DINAS POWYS 1
CARDIFF MET UNIVERSITY 2
UNDER a new management team of Keith Williams and Lee Saunders, Dinas Powys' Welsh Soccer League squad took time to settle into the different style of football they were being asked to play.
However, by the latter stages of Saturday's Second Division game, they had warmed to their task and had their high-flying opponents on the back foot at times in the second half.
Met started well and forced an early corner which was over hit, while, at the other end, winning the ball in midfield, Joe Briscombe struck a long-range shot which cleared the crossbar.
The visitors opened the scoring in the 11th minute when the skilful Tim Nixon squared the ball to Josh Roxwell who gave Dinas goalkeeper James Curtin no chance from close range.
However, two minutes later Curtin was the hero, producing a superb diving save from Lyall Hickmans' curling shot.
Dinas had the odd chance, but the visitors' passing was slick and they had the lion's share of possession.
As the half wore on, Dinas came more into the game. Put through by Luke Swaffield, Dimitri Fallas shot just over, while a free kick from 25 yards by Nicky Bruce was over hit.
The visitors forced a couple more corners which were dealt with by the Dinas rearguard and, at the other end, some neat inter-passing between Briscombe, Marc Bonet and Swaffield looked promising but eventually broke down.
Beginning to call the shots, Dinas forced two unproductive corners, and were almost caught on the break when Met 'keeper Willis released the ball early, and Hickman burst through for a one-on-one with Curtin before slicing his shot wide.
Some fine work from Bruce and Carlos Indjai ended with a good cross, but Willis gathered the ball to thwart the danger. With just five minutes of the half remaining, Dinas had their best chance to equalise when, following Swaffield's great run and cross, Indjai was foiled by Willis' smothering save.
The hosts started the second half well but Met were still dangerous and, in the 52nd minute, Roxwell fired just over.
Just three minutes later, Dinas were level, with Fallas latching onto a cross and driving the ball into the corner from 14 yards. Unfortunately, although Dinas kept up the pressure, they found themselves behind again when Roxwell bundled in a deep free kick.
Dinas rang the changes, with Ryan Garland replacing Indjai, and continued to press, but the visitors almost added a third when sub James Ward clipped the top of the crossbar from the edge of the box.
Dinas introduced Ben Ah-Mun for Fallas and Barry King for Swaffield and, although they continued to improve with some fine interpassing through the midfield, time ran out.
However, the future looks promising once the squad get used to the new style of play.
Dinas are at home again on Saturday, March 29, when AFC Llwydcoed are the visitors; kick-off 2.30pm.
Dinas squad: James Curtin, Ronan Scott, Nicky Bruce, Victor Arnau, James Bloxham (c), Anthony Herrin, Luke Swaffield, Marc Bonet, Dimitri Fallas, Joe Briscombe, Carlos Indjai, Ryan Garland, Ben Ah-Mun, Wesley Howells and Barry King.