USW boss laments missed “handball” but hails defensive organisation after fiery draw

USW Men's coach Rob Bailey
USW Men's coach Rob Bailey

By Ben Thomas

USW manager Rob Bailey insisted he was pleased with his side’s determined performance in their 2-2 draw against Cardiff Met 4ths – despite frustration over a late equaliser by the visitors.

After a slow first half showing from both sides, the game burst into life in the second half with Met taking the lead in the 62nd minute after Morgan Allot stabbed the ball home.

USW levelled with 10 minutes to go thanks to a calm finish from Jack Woodams, and they then  took the lead in 86th minute with Harry Jones heading home from a rebound after a corner.

It appeared that USW would earn all three points, but a 90th minute goal from Henry Wall for the away side left them frustrated, feeling that it should have been disallowed for handball.

Bailey said: “If you’ve got an impartial linesman helping the referee then you spot that stuff.

“Some of my players and coaching staff thought it was handball as well, but the referee has clearly not seen it, so he can’t give what he doesn’t see.”

There was visible frustration from the USW players at full time, but their manager insisted that they shouldn’t dwell too much on the final result.

Bailey added: “I’m really pleased with the performance. The players are a little disappointed they didn’t get the three points but I’m trying to get them to separate the wins and losses from how they performed.

“It’s a really good team performance, they adjusted really well to how Met played the first half and had to tweak our shape slightly. We could have come away with three points, but I’m pleased with the performance overall.”

USW bounced back after a 7-2 defeat to league leaders Bristol University 3rds last week, with Bailey sharing that his side looked to be more defensively sound in this fixture and put that result behind them.

He explained: “We are more attacking normally, but the plan today was after last week’s performance, we wanted to be more robust defensively, and sacrificed our attacking intent to make sure we weren’t conceding wilfully.

“They started that process on Monday, where the tempo and attitudes were very good.

“The lads were very self-critical of themselves, and all agreed that wasn’t going to happen again, and you could see with their determination they weren’t going to get beat today.”

USW continue their league campaign with a home game against bottom of the table Hartpury University 3rds, With Bailey hoping his side build on today’s performance.

“They should be pleased with how they’ve performed today, once they’ve calmed down a bit, they’ll be pleased with how they’ve played,” said Bailey.

“For me it’s making sure we are consistent.”