After four successive defeats in the second phase of the JD Welsh Premier League, Cardiff Met University earnt an important point against league leaders The New Saints.
Lagging 22 points behind their opponents, the Archers welcomed a side that looked to bounce back following their exit in the quarter-final of the Welsh Cup at the hands of Connah’s Quay.
In an open game that saw goals from Eliot Evans and Kevin Kauber for both of their respective sides, Met will have been disappointed to have conceded so late on in the game that would have seen their first ever victory over TNS in the new format of the Welsh Premier League.
The first shot on goal fell in the 6th minute of the game when a TNS clearance fell to the feet of Emlyn Lewis, whom fired a shot from distance that swivelled just wide of the post, but ultimately proved no real danger to Andrew Wycherley’s goal.
In a first period of few clear chances, TNS failed to capitalise when in the 19th minute the ball fell to Ryan Brobbel in the Archers box, with the number 8 shifting his weight to create space for an effort with his right foot, but his effort was well blocked for a corner.
TNS began to grow into the game as the half went on, and in the 25th minute Jamie Mullan gained an opportunity outside the box, cutting inside to fire a promising left footed shot, but watched in agony as it soared high and wide, and the effort proved to be no trouble for stopper Will Fuller.
The New Saints began to seek control of the affair soon after, whipping a dangerous ball across the six-yard box in the 34th minute, but a brilliant piece of defending by stalwart Emlyn Lewis cleared the danger, as he desperately reached out to flick the ball away from harm in what looked to be a threatening attack from the visitors.
Ryan Brobbel looked to be the most dangerous player on the field for the away side, charging towards the Met penalty area after finding space in the 37th minute, shifting the ball onto his right side and firing a low driven effort at goal, but it swerved just wide of a scrambling Will Fuller’s near post, much to the relief of the Archers keeper.
In an open affair between both sides, Brobbel again looked to be the star of the show after a Met clearance found him on the edge of the area, but his low driven effort fell straight into the hands of Will Fuller despite finding the target.
The second half saw TNS begin the restart just as they had finished the first half, as Brobbel again found space on the edge of the area, but his effort was struck straight at Will Fuller, and the stopper tipped the effort over the bar away from danger.
The New Saints continued their pressure with a corner in the 61st minute, as Brobbel swung a ball into the area, finding the head of a leaping Steve Saunders who could only watch in desperation as his effort cannoned off the crossbar.
Cardiff Met’s first opportunity came in the 74th minute of play, as Josh Barnett clipped a ball across from outside the centre of the box, finding Emlyn Lewis in space, with the Met defender acrobatically firing an effort with his back to goal, that floated past the post to the relief of the wrong-footed Andrew Wycherley.
The deadlock was finally broken in the 86th minute, as Eliot Evans pounced for the home side after a long throw is flicked into the box, falling to the feet of the Archers winger, who tucked the ball into the bottom left corner to give the Dr. Christian Edwards men the lead.
However, heartbreak struck only moments later, when in stoppage time Kevin Kauber fired home. A ball floated in found the head of Saunders, who headed back across the danger area for the substitute to slide the ball into the back of an open net to equalise.
Manager Scott Ruscoe will be happy to take a point at the death, but overall will feel his side could have taken much more with the chances they created.
Cardiff Metropolitan University
Fuller, Rees, Edwards, McCarthy (c), Lewis, Barnett (’74), W. Evans (’56), Corsby, Evans, Roscrow, Lam (’72).
Subs: Owen (’72), Bowler (’74), Morgan (’56).
The New Saints
Wycherley, Pryce (’77), Saunders, Hudson, Marriott (c), Holland, Routledge, Edwards, Mullan, Brobbel, Draper (’84).
Subs: Clark (’77), Kauber (’84).
(Featured image: Matthew Lofthouse)