Rhys Healey goal secures win over Seagulls
Kevin Cooper’s side sealed top spot within Professional Development League Two South following a 1-0 win over Brighton & Hove Albion on Sunday afternoon.
The returning Rhys Healey showed his fantastic finishing ability in the thirty first minute to slot home after Tom James’ brilliant long ball with this single goal enough for Cooper’s men to earn the three points needed to guarantee first place and a match in the end of season play-offs against the Northern sections Runners-up.
City opened the game strongly and went close early on when Magnus Wolff Eikrem struck a free kick towards goal only to see his long range attempt drift wide. Rhys Healey, back in the squad following a two game spell on the side lines struck centrally towards goal from fifteen yards but Christian Walton pushed to safety well.
Cardiff had Healey to thank for not going behind after twelve minutes with the forward blocking a goal wards header on his own goal-line with Ben Wilson beaten. The home side almost scored themselves on thirteen minutes when Theo Wharton and Declan John combined down the left side, with John’s deep cross volleyed off target by Healey.
A thirteenth league goal of the season for Healey came on thirty one minutes when Thomas James’ long ball forward was capitalised on by the Manchester-born striker who brought the ball down before striking low past Walton much to the delight of the watching crowd.
He could have scored a second goal of the match on thirty four minutes but after exquisitely beating his man, the youngster struck the post with an attempted placed shot.
Courtney Richards though he had levelled the game for Brighton with four minutes to play until the break but the young Seagulls star was denied a well taken goal by the linesman’s offside flag.
City should have gone in further ahead at the break with a fantastic opportunity late in the half. Healey unselfishly laying the ball for strike partner Jo Inge Berget inside the penalty box but the Norwegian’s shot was well saved by Walton with Declan John striking the rebound wide of goal from an acute angle.
HALF-TIME: CARDIFF CITY 1-0 BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION
Ronnie Hawkins almost scored his first goal of the season after forty six minutes but his close range shot was blocked. Declan John’s driven shot was almost on the score-sheet also on fifty one minutes with a driven low shot that Walton saved well with his foot.
Healey could have added to his seasons tally on fifty six minutes, Hawkins releasing the striker with a delicate touch. The former Connah’s Quay man struck his shot over the crossbar this time with his left foot. Substitute Tommy O’Sullivan’s run and cross on seventy six minutes gave Healey another chance but the ball ricocheted off the striker’s foot and over the bar from close range.
On ninety minutes Berget played Healey through for the last time but his shot was saved at full stretch by Walton with City’s development side restricted to a one goal win. This three points though was more than enough for them to seal top spot and an end of season play-off place.
FULL-TIME: CARDIFF CITY 1-0 BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION
Cardiff City: Wilson, Connelly (Coulson, 46), John (Owen, 61), James, Yorwerth, Amondarain, Wharton, Eikrem (O’Sullivan, 65), Healey, Berget, Hawkins. Subs Not Used: Matthews, Roche.
Goals: Rhys Healey (31)
Brighton & Hove Albion: Walton, Deen, Hunt, Admundsson, Dallison (Horncastle, 70), Rea, Davis (Rowe-Hurt, 41), Harris, Richards, Starkey (Wiltshire, 76), Muitt. Subs Not Used: Smith, Tighe.
Referee: Glenn Barter