Cardiff City’s U18 side comprehensively beat ten-men QPR 5-1 to kick off a busy weekend.
An Eli Phipps hat-trick helped Cardiff to another three points although they did have to come from behind when QPR’s Trey Williams headed home early on. Abdi Noor levelled things up spectacularly before half time and Ashley Baker put the young Bluebirds in front just after the hour.
Phipps grabbed his treble after the Rangers goalie Martin Herdman was sent off for kicking Noor and this proved to be the turning point as City’s top scorer added three more goals to his tally to further display his finishing abilities.
They now face Carmarthen Town in the FAW Youth Cup 3rd round on Sunday afternoon.
The game started evenly with both sides equal on the possession front. They were also both equal in terms of chances, Trey Williams fired wide for QPR whilst Ashley Baker’s shot was blocked for City. However it didn’t take long for the deadlock to be broken, just 12 minutes in Trey Williams started and finished a swift move which ended with him heading home from six yards to give the Hoops the lead.
City tried to get themselves back in the game but the chances kept falling to the away side. Striker Dan Darbyshire miscued his shot when he really should have done better and George Butler’s well taken free-kick was just about held by Cardiff ‘keeper Joe Massaro.
But City’s apprentices did find a way back into the game and it was in spectacular fashion. Tom Burridge made a terrific tackle in midfield which fell nicely to Abdi Noor who cut inside and expertly guided his shot into the far corner. It was no more than City deserved on account of the possession they had.
Despite this QPR almost went in at half-time with the lead when Olamide Shadipo’s poked shot shaved the outside of the post. There was one more incident before the break which occurred when Callum O’Sullivan’s challenge on Jamie Veale brought protests from the City bench but the QPR midfielder was shown a yellow instead of the appealed red. This meant the sides were level at the interval.
HALF TIME: CARDIFF CITY 1-1 QUEENS PARK RANGERS
Once again the half started evenly on chances, Eli Phipps headed over and Williams couldn’t direct his volley goal wards following a Rangers free-kick.
Just past the hour mark, City had the lead for the first time in the game. Defender Ashley Baker fired home after they thought the initial chance had gone but the City front line re-worked the opportunity and crossed for Baker, forward from right-back, who smashed the ball into the bottom right-hand corner.
Phipps went close again, curling wide, before the turning point in the game. Rangers ‘keeper Martin Herdman was sent-off for a moment of madness. He had the ball in his hands for what looked like a routine goal-kick but the stopper got angry at the City forwards obstructing his view, the red mist descended, with Herdman kicking out and was duly sent off. Having used all their substitutes at half-time, QPR needed an outfield player to go in goal and it was one of those substitutes, Leo Donellan, who donned the gloves. After much confusion and confrontation the referee awarded a penalty which Phipps gratefully dispatched leaving no chance for the makeshift ‘keeper Donellan.
Forward and top scorer Phipps then added his second goal after he harried the makeshift ‘keeper into a mistake and shot in off the post to extend the Bluebirds’ lead.
The game and match ball was won in style during stoppage time. Phipps with a brilliant breakaway goal when he controlled Jamie Veale’s superb deep cross to finish confidently past Donellan. It was 3 points that City ultimately deserved against a resilient QPR side that looked impressive up until the sending off. A superb start to the weekend by Cardiff City’s apprentices.
FULL-TIME: CARDIFF CITY 5-1 QUEENS PARK RANGERS
Cardiff City: Massaro, Rees, Baker, Burridge, Menayese, Williams, Noor, Patten ©, Phipps, Veale, Watkins. Subs Not Used: Taylor, Coughlan, Humphries, Parry, Bird.
Queens Park Rangers: Herdman, Matthews, Komodikis, Butler © (Corkery ’45), Garnett (Grego-Cox ’45), Arthur, Shodipo, O’Sullivan (Donnellan ’45), Darbyshire, Williams, Hamalainen. Subs Not Used: N/A