Cardiff & Met were held to a 2-2 draw
for the second week running as they battled hard to earn a point away at Olton
& West Warwicks, courtesy of a late equaliser from Jagdeep Hanspal.

Cardiff & Met started slowly in the
face of some unfamiliar opposition, this was the first time the two teams had
played each other in the league, since Olton had transferred to the West
Conference for the 2017-18 season.

The hosts enjoyed the majority of the
possession in the early stages and took a deserved lead in the 20th
minute. Cardiff & Met were robbed of possession in the middle of the pitch,
and after a quick counter-attack, an Olton forward was able to slot home past
the onrushing James Fortnam.

Jack Pritchard equalised for Cardiff
& Met with a reverse-stick shot six minutes later, but they conceded again through
some soft defending almost immediately. After successfully defending a penalty
corner, Cardiff & Met were unable to clear the rebound, and a hopeful ball across
the circle found its way to an unmarked player on the back post, leaving a
simple tap-in to give Olton a 2-1 lead going into half-time.

Following a tactical re-shuffle and
some sharp words from coach Walid Abdo, Cardiff & Met came out in the
second half with far more intensity and immediately began to put the Olton defence
under pressure.

The game started to open up, with both teams
enjoying equal possession without creating many clear-cut chances, although Olton
were particularly grateful for some brave last-ditch tackles from their
defenders, as both Pritchard and Rhys Bradshaw were denied from close range. Both
teams also incurred the wrath of the umpires, who dished out green cards for some
of the niggly tackles on display in midfield.

Although both teams were unable to capitalise
on their one-man advantage, it was Cardiff & Met who finally made a breakthrough once the numbers were restored to normal. Despite Olton defending an
initial penalty corner, a well-executed routine from the re-award allowed
Jagdeep Hanspal to score the equaliser in the 65th minute to make the
score 2-2, his first National League goal for the club.

Cardiff & Met continued to pile on
the pressure but were unable to find the winner in the final five minutes,
meaning that for the second consecutive week they departed Birmingham with a
2-2 draw.

Next up// Cardiff & Met host
Clifton Robinsons in the final game before the winter break.

WIS (12.30pm PB)