City’s under-18s booked their place in the fifth round of the FA Youth Cup after defeating Oxford United 3-2 at Didcot Town FC’s Npower Loop Meadow Stadium on Wednesday evening. Macauley Southam, Abdi Noor and Thomas Burridge all hitting the back of the net as Cardiff booked a second youth competition fixture of the campaign against Chelsea.
The Bluebirds started the match brightly and took the lead nine minutes into the match, skipper Macauley Southam leading by example to fire his side into the lead away from home. Southam received the ball from a Dylan Rees pass on the right side of the Oxford penalty area before turning and firing the ball across keeper Martin and into the far corner of the goal much to the delight of those who had travelled from the Welsh Capital.
In less than ideal pitch conditions, City’s passing game was somewhat quelled by the determined Oxford side who pushed them throughout the first half while looking dangerous on the counter attack. The home side struggled to contain the pace of Welsh U19 International Abdi Noor on the left side and he set Ben Watkins up to shoot from just inside the Oxford penalty area, the midfielder slotting the ball wide of goal.
Kevin Nicholson’s side did go in at the break two goals to the good though with the impressive Noor latching onto a fantastic through ball from Thomas Burridge down the left before beating his man for pace, cutting inside and firing across Martin and into the bottom left corner to double City’s advantage at the break.
HALF TIME: OXFORD UNITED 0-2 CARDIFF CITY
The home side started the second half in determined fashion, and had a good chance to reduce the deficit with sixety minutes on the clock when they were awarded a free-kick just outside the Cardiff City penalty area. James Roberts firing the resulting set piece well over the crossbar.
Roberts also went close after seventy minutes, meeting a cross from Hackett with a superb volley that forced City keeper Joseph Massaro into a fantastic flying save with the young goalie somehow managing to hold onto the vicious strike. The home side made it an interesting final twenty minutes, halving City’s advantage from the penalty spot after Dylan Rees felled Hackett in the area. Josh Ashby coolly stroking the ball home to give his side hope of getting back into the match.
United though could only watch on as Thomas Burridge stepped up to fire home a thirty yard free kick into the top corner of Martin’s goal after seventy eight minutes as the Bluebirds regained their two goal advantage. A truly wonderful strike from Burridge when his team needed inspiration against a spirited Oxford fight back.
Chris Allen’s team though didn’t give up and were awarded a second penalty of the match as the referee Daviid Woolford punished City for a debatable handball decision. Ashby showing the same level of composure in his second penalty to score his sixth goal (and fourth penalty) in the FA Youth Cup this season.
Oxford almost levelled with three minutes left on the clock with forward Roberts firing a shot towards goal that defied City keeper Massaro but cannoned back off the crossbar to safety. Cardiff’s young stars hung on to seal a crucial second win of the campaign in the FA Youth Cup to set up a fifth round clash with Chelsea at Cardiff City Stadium.
FULL TIME: OXFORD UNITED 2-3 CARDIFF CITYOxford United:
Martin, Clarke, Grant, Ashby, Cundy, MacCormack, Hackett, George, Roberts, Calvin (Hayden, 78), Humphreys. Subs Not Used:
Conte, Jeacock, Welch-Hayes, Golden.
Josh Ashby (72, pen), (86, pen)
Massaro, Rees, Tutonda, Burridge, C Watkins, James (Wickham, 76), Enzam, B Watkins, Phipps (Roche, 62), Southam (Patten, 90) Noor. Subs Not Used:
Absolom, J Watkins.
Macauley Southam (9), Abdi Noor (44), Thomas Burridge (79)