Two goals either side of half-time gave Cardiff Met the shock result of the season after the Archers thrashed The New Saints 4-1 under the Sgorio cameras.
It was a game in which the home side were first to almost every ball despite being six places lower than their opponents in the Welsh Premier League table.
Just a minute and half into the game and The New Saints hit the post through Ryan Brobbel. Soon after, Simon Spender found space in the Met area but dragged his shot wide.
But the Archers crept into the game and were in front after 26 minutes. Elliot Evans, who had a couple long range sighters beforehand, wasn’t closed down and crossed to Rhys Thomas who finished at the near post with his thigh. A slice of luck or a smart finish? I think the latter.
Met were putting the pressure on now, with Evans finding all kinds of space in the opposition half. However, the Saints did have a great chance to half the deficit, but Adrian Cieślewicz could only volley Danny Redmond’s ball into the side netting.
And the away side were made to pay. Evans’ shot was fumbled by Paul Harrison and Sam Snaith came sliding in bravely to finish the scraps. 2-0.
The crossbar denied Ryan Brobbel’s chipped effort as the half drew to a close, ensuring it was a perfect first 45 for the Archers.
TNS pushed forward in the second half, but that meant they were always susceptible to the counter, and that’s what happened after 53 minutes. Kyle McCarthy played the ball to Evans who in turn laid it across to Snaith, the 18-year-old, who had started the move, finished it off with a placed shot past Harrison.
With less than ten minutes to go it was four. With the game getting stretched, Snaith beat Tom Holland to the ball allowing Evans to get it across to Chris Baker. The midfielder has a knack of scoring when the S4C cameras are on, and made no mistake again with a driven effort.
TNS did get one back to salvage some Pride, Danny Redmond capitalising on Matthew Swindlehurst and Emlyn Lewis’ mix up prior to finding Greg Draper who found a finish. It was a rare mistake from a Met defence who had been excellent all game up until that point.
In his post-match interview Christian Edwards described how every player in his Met side had played out their role to the maximum. Late on debutante keeper Manson illustrated by making a good low save from Redmond before Draper headed over.
Despite winning by four goals, Cardiff Met put in a five-star performance and will be hoping they can keep the good times going when they play Connah’s Quay Nomads next Sunday. Meanwhile, The New Saints play Prestatyn in the Welsh League Cup before they continue their title defence at Carmarthen Town on Saturday.