South Wales Senior League
Cadoxton Barry 2 - 4 St Albans
THE Cadoxton Barry team line up merry-go-round continued as it has done all season.
With players unavailable for multifarious reasons, the team saw as many changes from the previous week as that week's had seen from the week before.
Cadoxton Barry struggled from the outset having chosen to play against the strong prevailing wind. And only three minutes in an Albion free kick from right to left saw a downward header find the net in one bounce from a considerable distance out.
CB got their first real chance twenty minutes in when a Sam Williams header was narrowly wide of his far post.
Meanwhile, knowing that the wind was a great allay, Albans began to shoot on sight - Warner leaping to tip over a speculative effort from thirty yards. Then Albans attacked down the left for the wing man to spot Warner coming forward before firing home with a neat dipping shot from 25 yards.
The visitors continued to press before, in a forward break, Baker headed on from midfield to see the ball bounce up just nicely for Hudson to hook home a fine goal. And just after that, the referee was unsighted when a clear push on Thompson's back should have resulted in a CB penalty.
Forty minutes in, initiated by Baker via Morgan, the ball found its way to Thompson who danced past a couple of challanges before equalising from the edge of the six yard box.
For a few brief minutes CB looked to have the match at their command. But they were just a few brief minutes because on the stroke of half time, following a spell of CB pressure, Albans broke upfield with defenders standing off to allow a free cross for the man in the middle to convert comfortably.
With the wind to come behind their backs in the second half, a one goal deficit shouldn't have been much to worry about at half time but Albans soon showed that they were about to cope with the now easing wind far better that CB had earlier. And with only four minutes gone a slow retreating defence allowed another dipping effort from the right to find the left corner of the CB net.
Although a neat move started by Blackmore saw Thompson finally fire just over the bar, it wasn't until twenty minutes from the end that CB managed to harness the wind to create any lengthy spell of opportunities. A CB free kick found the net via Baker but the goal was ruled out for off side. Then a defensive error on the part of Albans saw a shot from Morgan fly just over the bar. But that was one of only a few errors as the visitors' rearguard tightened up to ensure that their two goal lead remained intact to the final whistle.
With a new management partnership and new players to bed in - some playing at this level for the first time - the season took a bit of time to get up a head of steam. But once it did, only interrupted by a string of postponements due to the winter rains, CB went on a long run of wins and draws, culminating in a narrow South Wales Senior Cup semi-final defeat at the hands of Cwm Welfare at Taffs Well's ground.
Coupled with that, the fact that CB did not lose a match to any of the three promoted sides, tells us that the talent to go on a promotion run next season is there. The only thing needed is that they all have to be on the same pitch at the same time. Only in a couple of pre-season friendlies - and not even in the South Wales Senior Cup semi-final - did CB field anything near a full strength side.
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