Cardiff Met 1-0 Cefn Druids
Cardiff Met scorer: Dean Rittenberg OG 79'
Looking to avoid four successive defeats against the Ancients and exact some revenge for the Europa League Playoff final defeat at The Rock at the end of last season, Met started quickly against the Ancients and had two great chances in the opening exchanges to take the lead.
Sam Snaith was the first to cause problems for Druids as the visiting defence made a slack back-pass which Snaith was quickest to react to, but Michael Jones was very quick off his line and threw his body in the way of the striker’s effort to clear.
Eliot Evans found himself in a similarly promising position minutes later, with just the goalkeeper to beat in the six-yard box, but Jones again did exceptionally well to clear the danger.
Inventive set-piece routines kept Druids on their toes at the back, but the visitors made many positive contributions themselves which caused Met problems, particularly from crosses, but their attacks were swift and purposeful, whereas Met were much more patient.
Nathan Peate and Arek Piskorski were stars for Druids in the game, both on and off the ball, with Piskorski once again putting in a tireless shift up front to lead a press when off the ball, and filling in all over pitch when the visitors broke.
A cloud fell over the first half when James Davies went down and was stretchered off with what looked like a very serious injury, but his replacement Jordan Evans started quickly as he forced Esa Aalto into a strong save right before halftime.
Druids started the second half quickly as Evans tested Aalto early-on, but the tempo soon died down and Met began to take control of the game. A match that looked like it was destined to be 0-0 at one point, Met were given a golden opportunity to break the deadlock after being awarded an indirect free-kick six yards out which McCarthy powered home off Dean Rittenberg to make it 1-0.
That proved to be enough for the home side to take victory, however Druids came very close to getting back on level terms on two occasions as Nathan Peate had two efforts cleared off the line. It was a hotly-contested match, decided by the finest of margins, and Met had their second home win of the season.
NOTE: The Met goal was originally credited to Kyle McCarthy. After review by League officials on Monday, the goal is now officially credited as an own goal. This report was changed to reflect that alteration.
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