Severnside rivals take a share of the spoils at Failand
Striker Rhys Healey grabbed a 14th goal of the season at Under-21 level as Cardiff City’s development side drew 2-2 with Bristol City.
Lively winger Wes Burns had put the Robins in front with just five minutes gone, before a second half fightback saw Kevin Cooper’s side overturn the deficit to take the lead. Rhys Healey grabbed the equaliser before Dane Griffiths slotted home a second just after the hour to give City the lead.
It was an advantage the Bluebirds looked likely to hold on to before Brad Williams brought down Gus Mafuta in the area - Burns confidently slotting home the equaliser from the penalty spot.
At a wet and blustery Bristol City training ground, Kevin Cooper’s under-21 development side looked to maintain some excellent form that had seen them top the PDL2 South table heading into Monday afternoon’s trip across the severn bridge.
But it was the Robins who started brightly, winger Joe Bryan shot wide within the opening minute before Bristol claimed the lead from the opposite flank just five minutes in. Bryan turned provider this time as Burns calmly slotted in at the far post to give Bristol the lead.
Bobby Reid almost doubled Bristol’s lead just two minutes later as the upright kept the Bluebirds’ deficit to one. But City soon responded as Healey saw his first effort palmed away by Bristol ‘keeper David Richards before Tommy O’Sullivan sent the rebound just over.
A defensive mix-up almost gifted Healey a goal with half an hour gone, only for full-back Lewis Hall to clear just in time as the City front man looked destined to pounce.
HALF TIME: Bristol City 1-0 Cardiff City
Neither side made a change at the break as Healey quickly grabbed his goal just four minutes in to the second period. Threatening at the set piece, Jaye Bowen sent in the perfect delivery for Healey to powerfully head home at the far post for his 14th goal in 15 games this season.
It put the Bluebirds in the mood for more as some good work from Kane Owen on the left found Dane Griffiths in the area, only for the City frontman to steer his effort just wide.
The Robins had struggled to maintain their first-half impetus in the second period, but lively winger Burns remained a threat to Cardiff’s back line. Looking for a second of the afternoon, he sent a shot over before hitting the side netting with another as the home side looked to regain their advantage.
It was Kevin Cooper’s men who would be next on the scoresheet however. In one of the best moves of the match, Wales Under-21 International Tommy O’Sullivan picked out Dane Griffiths, who neatly slotted the ball home between the legs of ‘keeper Richards to give the Bluebirds the lead.
Kevin Cooper’s side were good value for their lead, but were denied all three points with twenty minutes to go as Brad Williams brought down Gus Mafuta in the area. Bristol winger burns promptly stepped up to fire home a second and grab the equaliser.
Both sides had chances to take a winner, Burns looking for a hat-trick only to send a shot high and wide before the Bluebirds hit the woodwork with just three minutes to play.
FULL TIME: Bristol City 2-2 Cardiff City
Teams - Bristol City: Richards, Wynter, Hall, Mafuta, Fontaine, Carey, Burns, Kelly (Mitchell 65), Krans, Reid, Bryan. Subs not used: O'Leary; King, Batten, Bishop.
Goals: Burns (5, 71 (pen))
Cardiff City: Lewis, Baker, Owen, Wharton, Yorwerth, Williams, Bell, Griffiths, Healey, O'Sullivan, Bowen (Harris 67). Subs not used: Wilson; Hawkins, Taylor, Phipps.
Goals: Healey (49), Griffiths (63)