Another weekend and more live football! In contrast to the £10 ticket and £30 train journey to watch my beloved Villa play, Cardiff Met was £1 with a free lift from my mate’s dad.
After agonizingly missing out on Europe last season, Met haven’t messed around in the transfer market, bringing in former Hereford captain Joel Edwards and ex Cardiff City full back Dylan Rees. Is this the end of the Welsh side playing students and ex-students exclusively?
Today the Archers continued their pre-season preparations against Newport County, not THE Newport County, but their academy. Guess I’ll have to wait a bit longer to see Jazzi Barnum-Bobb in the flesh then.
For the first twelve minutes or so, the Archers played keep ball against their younger opponents. When I say younger, I mean much younger. The away side were about a foot shorter and probably five stone lighter. Men against boys in the literal sense.
With about quarter of an hour gone, it was 1-0. Kyle McCarthy, who usually plays at full back, latched onto a simple through ball and slotted past the onrushing Exiles goalkeeper.
Met kept coming at Newport, and Adam Roscrow nearly made two a couple of times, before finally doing so just after 20 minutes with a low finish.
The same man nearly doubled his tally in remarkable fashion minutes later, flicking the ball over a County defender before turning. Unfortunately for the Archers and YouTube goal compilations, Roscrow couldn’t do the easy bit and lashed the ball over the bar from about three yards.
Then, before half time, it was three, a Newport defender missed his header, allowing Jordan Lam to play in Roscrow his second.
It’s not like Cardiff Met were particularly ruthless in front of goal, they were just faster to every ball. If their speed didn’t get them there, then their strength did.
Newport’s luck was well and truly out for the home side’s fourth. Roscrow was tackled in the box but the ball fell to Eliot Evans, who finished in off the post. It was the type of finish where watch and think “that was so well placed” or “Evans was well lucky there.”
Soon after it was five. Josh Barnett found the bottom corner with what looked to be a cross.
Newport’s youngsters had dropped so deep that the Archers had the midfield to themselves. Jordan Lam was first to a ball over the top before showing enough composure to get his first of the game. 6-0.
After that, a whole host of substitutes were made by both sides. One of them, fans favourite Chris Baker (well me and my mate rate him anyway), made space in the box before rifling home Met’s seventh.
Baker nearly grabbed goal of the day moments later, hitting a sweet strike from twenty yards onto the post. Unfortunately for him, that accolade would go to another substitute, Matt Taylor. Turning his man, the midfielder curled the ball away from County’s second keeper of the day from long range.
With less than ten minutes to go, the Exiles got the consolation goal of consolation goals. Fair play to Newport, it was a bit of a beaut too. Their number three managing to get a free kick up and over the Met wall.
This gave the away side a bit of confidence to attack, but it was much too little, too late. Overall, the game was probably a bit of a learning curve for Newport’s youngsters. As for Cardiff Met, much tougher tests await in the forthcoming Welsh Premier League season.