Two goals for in-form forward Rhys Healey made the difference in the second South Wales development derby of the season, as the Bluebirds defeated local rivals Swansea City 3-1 at the Liberty Stadium on Monday night.
Cardiff opened the scoring after just six minutes with Danish forward Andreas Cornelius playing a key part in the build-up, nodding towards goal from Tommy O’Sullivan’s deep cross only for Cornell to deny him. Young forward Rhys Healey following in to tap home the rebound to give Kevin Cooper’s team the lead.
The Bluebirds went two goals ahead fortuitously on twenty two with Swans captain Scott Tancock’s back pass slipping past Cornell and into the back of the net under very little pressure from the Cardiff front line.
The away side went three goals ahead after twenty six minutes with forward Healey grabbing his second goal of the game. The former Connah’s Quay forward struck wide left footed just moments before controlling a mistaken Swansea goal kick and striking the ball low into the bottom corner to put the Welsh Capital side three goals ahead with less than half an hour on the clock.
The home side went close to pulling a goal back just before the interval when Loveridge found space inside the Cardiff penalty box but the winger’s low effort was well saved by Simon Moore as City went in three goals ahead at the break.
HALF TIME: SWANSEA CITY 0-3 CARDIFF CITY
City withdrew new signing Mats Møller Dæhli at the break, with the young winger competing in his first match for seven weeks and impressing with his close control and strength in his first run out in the Cardiff shirt.
Swansea came out for the second period in determined fashion but struggled to break down the Cardiff City back line and it was Cooper’s side that came close to scoring after sixty four minutes. Andreas Cornelius using his pace and ability to break free of the Swans defence before rifling a shot across goal that was fantastically tipped onto the post by Swans keeper Cornell at full stretch.
The Bluebirds had to cope for nearly half an hour with ten men after skipper Deji Oshilaja was sent from the field of play. The young centre back brought down Josh Sheehan on the edge of the penalty area after sixty six minutes as the Swans forward ran through on goal with the referee deeming it a red card offence.
The home side made it an interesting final ten minutes when Rory Donnelly broke through down the left and smashed in and unstoppable drive from an acute angle to give the hosts hope of fighting back into the match. Donnelly went close to adding to his tally on eighty seven minutes but his first time effort was well saved by Moore.
The strong Cardiff side though held firm under constant pressure to increase their lead at the top of Professional Development League Two South to six points.
FULL TIME: SWANSEA CITY 1-3 CARDIFF CITY
Cardiff City: Moore, Coulson, Lappin, Wharton, Nugent, Oshilaja, Daelhi (Williams, 46), Healey, Cornelius (Yorwerth, 89), O’Sullivan, Bowen (Owen, 85). Subs Not Used: Wilson, Griffiths.
Swansea City: Cornell, Shephard, Meade, Sielva (Hedges, 79), Davies, Tancock, Gorre (Edwards, 79), Evans (Jones, 46), Sheehan, Donnelly, Loveridge. Subs Not Used: Davies, Scott.