Clwb Pel Droed sent along the rovingsheep to see how things were shaping up at Cardiff Met ahead of their campaign in the Welsh Premier League this season.
Clwb Pel-Droed have a good rapport with Cardiff Met and it was great that goalkeeper Will Fuller kindly agreed to be interviewed earlier in the summer , indeed one of our own reporters Jamesy can often be found on a Saturday afternoon down at the Cyncoed campus. Having never made the trip myself it was time to set the Sat Nav to Cardiff and head along to see how the Met were shaping up ahead of their debut season in the WPL.
Having navigated safely a loop around Roath Park avoiding the ducks and swans and day trippers, I managed to find the ground and eventually work out how to open the crash barrier.
Initially, I wondered where the groundand was I am sure many visiting fans will think the same as you pull into the car park, indeed it certainly baffled the travelling 1901 lads from PTT who went through via the wrong entrance and proceeded to miss the first thirty minutes of the game. Thankfully I had entered through the right driveway into the campus and resembling scenes from a Barry Island holiday camp I headed past the indoor athletics track and arrived at the ground in good time for kick off.
It was the second pre-season game of the summer for me watching the MET, as usually on a match day I can be found roaming the terraces at Merthyr Town FC. The Martyrs had beaten the Met earlier in the season 2-1 and it showed, if nothing else, that the Southern Premier league standard wise is essentially on a par with the WPL. The Met who, like Merthyr, play on a 3G pitch, made a good game of it and pushed hard in the closing stages against Merthyr. Today however, recently demoted WPL outfit Port Talbot Town were to be the opposition and it would be interesting to see how the game unfolded.
Incredibly the Met worked out intensively for over an hour prior to kick off, one touch moves, spinning, almost 5 a side games being played. It was obvious from the outset that they appeared to be well drilled and no doubt embracing sports science and the latest methods to get their boys raring to go ahead of kick off. A big shout to the tannoy music people at the MET, it resembled a disco ahead of kick off with the speakers belting out some classic dance tunes with the sunglasses on and in position I waited for kick off and indeed for the PTT lads to turn up.
The crowd seemed to be around 40/50 people and even one Jack Russell dog was in attendance. The game early on was relatively even. PTT unfortunately have lost the majority of their squad from last season but managed to retain three players including the talented Marley Bishop-Wisdom and Luke Bowen, who had scored quite a few for the Steelmen earlier on in their pre season games. PTT hadn’t had the best of results in pre-season, losing quite a few games despite an encouraging draw against Carmarthen Town. But slowly the Met pass and move game came into their own and they took the lead after some great work.
My phone now rang and it was the PTT lads who had travelled finally making it to the ground, no sooner than I had explained their lads had played well in the opening first thirty minutes, PTT collapsed, and just before half time, Cardiff Met had opened up a 3-0 lead. In fact the scoreline could have been 4-0 but the officials had ruled one Met goal out for offside. Cue the time to wander round the ground, embark on a mission to find a can of coke; not quite an olympic sport yet but it was certainly an event in itself working out where to get one. The Port Talbot fans were now resigned to a heavy defeat and were already discussing plans for their league 1 adventure this season, and took up their positions behind the goal ready to see if PTT could launch a comeback.
The second half was soon under way and the game followed the same pattern as the first half. The Met were clinical in their finishing and despite PTT pulling a goal back, the final score was Cardiff Met 5 PTT 1. I headed back out to the car park to once again face the test of the crash barrier pressing intercom buzzers and I finally zoomed off to head back to my garden for a well deserved cold pint.
It’s easy to dismiss Cardiff Met for many purists they argue that a club of this nature should not be competing in the WPL. I would argue that they are there on merit and it is superb that the locality of Cardiff now have a club in the WPL playing in their own backyard. There will be some fantastic encounters this season in Cyncoed for sure. I would certainly endorse a visit and if Cardiff City are away and the Met are at home, then why not pop along for a great afternoon watching a team who are organised and play some good football, you will most certainly receive a warm welcome.
Until my next visit, good luck for the season to both teams.