Match Report: Aber 2nds 2-4 Cardiff Metropolitan 2nds

TEAM Aber’s Men’s Football 2nd team were today eliminated from the BUCS Cup, beaten in a close match 4-2 by Cardiff Metropolitan’s 2nd team. Despite goals from Seb Seidler and Harry Coe, the Students were undone by their stronger opponents, who clinched victory in the last minute.

AUFC-CrestIn regular BUCS league fixtures, Aberystwyth’s 2nd team usually face up against Cardiff Met’s 5th team, who they beat 6-2 four weeks ago, so the cup fixture was certain to provide a tough test.

However, the students couldn’t have asked for a better start, when they won a free-kick just inside their own half after Matthew Whitley was fouled. Sam Chapman pumped the ball long and, unchallenged, Seidler was able to allow the ball the bounce before performing a spectacular over-head kick to chip the goalkeeper and fire Aber into a 1-0 lead after just four minutes. News of the shock lead spread quickly and the assembled crowd expanded from just three at kick off, to over 30 by half time.

Seidler was involved again as the home side looked to increase their lead – laying the ball off to Coe, whose half volley was deflected just wide. From the resultant corner Cardiff were able to break and launch a dangerous counter-attack, winning a corner of their own in the process. The kick was taken short and crossed to the back post, where an unmarked winger headed across goal only to be denied by a strong save from stand-in goalkeeper Rob Clamp.

As Aber tried to get the ball clear, possession was lost and Liam Jones conceded a free kick on the edge of the penalty area. The set-piece was superbly parried by Clamp, but the away side reacted quickest and the rebound was converted to make it 1-1 after 16 minutes.

Straight from kick off Cardiff looked to regain possession and get themselves in front. Skipper Andy Holden lost the ball and committed a foul in trying to win it back, before receiving a yellow card for delaying the restart of play. The deep free kick was again delivered to the back post, and was headed across goal onto the post. Fortunately the ball bounced back safely into the arms of Clamp.

It wasn’t all one way traffic though, as Seidler and Coe combined to force the away side’s ‘keeper another save.

After 26 minutes Cardiff edged into the lead – Team Aber had soaked up a great deal of pressure and were unfortunate to concede in the manner they did. A poor goal kick gave away possession and it was two against two. A quick shot took a massive deflection which took it far out of Clamp’s reach and Aber found themselves 2-1 down.

Two minutes later it could have been three. Cardiff’s left-winger left Chapman for dead and found himself one-on-one with the ‘keeper. A superb strike looked destined for the net, only for Clamp to make an excellent full-stretch save.

Before the break, Aber did come close to an equaliser – Coe and Seidler linking up yet again and the latter created a decent opening for himself to force the Cardiff keeper into another smart save.

Right on the stroke of half-time Cardiff had another golden opportunity – the visitors’ number nine, who wasn’t enjoying the best of games, went through one-on-one with Clamp but got his feet tangled and only managed the tamest of shots, which was easily saved.

Half time 1-2

After the end-to-end nature of the first half both teams were looking to settle down into a more comfortable pattern of play. Unfortunately for Team Aber, the pattern which actually developed was for Cardiff to dominate the game for long spells.

Right from kick off the away side picked up where they’d left off, as one forward chipped the ball over Holden to his striker partner, who was unlucky to miss-kick and leave Clamp with a simple save. Moments later they did have the ball in the net, only for the goal to be ruled out for a clear offside.

On 55 minutes the visitors created another great opportunity, bypassing Aber’s midfield with ease to feed a majestic through ball for their striker to unleash a shot. James Everett slid in to make a wonderful block, saving a certain goal, but he could still only take the sting out of the shot so Clamp had to make a reaction save.

Cardiff’s pressure finally paid off 13 minutes into the second period. A deep free-kick, taken from almost exactly the same position as the kick that scored Aber’s opening goal, managed to evade every member of the defence and the away side’s number 10 had a free shot on the penalty spot, volleying past the goalkeeper into the left corner of the net to make it 3-1.

Within a minute Team Aber proved their determination and bounce back ability with a stunning goal to get themselves back in the game. Without losing possession from kick-off Aber shifted the ball to Seidler, who in turn threaded a tantalising ball through for Coe to slide under the onrushing goalkeeper and reduce the deficit to just one goal.

On 61 minutes it could have been 3-3 – Seidler, was again involved with another slick lay off, this time for Liam Jones to test the ‘keeper, who was at full-stretch to deny the midfielder.

Team Aber were now well and truly on the front foot. A long clearance by Holden was hopelessly misjudged by the Cardiff left back and Whitley had a clear run towards the visitors’ penalty area. The winger put in a wonderful cross which was expertly headed goalwards by Coe, only to be acrobatically saved yet again by the goalkeeper and put out from a corner. From the corner, Andre Niebler was denied by two blocks on the goal line.

Before the home side had a chance to express any disappointment, Cardiff broke from the corner and found themselves with two strikers running at the goalkeeper. They should have put themselves into a comfortable lead, and with a FIFA-style sideways pass the number nine was left with an open goal – but missed!

Sadly in the chase back, Holden picked up an injury and had to be replaced by Josh Price for the last 20 minutes. Moments later Sam Jenkins was substituted, with Gytis Pivnickas taking his place on the right wing.

The game went fairly quiet after the changes, and Cardiff made two changes of their own. Soon two subs came up against each other, and Pivnickas won a corner trying to squeeze past the away side’s newly introduced defender. The corner came to nothing and Cardiff exploited Team Aber’s vulnerability to counter-attacks yet again – but once more Clamp saved from a one-on-one.

In the last five minutes Aber piled on the pressure as they searched for an equaliser. Neibler and Jones both managed shots on target but couldn’t get beyond the goalkeeper. As frustration mounted and chance after chance went unconverted, the mood around the ground was reflected in the weather as it started raining.

With a minute left on the clock the nail was finally put into Team Aber’s coffin. Scott Mallard made a valiant effort to stop the Cardiff right winger but couldn’t do enough, and a grounded cross was missed by Price and converted by the substitute striker to make it 4-2.

Full time: 2-4

ASM Man of the Match: SEB SEIDLER

Seidler was on his game from the first whistle and opened the scoring with a spectacular over-head kick after just four minutes. The forward also set up Aber’s second goal and was central to virtually everything the home side did inside the Cardiff half.