Cardiff City Development side eased to a deserved 4-0 win over Millwall on Tuesday night at Cardiff City Stadium.
The star man on show was Etien Velikonja who gave the Bluebirds the lead just before half time after a fantastic darting run from on loan Fulham winger Kerim Frei.
After the break the home side really took the game to Millwall, with trialist Luke Coulson impressing at the right full back position. He supplied the cross for Velikonja’s second of the game on sixty three minutes with the Slovenian nodding home in style.
Nat Jarvis added a third for Cardiff again after some good work from Coulson, the defender playing the ball to the striker on the edge of the six yard box to stroke home his first goal of the season. Velikonja completed his hatrick just a few moments later after a great cross from substitute Kevin Sainte-Luce.
This was a controlled and well deserved win for Kevin Cooper's Development side with the experience of Velikonja, the returning Stephen McPhail and Frei shining through.
The City starting line up included returning midfielder Stephen McPhail who had last made an appearance in the League Cup defeat to Northampton back in August. Young right back Luke Coulson was the only man in the starting line-up for Kevin Cooper’s men who had not yet made an appearance for the Cardiff City first team this season. Kerim Frei and Etien Velikonja meanwhile were introduced to the Development side for the first time this season.
It was very nearly a horrible start for the Bluebirds though as a Declan John back pass was intercepted by Aiden O’Brien in the first minute of the game. John would have been very relieved just moments later though as O’Brien fired over the bar under pressure from the City defence.
The first real opportunity for Cardiff fell to central defender Adedeji Oshilaja from a Joe Ralls corner. Ralls curled a decent delivery into the box, only for Oshilaja to head wide of experienced 'keeper Steve Mildenhall’s right hand post.
The Bluebirds soon took control of the game though and soon looked the only likely team to score with McPhail was using his experience to take control in the middle of the park. Velikonja attempted to break the deadlock from twenty yards on nineteen minutes, only to see his attempt fly over the bar; City came even closer to scoring a minute later when a close range volley was well saved by Mildenhall.
Craig Conway was looking extremely lively for the Bluebirds, switching wings with Kerim Frei and causing trouble to either full back. He was very unlucky not to get on the score sheet with half an hour gone, cutting in from the left wing and smashing the ball right footed only to see his shot go just over the crossbar with Mildenhall beaten.
Nathaniel Jarvis was very unlucky not to grab his first goal of the season for the development side just before half time after a mix up in the Millwall penalty area. The ball ricocheted off Jarvis but with Mildenhall and the Lions defence beaten, the ball rolled just wide of the left hand post.
The fantastic attacking display from Cardiff was finally rewarded on the verge of half time with Velikonja giving the Bluebirds a well deserved lead. Kerim Frei broke through the Millwall defence at an incredible pace and played in the Slovenian who showed great composure in slipping the ball past Mildenhall and into the bottom corner.
GOAL! CARDIFF CITY DVP 1-0 MILLWALL DVP (Velikonja, 45 mins)
HALF TIME: CARDIFF CITY DVP 1-0 MILLWALL DVP
Substitutions: Kevin Sainte-Luce and Tommy O’Sullivan on for Stephen McPhail and Kerim Frei (60 mins)
After dominating from the start of the second half, City scored another goal on sixty three minutes with Velikonja grabbing his second of the game. The impressive Coulson delivered a fantastic cross from the right wing and Velikonja was clinical in nodding the ball past Mildenhall to give the Bluebirds a deserved two goal lead at Cardiff City Stadium.
GOAL! CARDIFF CITY DVP 2-0 MILLWALL DVP (Velikonja, 63 mins)
Wave after wave of Cardiff City attacks again paid off on seventy four minutes with Nathaniel Jarvis scoring his first goal of the season for the development side. Coulson played the ball into Jarvis from the right wing and the forward smashed the ball past Mildenhall from inside the penalty area to give Cardiff a commanding three nil lead.
GOAL! CARDIFF CITY DVP 3-0 MILLWALL DVP (Jarvis, 73 mins)
Substitution: Jesse Darko on for Nat Jarvis (73 mins)
The Bluebirds were not finished with three though and their commanding performance was well rewarded with a fourth , Velikonja grabbing his hat trick on seventy seven minutes. Coulson and Darko linked up well on the City right and Sainte-Luce crossed fantastically for Velikonja to lash home his third and the last goal of the game in a composed and controlled performance from the City youngsters.
GOAL! CARDIFF CITY DVP 4-0 MILLWALL DVP (Velikonja, 77 mins)
FULL TIME: CARDIFF CITY DVP 4-0 MILLWALL DVP
Cardiff City DVP:Joe Lewis, Luke Coulson, Declan John, Joe Ralls, Adedeji Oshilaja, Ben Nugent, 7. Kerim Frei, Nat Jarvis (Jesse Darko, 73), Etien Velikonja, Stephen McPhail, Craig Conway.Subs not used:David Richards, Theo Wharton.