After a long two month break, Cats were back in action in the Welsh capital as they visited Cardiff for their GFSN Division 2 clash knowing that anything but a win would all but put an end to their title challenge.
The blustery conditions certainly played a part in a game that lacked quality throughout although it was not short of entertainment. Cats went into the game with a depleted squad with several key names missing however they believed that the players who did travel would be strong enough to take three points against a side that they had already beaten on the opening day of the season.
It was soon clear that it would be a much tighter contest on this occasion with the home side dominating the first half albeit with a strong wind behind them that ensured that it would be difficult for Cats to make it over the half way line. The first half an hour was uneventful with the only moment of note being a smart save from John Driver in the Cats goal who managed to dive to his left to tip a low drive round the post. Shortly after this, Mike found himself through one on one with the Cardiff keeper but without realising the amount of time he had he tamely rolled his shot harmlessly wide of the post. With half time approaching, the nippy Cardiff winner sprung the offside trap and found himself one on one with John and confidently struck the ball high into the net to give the home side a deserved lead at the break.
Wildecats came out in a determined mood for the second half after being disappointed with their lacklustre first half display. They quickly set about attacking the Cardiff goal with Mike seeing his low drive very well saved by the keeper and Darren striking the ball against the crossbar from close range. Unfortunately for the visitors this would prove to be their best attacking play for another half an hour as with the pattern of the first half, Cats performance levels dropped below the standard that they expect of themselves. With credit to the home side, they sensed that Leicester were having a bad day at the office and again it was the pacy winger who cut in from the left and slotted calmly past the keeper to double the hosts lead. An almost identical third goal then followed immediately after following more poor defending from a now thoroughly deflated away side.
With time running out, Cats knew that they were now playing pride and a deflected goal from Guy gave them something to cheer with five minutes left on the clock. Shortly after a long kick forward from John Driver was carried by the wind, flying over the heads of the Cardiff defence and into the path of Darren who lofted it over the goalkeeper to make it 3-2 and create a frantic final few minutes.
With only seconds left on the clock, Wildecats won a corner. Darren whipped in a fantastic delivery right under the crossbar which was expertly and agonisingly headed away as the referee blew his whistle for the final time. It would have been an undeserved point had Wildecats managed to squeeze an equaliser over the line as their poor performance had not merited taking anything from the game against a determined Cardiff Dragons who were good value for their hard earned victory.
Cats now need to go away and regroup as although their chances of the title have gone, promotion is still very much to play for. However they know that they will be lucky to pick up any further points this season if they perform at the same level again.
|March 9, 2019||2:00 pm||GFSN National League Division 2||2018/2019|
|Club||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals|