Scoring a last-minute winner away from home in a South Wales Derby, that was the story of Cardiff Met’s Dafabet Welsh Premier League European Play-off semi-final showdown last Sunday, a result which put the Students one step closer to a UEFA Europa League berth.
Bangor City v Cardiff Met
DAFABET WELSH PREMIER LEAGUE
UEFA Europa League Play-Off Final
- Saturday, 13 May 2017
- Bangor University Stadium, Bangor
- Kick off: 5:15pm
- Live on S4C from 5:00pm
Making the trip up to the Bangor University Stadium on the weekend to contest the Europa League Play-off Final against Gary Taylor-Fletcher’s Bangor City, Met’s goalkeeper, Will Fuller, has been speaking about his club’s mentality ahead of the fixture.
“We’re 90 minutes closer than we were last week but we’re still 90 minutes away,” Fuller told FAW.Cymru. “Saturday is a big game for us but once we’re on the pitch, it’s just another game and we’ll look to apply ourselves and execute the game plan.
“To win on Saturday and make Europe would be an absolute dream, it's something I could never have imagined when I arrived at the club and we were in Welsh League Division Three.
“The rise through the leagues has been amazing, as has our first season in the Dafabet Welsh Premier League and that is down to the hard work of the players and staff throughout the years. It’s down to us a squad now to try and carry that on Saturday and write the next chapter of the Cardiff Met story.”
After a somewhat difficult run of results during Phase Two, where Met have struggled to put in consistent performances over the course of 90 minutes and instead showing just flashes of their class, the Students really do seem to have turned a corner in recent weeks and are unbeaten in their last three games.
The team are showing the hallmarks of all of the progress they’ve made throughout the year in these last few games, as they’ve been able to combine their possession-based style with a more direct, physical approach, and Fuller is confident that his teammates have what it takes to secure a historic win on Saturday.
“We’ve turned in some good performances in our last three games so we can take some positives from that but we’re under no illusions, we know the size of the task that faces us on Saturday. Form goes out of the window in a game like this but with a week of good preparation and if we stick to the game plan that the staff will construct then we’ve got a chance.
“We’ve shown in the last few games that we’re able to mix up our approach and go a little more direct when needed and as other sides have commented throughout the year, we’re a side that can build from the back and move the ball with pace as well. We’ll give absolutely everything on Saturday and hopefully we can come away with the win.”
The result that stands out above all others this season was Cardiff Met’s 4-0 thrashing of Bangor City at Cyncoed back in November.
Throughout the season, encounters between these two teams have been high-scoring affairs in general, with 17 goals scored in four previous games, but Met’s defence has been the key to their more successful spells this season and Fuller is adamant it will be the same on Saturday, whilst insisting that he and his teammates will not be going to Bangor to make up the numbers.
“The 4-0 win against Bangor was a standout result for us earlier in the season, but we’ve also come up short against them too. We’re aware of the threat they have going forward and the quality they’ve got with the likes of Gary Taylor-Fletcher, Daniel Nardiello and Henry Jones, but we have our own qualities.
“We’ve had a decent defensive record throughout the year and of course that will be important in this game and we’ve got a real threat up top and attacking players in good form so we’ll see what we can do.
“In the eyes of everyone else maybe the pressure is off us now, but not in our opinion. There’s been a lot in the press this week about how good our debut season has been and how good it is for a group of students to have achieved what we have, but we’re not satisfied with just making the final and making up the numbers, we want to win it.”