In a game which lacked quality in the last third, both sides will have left wondering what might have been. Met remains unbeaten at home, as they played the last 30 minutes with ten men after Joel Edwards’ sending off.
The Archers will be thankful that Joel Edwards’ red card didn’t impact the scoreline, as Cefn Druids were left frustrated as they were unable to take advantage of the extra man in the last 30 minutes.
The home side made a positive start to the game. They controlled possession and looked threatening going forward with wide men Eliot Evans and Adam Roscrow.
Despite Met having more possession and territory, the Druids were looking comfortable in the defence and were doing a good job at forcing the Archers out wide to make the crosses.
There were no shots on goal in the opening 20 minutes, with the majority of play being in the middle with Met unable to break the Druids down, and the away side being unable to keep possession.
Cefn Druids opened the scoring in the 26th minute with their first shot on goal. They found space down the left and a pin-point cross was met by the head of Nathan Peate who directed his header past the diving Will Fuller into the bottom right corner.
It was a goal which came against the run of play, and for the first time this season the Archers found themselves behind at home.
Met manager Christian Edwards made an early change in the 32nd minute, with Harry Owen replacing Will Evans. It was later announced that the midfielder suffered a knock to his ankle, and it remains to be seen if he will fit to face Connah’s Quay Nomads next Sunday.
Met’s Kyle McCarthy was shown a yellow card three minutes later for a cynical challenge just as Cefn Druids were breaking down the right side.
The goal had clearly given the away side confidence and they began to move the ball around with much more purpose, and Met appeared to be under pressure to find a way back into the game.
This was short-lived, however, as Adam Roscrow netted his ninth league goal of the season in the 43rd minute after a clever ball over the top from Chris Baker put him through on goal, and he calmly slotted into the left corner.
The goal will have made Edwards’ halftime talk that much easier, prior to the equalizer he will have had some concern about Met’s deficiencies in an attack.
The second half got underway with the addition of the floodlights. Neither side made any changes during the interval.
The Archers made a change in the 52nd minute, Ben Bowler replaced Kyle McCarthy in a move that meant that Met would begin to play more down the middle.
Two minutes later, Druids’ Michael Pritchard had an effort from just outside the box, which went flying over the crossbar as he got underneath the shot.
Cardiff Met’s left-back Joel Edwards saw red in the 60th minute for a poor tackle on Fisnik Hajdari. He was clearly unhappy with the decision, but he could have no complaints, it was one of the easier dismissals that referee Richard Harrington will have to make.
The Students did not resign themselves to sitting back and protecting their lead, and in the 62nd minute Roscrow was set free down the right in a sharp counter-attack, Naim Arsam did well to get back and put in a sliding challenge to cut out the danger.
The home side made a change six minutes later, Rhys Thomas replaced the goalscorer Adam Roscrow, as Met looked to move to a more compact shape to frustrate the Druids.
Cefn Druids responded with a substitution of their own seven minutes later, as Ashley Ruane replaced Lewis Buckley.
Huw Griffiths’ men began to ramp up the pressure in the last 10 minutes as the extra man advantage started to become visible. The Students were camped in their own half, relying on their defence to salvage a point from the game.
The defence did just that, scuppering any potentially dangerous forays into their last third by the Druids. It was the Archers who had the last chance of the game with a free-kick from just outside the area, but Eliot Evans’ effort was straight at the goalkeeper.
The draw means that Cardiff Met stays second, joint top of the league with The New Saints. Cefn Druids stay in sixth, still on course to finish phase one knowing that they can’t be relegated.
(Featured Image: Matthew Lofthouse)