Kevin Cooper's side grab deserved win to stay top of PDL2 South tableCardiff City’s development side continued their impressive league form, beating Charlton Athletic 1-0 at Cardiff City Stadium on Monday night.
In-form striker Rhys Healey scored the game’s only goal, slotting home with a first time volley from Kane Owen’s corner for his twelfth league goal of the campaign.
Healey could have put City ahead inside the opening minute, capitalising on a defensive mix up but his powerful shot from inside the box was well saved by Addicks keeper Dillon Phillips. Tommy O’Sullivan also went close inside the opening two minutes with a driven shot from distance going just wide of goal. This fine opening spell for City continued, with the returning Kadeem Harris showcasing his pace with three minutes on the clock. The young winger beating his man before cutting back for Healey, the former Connah’s Quay forward’s low attempt was well saved by Phillips as Cardiff pushed for an early goal.
Cardiff continued their search for the game’s first goal and went close again on twenty six minutes, Josh Yorwerth’s towering header cleared off the line from Harris’ corner. City hit the back of the net a minute later with a familiar name on the score-sheet once more. Rhys Healey’s incredible form this season continued, meeting Kane Owen’s corner exquisitely on the volley to fire his side into the lead.
The home side could have conceded soon after scoring, but for the quick reactions of January signing Ben Wilson, tipping a powerful shot over the crossbar.
Healey almost added a second goal before the break, but the forward was off target on this occasion from O’Sullivan’s free kick.
HALF TIME: CARDIFF CITY U21 1-0 CHARLTON ATHLETIC U21
The home side came out for the second period on top once more with central defender Yorwerth going close from O’Sullivan’s free kick on the left side. Yorwerth played alongside U18 star Thomas James in his first start of the season at U21 level, with the young defender looking composed and comfortable despite the step up.
City went close to a second goal once more after fifty one minutes with Kadeem Harris using his pace to once more trouble opposition defences. Harris’ low cross was diverted towards goal by Theo Wharton with Phillips pulling off a fine save.
The away side then had arguably their best spell of the match, with keeper Ben Wilson denying Jordan Cook, Harry Lennon and Bradley Jordan before the hour mark. Wilson was finally beaten when substitute Johan Ter-Horst struck towards goal, the inside of the post saving City on this occasion with the keeper on hand to catch the ball and deny Charlton an equaliser.
Wilson was also made to work in the final few moments as Jason Euell’s team stepped up the pressure, experienced midfielder Danny Hollands trying his best to beat the former Sunderland keeper after eighty two minutes, but Wilson made a fine save low to his right.
Forward Healey had the ball in the back of the net once more just before the final whistle with the referee stunning the crowd by blowing for offside. This decision didn’t impact the result as Kevin Cooper’s men held on to seal all three points and increase their lead at the top of the Professional Development League Two South table.
FULL TIME: CARDIFF CITY U21 1-0 CHARLTON ATHLETIC U21
Cardiff City: Wilson, Coulson, Owen, Williams, Yorwerth, James, Griffiths, Wharton, Healey, O’Sullivan, Harris (Bowen, 75) Subs Not Used: Bell, Matthews, Bowen, J Watkins.
GOAL SCORER: Rhys Healey (27)
Charlton Athletic: Phillips, Holmes-Dennis, Robinson, Feely, Lennon, Hollands, Koch (Ter-Horst, 45), Cook, Gerard (Jordan, 45), Munns (Daniel, 67), Muldoon. Subs Not Used: Doherty.
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