Thomas to come up with the goods this season, as the Old Gold battle to survive relegation.
(Featured image: Jordan Jones)