Dominant City suffer first loss of the year at Griffin ParkA six match unbeaten run came to an end for Cardiff City's Development Squad as they lost 2-0 to Brentford at Griffin Park.
Looking to increase their advantage at the top of the PDL2 South table, goals from Bees pair Aaron Greene and Joe Maloney either side of the interval saw Kevin Cooper’s side suffer defeat for the first time in 2014, in a match that also saw top goalscorer Rhys Healey depart the first-half through injury.
Starting brightly, Brad Williams was first to force Brentford stopper Mark Smith into an early save as he looked to steer home Tommy O’Sullivan’s initial blocked effort. Top goalscorer Healey was next to have a sniff on an opening only to see his shot charged down as Kane Owen blazed over the rebound.
City had claimed an early grip on the game and O’Sullivan was next to try his luck next only to see his 25 yard effort drift well over. Just two minutes later, Magnus Wolff Eikrem saw his effort deflect just wide of the near post in an opportunity carved out by the impressive O’Sullivan once more.
The Welsh Under-21 International was at hand once more just after the hour mark, setting up Theo Wharton with a delightful pass only to pull his effort wide of Smith’s right hand upright. A worrying sign for the Bluebirds followed as Rhys Healey departed through injury, being replaced by Jake Watkins. He was soon on the score sheet himself just before the break, floating his effort inches wide.
City were soon to rue their missed chances however as the home side took the lead against the run of play. Josh Clarke’s low cross in failed to be cleared by Josh Yorwerth in the area, as Greene stepped up to slot the ball home past Wilson from 12 yards and give Brentford the lead at half-time.
HALF TIME: Brentford 1-0 Cardiff City
Looking for an instant response, the lively O’Sullivan saw his effort blocked by Lionel Stone from just six yards out as City continued to dominate possession and territory. But they were soon to concede against the run of play once more as the Bees doubled their advantage.
On a swift counter attack, Emmanuel Oyeleke found Clarke in space on the far side with the Brentford wide man providing the delivery once more, City half cleared to Joe Maloney on the edge of the area who calmly volleyed home from twenty yards to increase the Bluebirds’ deficit to two.
It was a bitter blow for City after a promising opening to the second half as the Bees took control. Clarke fired wide once more before seeing his shot deflected but collected by Ben Wilson in goal as the Bees now continued to make the running.
Hopes of a Cardiff fight back were raised as Watkins tapped home an O’Sullivan pass with five minutes to go only to see the goal ruled out for offside by the linesman on the far side.
It was to be the last effort for City as Brentford finished the game well by controlling the ball to consign the Bluebirds to their first defeat since a 5-2 loss to Charlton in December.
FULL TIME: Brentford 2-0 Cardiff City
Teams - Brentford: Smith; Awotwi (Bryan 45), Milenge, Calvet, Stone; Oyeleke, Maloney, Moore (Onovwigun 61); Clarke, Ward, Greene. Subs not used: Taylor, Rowe.
Cardiff City: Wilson; Coulson, James, Yorwerth, Owen; Wharton, Williams (Jaye Bowen 45), Eikrem, Bell (Roche 45); Healey (Watkins 38), O’Sullivan. Subs not used: Amondarain, Matthews.
EXCLUSIVE HIGHLIGHTS OF THIS MATCH TO FOLLOW ON CARDIFF CITY PLAYER AND OUR OFFICIAL YOUTUBE.