Cardiff City's Development side have gone top of the Professional Development League 2 (South), following a convincing 3-1 victory over Ipswich Town on Monday afternoon.
First half goals from Etien Velikonja, Rhys Healey and Filip Kiss effectively put the game out of Ipswich's reach, though a second half consolation kept things interesting from the neutrals' perspective.
The game's first opportunity came when the ever-present Deji Oshilaja showed his attacking ability. Although his fine turn and shot was blocked, the centre back showed real technique in bringing the ball down under pressure and finding a shooting opportunity. Another Cardiff player with a keen eye for goal is Slovenian International Etien Velikonja, who has top scored for the development side this campaign. The striker added his twelfth goal of the season with just eight minutes on the clock against Ipswich. Having received the ball on the right side of Town’s penalty, the clinical forward turned towards goal and with one venomous strike of his left boot struck the ball sweetly into the corner to give his side a crucial lead.
GOAL! CARDIFF CITY DVP 1-0 IPSWICH TOWN DVP (Etien Velikonja, 8 mins)
The opening goal was just reward for City who had controlled the first fifteen minutes. Kadeem Harris looked to score his first of the season on ten minutes but his low shot was well saved by Norwegian goalkeeper Crowe. The in-form ‘keeper was on hand again to deny City in the third minute when a Kane Owen cross was tapped towards goal by Velikonja, the keeper managed to push the shot away but only to Filip Kiss. The Slovenian’s rasping volley was tipped over by Crowe who was trying his best to keep his side in the match.
Ipswich’s goalkeeping heroics couldn’t keep the home side at bay for long though and City increased their lead on twenty one minutes. Former Wycombe Wanderers midfielder Harris’ corner was brilliantly nodded back across the face of goal by Josh Yorwerth towards eighteen year old forward Rhys Healey, who continued his recent spell of goal-scoring form by lashing the ball home. It was Healey’s third goal in just five games for the development side with the Englishman continuing the form he had shown in the Welsh Premier League.
GOAL! CARDIFF CITY DVP 2-0 IPSWICH TOWN DVP (Rhys Healey, 21 mins)
Despite a comfortable lead, the City attack showed no signs of letting up on their opponents and Harris fired just wide on the volley after twenty three minutes. City deservedly increased their lead further on thirty eight when a fine team move was converted by Kiss. Full-back Luke Coulson overlapped on the right hand side and Velikonja found the defender with a pin-point pass, Coulson cut the ball back for Joe Mason in the centre of the penalty box and the striker struck towards goal only for his shot to be saved by keeper Crowe who could only watch as the ball looped towards goal. As the Tractor Boys defence went to clear the looping ball, central midfielder Kiss followed in to insure a third goal for the dominant home side.
GOAL! CARDIFF CITY DVP 3-0 IPSWICH TOWN DVP (Filip Kiss, 38 mins)
In a fantastic display of development football from Cardiff City, the only real disappointment for the home side was conceding a sloppy goal before the break when Jack Marriott tapped home. Welsh teams will be happy to see the back of Marriott this campaign as the forward has fired in hat-tricks against both Cardiff City and Swansea City’s U18 squads and he scored his fourth goal in three days against the Welsh Capital's academy on forty three minutes. Byron Lawrence was released down the left side by ‘keeper Crowe in a fortuitous clearance; the midfielder's shot was well saved by Elliot Parish, but there was nothing he could do to stop Marriott from slotting in the rebound.
GOAL! CARDIFF CITY DVP 3-1 IPSWICH TOWN DVP (Jack Marriott, 43 mins)
HALF TIME: CARDIFF CITY DVP 3-1 IPSWICH TOWN DVP
Substitution Ipswich Town: Tommy Winter replaces Jonny Leddy (45 mins)
Ipswich came out for the second period looking to build on their late first half goal, and they might have done so on forty eight minutes if not for the outstretched leg of defender Coulson. The young full-back with a crucial interception as Town looked to play Timlin behind the Cardiff defence. Two minutes after being denied by Coulson, the away side were frustrated again as the linesman flagged for offside seconds before Matthew Clarke slotted the ball home.
Twenty one year old Mason was causing the Ipswich back line no end of problems and he was unfortunate not to get on the score-sheet again when Velikonja played him through. The forward's shot from outside the area was blocked. Velikonja then showed that his striking ability translates to set pieces as Town were punished for a handball on the edge of the penalty area. Velikonja stepped up and smashed the free kick from the right hand side, his shot looked was destined for the back of the net if not for the Ipswich defence who somehow cleared the ball.
Substitution Ipswich Town: Teddy Bishop replaces Mark Timlin (67 mins)
Substitution Cardiff City: Tommy O’Sullivan replaces Joe Mason (70 mins)
Velikonja was denied a second goal again after seventy minutes, while the Slovenian had beaten Ipswich’s ‘keeper Crowe and his defence the post came to the rescue for the away side. Welsh Under 21 star Theo Wharton returned to the City step up following his spell with the national side and Wharton continued to show why he is so highly thought of with a fantastic performance, controlling the middle of the park with Filip Kiss.
Substitution Ipswich Town: Jack Willbye replaces Cormac Burke (71 mins)
Substitution Cardiff City: Brad Williams replaces Filip Kiss (80 mins)
City continued probing for a fourth goal until the final whistle, though substitute Tommy O’Sullivan’s shot was well held by Crowe after eighty three minutes. In added time Velikonja’s shot was pushed wide by Crowe, who had kept the score respectable for his side. After a fine team performance, City’s development side head to the top of Professional Development League 2 South’s table with thirty six points from eighteen games.
FULL TIME: CARDIFF CITY DVP 3-1 IPSWICH TOWN DVP
Cardiff City: Parish, Coulson, Owen, Oshilaja, Yorwerth, Kiss (Williams, 80), Wharton, Harris, Healey, Velikonja, Mason (O’Sullivan, 70). Subs Not Used: Matthews (GK), Southam, B Watkins.