ACADEMY REPORT: CITY 0-0 CHARLTON
Kevin Nicholson's side claim point and extended unbeaten league run to sixA second clean sheet on the bounce helped Kevin Nicholson’s Under-18s to a good 0-0 draw with third placed Charlton Athletic at Cardiff International Sports Stadium.
Looking to continue a fine run of form that saw them beat league leaders QPR 4-0 on Saturday, it was an even start in Tuesday’s lunchtime kick-off as City's under-18s aimed to continue a run of five consecutive victories in the league.
Taking on a second game in four days, Jake Watkins fresh from his goal against the Hoops, almost got City off to the perfect start. Turning on the edge of the area, the City frontman created space for himself before seeing a powerful effort turned away at the near post by Addicks stopper Cathal O'Hanlon.
Building the pressure, a Macauley Southam corner was next to cause trouble to the Charlton back line, deflecting off an unaware defender just over his own crossbar.
As the first-half progressed the visitors grew into the game however. Karlan Ahern-Grant steered his effort just wide from Tarfiq Holmes-Dennis' through ball, before threatening once more only to scuff his effort on goal with City 'keeper Joe Massaro off his line with five minutes to go.
HALF-TIME: Cardiff City U-18s 0-0 Charlton AthleticU-18s
A bright start to the second period saw Charlton’s front line combine once more as Josh Umerah latched on to a Connor Leon pass only to be denied by Curtis Watkins at the back. Name sake Ben Watkins responded for City, finding space on the edge of the box only to see his effort saved by O’Hanlon.
Just before the hour mark, Ahearn-Grant was presented with a second open sight of goal as City ‘keeper Massaro raced from his line, but at the tight angle the Addicks forward sent his effort wide allowing Dylan Rees to clear.
It sparked the best opportunity of the game for the Bluebirds as three of City’s back four charged forward on the counter attack. Rees and David Tutonda both did all they could to connect with Bradley Wickham’s low cross in, only to be denied by the retreating Charlton defence.
Aiming to break the deadlock and claim a second win in four days, substitute Abdi Noor was next to come close for City only to turn his shot wide from an in-swinging corner. The visitors would come close themselves through substitute Alex Kelly only to see his header denied by the outstretched Massaro just a minute from time.
It would be enough to claim a valuable point and draw against a good Charlton Athletic side with a home visit of Brentford up next for Kevin Nicholson’s side on Saturday, 15th March.
FULL TIME: Cardiff City U-18s 0-0 Charlton AthleticU-18s
Teams - Cardiff City: Massaro, Rees, Tutonda, C Watkins, Burridge, Wickham, Patten, B Watkins, J Watkins (Phipps 88), Southam (C) (Taylor 83), Enzam (Noor 61). Subs not used: Veale, Matthews (GK).
Charlton Athletic: O'Hanlon, Barnes, Pyke (Hanlon 84), Cook (Kelly 68), Gomez, Thomas, Holmes-Dennis, Edwards, Ahearn-Grant, Leon, Umerah (Kennedy 68). Subs not used: Afolabi.
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