Cardiff Metropolitan University brought an end to their poor start to the second phase of the JD Welsh Premier League on Saturday.
They secured a creditable draw against league leaders The New Saints at Cyncoed Campus. They released the shackles and put on an impressive display of open and attacking football.
The Archers were denied by a late equalising goal by Kevin Kauber. Met were at their best at the beginning of the season, utilising a quick passing game to trouble sides.
However, the Archers’ tactics were eventually found out. Sides began to nullify their game plan and results started to dip. Saturday’s game against The New Saints saw Met return to something like their form that leads them to a brief period at the top of the Welsh Premier League.
Injuries stifle Archers
Injuries have played a big part in Met’s season, with the Students missing the majority of their best players at the same time.
Adam Roscrow, Bradley Woolridge and Will Evans are the spines of Christian Edwards’ side, and the absence of these three did Met no favours.
With a close to full strength side, the Archers put in a much-improved performance. Right back Dylan Rees and forward Eliot Evans both put in solid shifts.
The Students’ now have the majority of their squad fully-fit. This hasn’t been the case for the majority of the season, much to the frustration of the Archers.
Rees and Evans impress for Met
Rees was given the freedom to attack down the right and looked assured on the ball. He had some nice touches going forward and did his defensive duties well.
Evans has been one of Met’s best players this season; providing numerous goals and assists. He did well to get into a good position to profit from a flick on to put Met into the lead with five minutes to play.
Reasons for Students to be optimistic
Their performance against TNS will have done their confidence no harm. It will have reminded them that they are able to compete with the best team in the league on their day.
With the reliable defending of Emlyn Lewis, Joel Edwards and Josh Barnett, they have a solid base to play from. Will Evans and Charlie Corsby provide a good passing game in the middle of the field. Adam Roscrow and Jordan Lam are always a threat out wide, particularly when Met have pace to their game.
Eliot Evans is a creative spark up front. He has been part of everything good that the Archers have produced so far this season. The Cyncoed Campus side will be hoping that they can replicate Saturday’s performance in their run in.
If they can, they will cause trouble for any of the five sides (Bangor, Connah’s Quay, Cefn Druids, Bala and TNS) that they have left to play.
The main takeaway for the Archers is the reminder that they have the ability to cause the best sides problems. Their recent run of poor results will have lowered the morale and maybe caused a few doubts to creep into the squad. However, this result will have gone a long way to instilling confidence. It will be interesting to see how Met finish the season.
(Featured image: Matthew Lofthouse)