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Druids go through after shootout win

Photo by Mike Plunkett

CEFN Druids booked their place in the third round of the Welsh Cup on Saturday (Sept 4) as they beat Holyhead Hotspur 4-2 on penalties after their game finished goalless.

The Druids set up with a solid 4-4-2 diamond formation and aimed to be more direct and take the game to the opposition early on.

The match began and Druids were sending good balls into wide areas high up the pitch to go and compete for. Holyhead’s defence however were solid early on and up for the battle.

Most of the first 45 was played in Holyhead’s half with Charley Edge, Jose Ferreira and Joe Faux all getting shots off from just outside the area, but were unable to make them count.

Holyhead did however create some meaningful attacks on the counter and put some dangerous balls into the Druids’ box.

Keeper Ryan Neild, on his Druids debut, was very solid from the beginning and was positioned well to prevent a Holyhead striker getting on the end of them.

There was also an entertaining battle in midfield with both sides getting stuck in to compete on the ground and in the air. Tony Davies and Phil Mooney played alongside each other in central defence and were vocal to help maintain Druids shape.

After more pressure and a few more half chances, Holyhead remained solid and organised and the teams went into half time at 0-0.

The Druids came out in the second half aiming to continue their hard work, confident the gaps would open soon.

And they did. As the second half progressed, Niall Flint was making clever runs in behind Holyhead’s defence and earned some good chances in the box. His strikes just going wide unfortunately, but positive signs.

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Ben Wynne was introduced on 70 minutes and shortly after had our best chance of the match. A great bursting run through midfield had him clean through 1 on 1 with the keeper. His low shot was miraculously saved by the dangling leg of the Holyhead keeper to keep it all square.

Druids kept pressing in search of a winner until the final whistle, however our opposition who were solid defensively all match, held out and the referee blew for full time.

The match was to be decided by penalties and Druids stepped up first to take. Niall Flint, Charley Edge, Brandon Lockett and Tony Davies all scored but it was Druid’s keeper Ryan Neild who was the hero on his debut. Pulling off two incredible penalty saves and almost a third with it ending 4-2 to Druids.

It was a much needed win for the Druids and their reward is a third round tie away at Aberystwyth Town.