Cardiff Met managed to secure their first Nathaniel MG Cup final victory over division one side Cambrian & Clydach Vale thanks to a double from Adam Roscrow.
The Met lost to The New Saints in last years final, making the win even sweeter.
Going into the game the Archers were the clear favourites, the Welsh Premier League side coming off three consecutive wins too. However, the Vale had overcome four top tier sides to get to this final, so an upset was certainly on the cards.
And in the opening stages the villagers looked the better side, getting to nearly every ball first. Plus front man Richard French was proving to be a handful for the Met defence.
The Met had the first real chance though. Roscrow hurdled a challenge before playing it inside to Chris Baker, unfortunately for Baker he couldn’t get his head over the ball and blazed over.
Mid-way through the half Mr Jenkins had to made his first big call; Niall Reed’s shot was blocked by Bradley Woolridge’s elbow from close range. In fairness, Woodridge didn’t have much time to react, and so Jenkins decided not to give the penalty.
Met’s best move of the game came just after the half hour mark. A lovely passing move down the right resulted in Will Evans hitting a shot just over.
Then Villagers midfielder Corey Shepard had Alex Lang scrambling with a effort from inside his own half, luckily for Met, Lang backtracked enough to catch the ball thus preventing what would’ve been an iconic goal.
After 40 minutes, Roscrow got an iconic goal of his own to put the students ahead. Chris Baker took advantage of a wayward throw in before threading it through to the forward. Also a talented 200 metre runner, Roscrow outpaced two defenders prior to slotting it in the bottom corner.
Cambrian & Clydach Vale were down but by no means out. In the second half Cameron Keetch forced Lang into a fantastic one handed save as his shot from range was tipped over the bar.
Then French found himself on the end of Shephard’s first time cross but he couldn’t keep his headed effort down.
Vale were getting closer. Kyle Jones missed a guilt-edged chance at the back post with the goal at his mercy.
Met were quieter in the second period, but the goal scoring combination of Baker and Roscrow nearly got another after the hour mark. However the former couldn’t get a clean headed connection on the latter’s dinked cross.
Cameron Keetch had been one of the villagers best performers on the day, and the wing-back came very close with a side-footed half volley which dropped just wide.
It was getting to that now or never stage for the Vale, and goalkeeper Dan Bradley went up for a corner in the dying seconds. Nothing came of it, and from the counter attack Roscrow stroked the ball into the empty net.
The victory is huge for Cardiff Met as they can finally shake off their “nearly men” tag having lost three previous Welsh Premier League finals.
As for Cambrian & Clydach Vale, their Welsh Division One campaign, where they are within a shout of promotion, now takes priority.
(Feature image by James Young)