AIRBUS UK Broughton continued their pre-season preparations with a trip to The Rock to face Huws-Gray Alliance side Cefn Druids. The Wrexham area club are tipped to do well this coming season and over the course of the 90 minutes showed the Wingmakers exactly why.
The first effort of the game was created by Richie Partridge whose curling shot was tipped over the bar. Airbus dominated possession with some slick passing moves in the opening stages but fell behind against the run of play. On 11 minutes Druids on-loan TNS striker Scott Quigley latched onto a long-ball that evaded the Airbus defence, before slotting home inside goalkeeper James Coates’ left-post.
On 14 minutes the Druids made it 2-0 when ex-Wingmaker Gavin Cadwallader rose highest to head home from a corner. As Airbus rallied on 26 minutes, Chris Simm found himself one-on-one with goalkeeper Dave Maguire who did brilliantly to turn his low-shot around the post. Soon after, Mike Roddy dragged a shot wide.
The home side always looked dangerous on the counter-attack and it was no surprise that another breakaway culminated with Quigley grabbing his second of the game, a low well-placed finish making it 3-0 on 35 minutes. At the other end a Robbie James block denied Simm again before Ryan Wade clipped the bar just before the interval.
Airbus began the second-half with the majority of the possession again, mostly in the Druids last third of the pitch. Few clear-cut chances were created although a fiercely struck free-kick from Chris Simm hit the bar again. Finally, on 58 minutes an excellent cross from Ryan Wade was nodded home inside the six-yard box by Phil Bolland to pull it back to 3-1 for Airbus.
A number of substitutions from both sides disrupted the flow of the game as Chris Simm lifted a shot over the bar. One change with 20 minutes to go was a very welcome sight for the Wingmakers though. Longest-serving player and goalkeeper Niki-Lee Bulmer made a return to action after over 18 months of injury nightmare with a dislocated shoulder.
Unfortunately, after Steve Abbott spurned another chance for the Wingmakers, the visitors fell further behind. Substitute Jamie Haynes made it 4-1 on 72 minutes with a long-range low strike into the far corner. Just a minute later however a superb volley inside the near-post from Ryan Wade pulled it back to 4-2 for Airbus as the game opened up.
Another good stop from Maguire kept out a Steve Jones close-range turn and shot, before good work from Sam Hart saw him go close with a shot narrowly over the bar. The Wingmakers pressed the Druids until the final whistle but lacked the cutting edge on the night to turn their possession into goals.
Cefn Druids worked extremely hard and took their chances clinically. They would not look out of place in the Welsh Premier League and certainly provided a good work-out ahead of the new season.
by Rory Sheehan