January signing Rhys Healey made his City bow on Tuesday afternoon, in the U18s 2-1 defeat to Exeter City.
Cardiff soared in front after just seven minutes, but two Exeter goals ensured the youngsters go into Saturday’s league match against Charlton on the back of a defeat.
City started the game brightly and notched after just six minutes. Ben Watkins collected the ball 25 yards from goal and produced a thunderous drive which stormed into the bottom corner.
But Cardiff weren’t ahead for long, Exeter equalising straight from the restart. Olly Watkins slalomed his way towards goal before unleashing a shot which flew beyond 'keeper David Richards.
Cardiff maintained pressure on their visitors for long spells in the first half and were close to doubling their goal tally through captain Kane Owen. The powerhouse defender stepped up to take a free kick and curled the ball inches wide of the target.
Cardiff’s dominance continued in the latter stages of the half with new signing Rhys Healey seeing plenty of the ball. After 35 minutes the debutant found himself clean through on goal, but could only rake his drive wide of the target. Four minutes later he had another opportunity, but was denied by a fine Christie Pym save.
Four minutes after the break, the home side found themselves behind after a well-placed free kick caused problems. The ball was driven into the centre of the box where a ruck of bodies awaited, but Exeter’s centre back Husain was able to find space and prodded home beyond the Cardiff number one.
After going in front, Exeter’s attacking threat diminished with Cardiff pushing for a late equaliser. Healey looked a threat throughout, though the goal never came for City and Exeter returned to the South West coast with a point.
Cardiff City U18s continue their league schedule on Saturday, 16th February with a home fixture against Charlton Athletic. Match report and highlights will follow on the Academy News section of this site.