Saturday 20th April
Cardiff Met 1 Aberystwyth Town 0
Aberystwyth Town’s dreams of European football were dashed this afternoon at Cardiff Met, as a 1-0 defeat which came as a result of an unfortunate own goal by Declan Walker confirmed the Students’ seventh placed finish, with the Black and Greens now certain to finish a commendable eighth. Matthew Bishop’s men tried their hardest on a hot afternoon in the capital but failed to find the net and with Town keeper Terry McCormick on top form Met were worthy winners on the day.
On a beautiful afternoon the hosts almost made the perfect start as Chris Baker broke through and hit the post within the first minute. With Aber set up to sit back and hit Met on the break, and the hot weather slowing the pace of the game down, chances were at a premium in the early stages. Met’s Elliot Evans sent a free kick narrowly over the bar, and at the other end Walker’s free kick feel nicely for Will Fuller in the home goal. Ash Ruane then made a super dash down the right wing and his cut back gave Geoff Kellaway a chance, but his header was saved. Aber’s tactics seemed to be working well but then a spot of bad fortune proved crucial when Kyle McCarthy’s left wing cross deflected into Aber’s net off Walker’s heel, and 27 minutes in it was 1-0. Kellaway released Ruane, whose shot was saved and then McCormick pulled off a superb stop to deny Adam Roscrow in a one on one. Kellaway curled a good effort wide before McCormick denied Roscrow again. Aber’s super stopper then pulled off another tremendous save to deny Will Evans from point black range and once Marc Williams had headed Wes Baynes’ free kick wide for the visitors, the half ended at 1-0.
In truth Aber needed to do more in the second half to earn the win they craved and Matthew Jones moved into midfield to push the team forward. Paolo Mendes made a last ditch tackle to deny Met and then Kellaway burst down the left released by Marc Williams, but his low drive was saved. With Town getting some useful balls into the box they were looking more threatening, but Cardiff Met were also dangerous, with Will Evans sliding the ball inches past the post at the other end. McCormick did well yet again to deny the selfsame Evans another strike, before Baynes’ dangerous ball in just evaded Ruane at the back post. Elliot Evans brought another save from MCormick with a free kick and a Baynes corner lead to a scramble in Met’s box which was cleared. It was a tough day to be chasing the game and try though they might, Aber could not find the vital opening. Roscrow fired inches wide for Met giving Aber another let off, and although Walker was sent forward, Met cleared a late Baynes free kick to hold on for that all important three points.
It has to be said that for all Aber’s laudable efforts, Met were the better side at Cyncoed this afternoon, and deserved their win and the resultant shot at a UEFA Europa League Play Off. After a transitional pre-season the Seasiders have done very well to maintain a push for Europe until the penultimate hurdle, and Friday’s last WPL match of the season at Carmarthen will give the Black and Greens the chance to end a season of highs and lows on a positive note. See you there!
Photo courtesy of Colin Ewart