By Ethan Harris
The University of South Wales triumphed over rivals Cardiff Metropolitan to book their place in the British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) National trophy.
USW had a three goal cushion by half time thanks to goals from Clayton Green, Liam Edwards and Kane Owen. Despite a second half push from the visitors, they could only score twice to reduce the deficit.
The Archers’ two goals in the second half were not enough to complete a comeback, with USW standing firm to see out the tie despite a late flurry from the visitors.
It was a dream start for the home side, with a long ball from Ashley Morris brought under control by Liam Edwards on the edge of the area.
The forward calmly pushed the ball past Alex Lang in the Archers net for USW to break the deadlock within the first five minutes.
It was not enough for USW, as moments later they found themselves with a chance from the penalty spot.
A long throw in from Louis Gerrard saw Cameron Keetch brought down by Matt Swindlehurt in the area, leaving the referee with little choice but to point to the spot.
Captain Kane Owen stepped up for the home side, burying the ball to the keeper’s left and doubling the hosts’ advantage inside ten minutes.
USW were happy to sit in their shape, allowing their opposition plenty of time on the ball on the fringes of their own half.
It was a tactic that paidoff, when a loose ball in the middle of the park was firmly struck by Clayton Green.
Despite being 35 yards from goal, the midfielder smashed an effort towards goal that clattered off the crossbar, dipping just over the line and putting the home side three goals to the good just beyond the half hour mark.
Half time: University of South Wales 3 – Cardiff Metropolitan University 0
The Archers would smash their way back into the game in the opening stages of the second half.
Matt Neale’s strike from the edge of the area clipped through the crowd, and with Ashley Morris seeing it late, the effort crept into the bottom left corner, putting Cardiff Met on the scoreboard.
Just after the hour mark, the Archers crept forward once more through Matt Neale.
With ample time on the edge of the area, Cardiff Met’s number ten struck a lethal strike towards goal, narrowly zipping past the left-hand side of the post.
The visitors were pushing hard for their second, with Adam Roscrow placing a curled cross deep towards the back post.
Rhydian Morgan climbed high to meet the ball, but his headed effort was calmly collected by stopper Ashley Morris.
A goal mouth scramble deep into added time meant the Archers would grab their second of the game, but it was a mere consolation as the University of South Wales advanced to the final of the BUCS National trophy.
Full time: University of South Wales 3 – Cardiff Metropolitan University 2
University of South Wales – Morris, John, Owen, Evans, Baldwin, Thomas, George, Green, Gerrard, Keetch, Edwards.
Subs: Albaarini, Baldock, Noor, Hartshorn, Davies, Rysgaard.
Cardiff Metropolitan University – Alex Lang, Rhydian Morgan, Dylan Rees, Matt Swindlehurst, Matt Chubb, Guto Williams, Bradley Flay, Chris Baker, Adam Roscrow, Matt Neale, Harry Owen.
Subs: Gwion Howell, Rhys Thomas, Dion Phillips, Louis Hadergjonaj, Max Manson.