Cardiff Metropolitan 3-0 Cefn Druids: Three second half goals see Archers past struggling Druids
Three goals in the second half gave Cardiff Metropolitan a comfortable 3-0 win over struggling Cefn Druids, a win which sees the Archers move back to the top of the Playoff Conference.
After a drab first half, goals from Adam Roscrow, Harry Owen and Eliot Evans took the game away from the Druids, who remain six points above the relegation zone.
Both sides lacked any creative spark in the first half, with the Archers taking the initiative after the break to claim a comfortable win – their first of Phase Two after going down 2-0 to Carmarthen Town last week.
After Aberystwyth Town’s 4-2 win against Llanelli on Friday saw them leapfrog the Students, Christian Edwards’ side ensured that they would finish the gameweek occupying the final Europa League Playoff spot.
Full-back Dylan Rees took up a more advanced role in the first half, and had an opportunity with just a minute played. His half-volley from the edge of the box flew narrowly wide of the left post.
Midfielder Danny Gosset, who joined the Druids on loan from Bala on Friday, was booked in the second minute for a late challenge on Will Evans.
Evans was on the other end of a challenge five minutes, and saw yellow himself for a tackle on Fisnik Hajdari.
Centre back Emlyn Lewis had a great chance to give his side the lead when a ball in from the left picked him out, unmarked in the area, but he was unable to guide his header past Michael Jones.
Set-piece specialist Eliot Evans had the opportunity to test Jones with his free-kick from just outside the area, however his effort was fired straight into the Druids wall.
The Archers were missing their usual invention and creative spark in the final third, with Evans being marshalled closely by Gosset in the first half.
Met, a team who are known for passing the ball about and keeping it on the floor, were drawn into a more physical battle in the first 45.
The Ancients came close when a diagonal ball into the area almost picked out Jack Kenny. The forward’s outstretched leg was unable to make contact, which would surely have directed the ball goalwards.
Christian Edwards made a change at the break with Matt Neale replacing Rhydian Morgan, who took a knock in the first half.
Adam Roscrow gave the Archers the lead 10 minutes into the second half, after a corner from the right wasn’t dealt with by Druids, and the ball fell to the striker who poked it home from just yards out.
Naim Arsan replaced Jack Kenny shortly after the goal, the Ancients forward had struggled to make an impact on proceedings.
Just minutes later, the Archers doubled their lead after Roscrow was played in, took a shot and saw it parried in the direction of Harry Owen who was following up; and the striker tapped into an empty net to put his side in firm control.
On the hour mark, Will Evans was replaced by youngster Liam Warman, who came on to make his first appearance in the Welsh Premier League.
After a difficult first half, Eliot Evans had more joy after the break, and got himself on the scoresheet when a ball in from the right by Warman picked out the midfielder, and he had the simple task of tapping home from a matter of yards.
It was something of a surprise to see Zimbabwean international Alec Mudimu not starting. The midfielder came on in the second half and was able to assert his physical presence going forward.
You will surely see more entertaining matches at Cyncoed Campus in the future, and probably this season, however the three points were all that mattered for the Archers today.
For Ancients manager Huw Griffiths, these are worrying times. The Druids are without a win in six matches, stretching all the way back to December when they beat Aberystwyth at Park Avenue.
A positive result here would have seen them move nine points clear of 11th-placed Llanelli Town, but they remain in the relegation dogfight at the bottom of the table.
Next up for Met is another home game, when they host basement side Llandudno next Saturday, while the Ancients entertain Aberystwyth at The Rock on Friday night.
Cardiff Metropolitan: Lang, Rees, McCarthy (Black 85′), Woolridge (c), Lewis, E. Evans, Roscrow, W. Evans (Warman 60′), Williams, Morgan (Neale 45′), Owen.
Substitutes not used: Howell, Phillips, Fuller.
Cefn Druids: Jones, Rittenberg, Evans (Mudimu 72′), Simpson, Cartwright, Gosset, Hajdari, Piskorski (Kershaw 66′), J. Owen, Ashton (c), Kenny (Arsan 53′).
Substitutes not used: Owen, M. Owen, Bulmer.
(Featured image: Matthew Lofthouse)