In our 2nd game in 3 days, we headed over to Tremorfa Park to take on St Albans AFC for a friendly fixture to coincide with the start of SANDS Awareness Month.
United were hoping to build upon their first victory early in the week, and were in confident mood prior to kick off.
However, we received an early wake up call as the Saints started like lightning and with the first move of the match found themselves ahead after a precision cross from the right hand side was headed home.
Barely 5 minutes later a near carbon copy move put the home team 2 nil up, and it looked like it was going to be a long afternoon for the boys in purple.
If anything however, conceding the two early goals seem to settle the SANDS boys down.
Regaining their shape, and being expertly marshalled at the back by Nathan, tireless running from Rikki in midfield, and Jack causing havoc upfront with his pace, a number of chances followed for SANDS. Together with some excellent goalkeeping from John between the sticks no further goals before the interval meant the teams went in at half time with the scoreline 2-0 to St Albans.
The 2nd half continued very much in the same vein as the latter half an hour of the first. Both sides having some good sustained pressure. St Albans passing at times leaving SANDS chasing Shadows, whereas a number of killer through balls to the Utd attack causing problems for the home teams’ defence.
In fact it was from one such through ball shortly after the restart when SANDS found themselves back in the game. A pinpoint pass found Jack who calmly slotted passed the keeper to bring the game back to 2-1.
Further chances followed. A free kick on the edge of the area giving SANDS a chance to equalise, though it was shot just over the bar by Rhys.
The St Albans keeper was also kept busy and made a series of fine saves with arms, legs, body and face which kept his team in the lead.
With approximately 15 minutes remaining though it was St Albans who next found the net. Following a corner, the SANDS defence were unable to clear the ball, and after a bit of pinging around the box it was eventually slotted in to make it 3-1 to the home side, which is how the match finished.
In all though a very encouraging game for SANDS United Cardiff. After such a difficult opening, the boys did a tremendous job in getting back into the game, and competed throughout against a skilled and youthful opposition.
Many thanks to our hosts for such a great game played in a wonderful spirit throughout.
Next up for SANDS is a Casuals Cup tie against Cardiff Northern Old Boys on 9th June.
Onwards and Upwards!