by Richard Early
University of South Wales 4th 6-3 Cardiff Metropolitan University 5th
Date: Wednesday January 31, 2018
Venue: USW Sport Park, Pontypridd
IN A first versus fourth clash University of South Wales Men’s 4th came away 6-3 victors against Cardiff Metropolitan University 5th. The result means that USW remain top of the Western 5B League on 19 points.
It did not take long for favourites, USW to open the scoring as after 20 minutes, Leigh Watkins turned to blast a shot from around 35-yards into the bottom left corner of the net. It was a special derby day goal.
It only took seven minutes for USW to double their lead, as Stephen Edwards produced an acrobatic, bicycle kick at the back post to send the ball into the bottom right corner. It is a rare trait for a centre-back, and he rightfully celebrated wildly with his teammates.
Then three minutes later, the home side added a third through Richard Abbott who produced a stunning strike from the left side of the area into the bottom right corner.
However, Cardiff Met did bag a goal in four minutes of additional time at the end of the first half, as their striker fired home.
After the interval, the away side looked raring to go and brought the goal difference back to one after 66 minutes. Their winger shot into the bottom left corner to make the score 3-2 and added pressure to the hosts’ lead.
Although four minutes later, USW substitute Tom Holder made it 4-2 due to tapping home after a scuffle for the ball in the penalty area. That goal could put the USW 5th team member in Josh Liddiard’s mind for future squad selections.
The hosts added to their lead after 81 minutes from an indirect freekick. Toby Prettyjohn blasted the ball low and hard from the set-piece, forcing the goalkeeper to parry which allowed Rob Turner to bag a goal from close range.
Then eight minutes later, the Cardiff Met ‘keeper rushed off his line to retrieve the ball, and a lack of communication with his defender saw it sail past him, allowing USW’s Redd Pratley to regain possession before tapping home from around six-yards.
The away side scored a consolation goal after 89 minutes to make the score 6-3, before the referee blew his final whistle.
Another three points for USW, who deserved the win after a solid performance.
USW’s Stephen Edwards reflected on the result: “In the first half we started strong and it was like we’d never had a break over Christmas.
“I thought our side grinded it out in the second half, they [Cardiff Met] were the much better team in that period.
“However, I think they gave up at the back towards the end by committing too many men forward, and when you have the likes of Redd, Tommy coming off the bench, Rich, they’re all lighting and going to get goals.”
Stephen concluded by commenting on his bicycle kick goal: “I don’t want to brag but that’s what I’ve got in my locker.”