Cardiff City’s U21 development side crashed out of the Premier League Cup with a surprise 1-0 defeat to Gillingham FC at Cardiff City Stadium.
While this defeat will be hard to take for the young City side who undoubtedly deserved better, there were a number of positives to take from this match.
Central defender Ben Turner continued his return from injury, completing the entire 90 minutes for Cardiff City’s development side. Turner, who was injured in the Bluebirds penultimate pre-season friendly against Yeovil Town, has now played in three games for Nilton Terroso’s side on the road to regaining his position in the first team.
Fellow first team players Javi Guerra, Mats Møller Dæhli and Declan John were also included in the development squad for this match. It was an unfamiliar line-up for those accustomed to our U21 side. Six U18 stars were given the challenge of facing Gillingham’s development squad. The experience of playing alongside professionals and against higher caliber opponents can only benefit the future City stars as they themselves aim to earn professional deals at the end of the season.
The hosts controlled this cup clash throughout, enjoying long spells of possession while trying to break down the away defence. It was an inspired performance from Gills keeper Glen Morris, who denied Cardiff on a number of occasions throughout the tie, while the single goal came against the run of play – midfielder Aidan Blanchard firing the ball low past Ben Wilson from twenty yards.
City hit the post on two separate occasions, both through experienced forward Javi Guerra while Declan John was denied a goal by Morris, who recovered superbly from being knocked by his own player to deny the Welsh international.
Cardiff City: Wilson, Wickham, John, Williams, Watkins, Turner, Bell, Patten, Guerra (Baker, 67), Dæhli (Noor, 46), Phipps. Subs Not Used: Horton, Rees, Burridge.
Gillingham: Morris (Hadler, 75), Hare, Romeo, Staunton, Bent (Ibbotson, 55), Dickenson, Webster, Blanchard, Millbank, Freiter, Sellens. Subs Not Used: Emptage, Stannard.