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Slovenian striker Etien Velikonja stole the show for Cardiff City’s development side tonight with another hatrick to help his side to a 4-0 win over Bristol City.
Following a quiet first fifteen minutes the game shot into life. Velikonja showed his quality, controlling the ball well just inside the area after good work from Joe Ralls and Filip Kiss before smashing the ball past Dean Gerken with a fine left footed attempt.
The supporters at Cardiff City Stadium were treated to a second goal from the City number nine in the second half, Velikonja picking up the ball twenty five yards from goal before driving it left footed towards goal and seeing it bounce up and over Gerken thanks to a deflection.
Five minutes later and Velikonja had his second hat-trick of the development campaign. The forward received the ball on the edge of the six yard box and showed fantastic footwork in beating two defenders and poking the ball past the Bristol City keeper.
A fourth goal for the home side came just after the hour when referee Derek Eaton deemed Tom King handled the ball within the penalty area.
And just before he was replaced by Theo Wharton, former Birmingham City midfielder Jordon Mutch stepped up and placed the ball home.
Wharton and Jesse Darko both had goals disallowed in the final twenty minutes with City probing for a fifth goal. It ultimately never came, but this was an impressive performance that pushes Kevin Cooper's men further into the mix for the top two Play-Off spots in the PDL2(South).
continued in an attacking role for Kevin Cooper’s development side. Etien Velikonja in a strong central midfield, Filip Kiss and Joe Ralls joining Jordon MutchThe home side started the game with former Birmingham City midfielder Bristol City lined up with Welsh International Lewin Nyatanga and Mark Wilson as well as goalkeeper Dean Gerken who added experience to the youthful Robins line-up.
The battle between two of the Professional Development League South’s top sides began slowly with neither willing to compromise their formation in search for the first goal of the game. On seventeen minutes the first shot of the game opened the scoring with Etien Velikonja scoring his eighth of the season. Slovakian midfielder Kiss broke away from the centre of midfield and challenged the visiting defenders; he then played the ball through for Ralls to run onto and the former Farnborough man looked to get a shot away but was turned away by the Robins defence. Velikonja though wasn’t to be denied; he picked the ball up on the right side of the penalty area and fired home a low drive with his left foot that left keeper Gerken with no chance of saving.
GOAL! Cardiff City DVP 1-0 Bristol City DVP (Etien Velikonja, 17 mins)
’s left hand post.Elliot Parish before Bobby Reid struck the ball from twenty yards out on the left side of the box only for his shot to fly just wide of Deji OshilajaThe first goal of the game seemed to open the flood gates somewhat with both sides trying their luck in an end to end battle. Kevin Krans with Bristol City’s first shot after going behind that was blocked by
Kadeem Harrison the left side for the home team was causing the Robins real trouble with his close control and tricky footwork and the winger nearly extended City’s lead on more than one occasion in the first half. The former Wycombe man shot over from twenty yards out on thirty three minutes and two minutes later his deflected cross had Gerken scrambling across goal to stop his side from going further behind.
A minute before the break and a dangerous free kick nearly gave Cardiff a vital two goal lead. After Luke Coulson was brought down wide on the right up stepped left footed Ralls to swing the ball into the box, the midfielder with a curling strike that was palmed away by a combination of the Bristol City keeper Gerken and the outside of his goalpost to keep the Robins just one goal down at half time.
HALF TIME: CARDIFF CITY DVP 1-0 BRISTOL CITY DVP
The second half began in the same manner that the first had ended, and after Bristol City were denied a penalty appeal on fifty minutes the home side took real control. After a fine Cardiff attack was seemingly quelled by the Robins defence the ball fell to Velikonja twenty five yards from goal; the forward took a touch to control the ball before trying a speculative shot from distance that took a fortunate ricochet off an opposition defender before looping over Gerken and into the back of the net. It was a fine goal by the forward who showed real confidence in even trying to score from such a distance and was fully deserving of the fortunate deflection to increase the home side’s lead on fifty three minutes.
GOAL! Cardiff City DVP 2-0 Bristol City DVP (Etien Velikonja, 53 mins)
If his first two goals showed a player on form then the goal that sealed Velikonja’s hat-trick was one that let the fans see a top quality footballer with real goal-scoring instincts as he found space where there looked to be none and managed to finish his chance off on fifty eight minutes. It was more brilliant build up play from Kiss in the City midfield that lead to the opportunity for Slovenian who received the ball on the edge of the six yard box with his back to goal before somehow turning and beating two defenders under pressure and poking the ball past Gerken.
GOAL! Cardiff City DVP 3-0 Bristol City DVP (Etien Velikonja, 58 mins)
.Theo WhartonVelikonja almost became provider just two minutes later as he played a fantastic flicked through ball to Jesse Darko, last season’s under-18 top scorer fired the ball towards goal with a first time effort only to be denied a fourth goal of the game by the Robins keeper. Cardiff weren’t to be denied a further goal though as Tom King in the Bristol City defence was deemed to have handled the ball in the box to give the home side a penalty on sixty one minutes. Stepping up for City was midfielder Mutch who placed the ball home just a minute before he was replaced by
GOAL! Cardiff City DVP 4-0 Bristol City DVP (Jordon Mutch, pen 61 mins)
Substitution Cardiff City: Theo Wharton replaces Jordon Mutch (62 mins)
directed the ball towards his own net but luckily for the City defender the ball went out for a corner.Ben NugentThe home side continued their spell of dominance after their fourth goal of the game and both Darko and Kiss went close to adding another goal, on the seventy minute mark the away side were almost gifted a consolation goal when
Dean Gerken was soon in action again to deny City midfielder Ralls whose shot was well held. On seventy one minutes the goalie had to perform more heroics when left back Declan John was played through on the left wing; John whose shot looked destined for the back of the net was well pushed wide for a corner.
Substitutions Bristol City: Jamal Simms, Pierce Mitchell and Miles John replace Lewin Nyatanga, Joe Bryan and Bobby Reid (79 mins)
The ball was put in the net by the home side twice in the final ten minutes with Wharton placing home a Ralls corner initially. Unfortunately for the seventeen year old the referee disallowed his attempt after a push. City striker Darko also had a goal ruled out on eighty one minutes when he lashed home a Coulson cross only for the linesman flag to deny him a third goal of the campaign.
Substitution Cardiff City: Tommy O’Sullivan replaces Filip Kiss (88 mins)
Substitution Cardiff City: Jaye Bowen replaces Kadeem Harris (89 mins)
Kevin Cooper’s men saw out the final moments with a controlled and composed performance right up until the final whistle to seal what was one of their best performances and results of the season so far. It leaves them with eight wins out of nine at Cardiff City Stadium this term.
FULL TIME: CARDIFF CITY DVP 4-0 BRISTOL CITY DVP
Cardiff City DVP: Richards (GK), Yorwerth. Subs Not Used:Parish, Coulson, John, Kiss (O’Sullivan, 88), Oshilaja, Nugent, Darko, Ralls, Velikonja, Mutch (Ralls), Harris (Bowen, 89).