A stunning goal from Brentford’s Zain Westbrooke denied City’s U18 side a share of the spoils at Cardiff International Sports Stadium on Saturday 25th October.
It was a quiet opening 15 minutes at Leckwith with both teams finding it hard to break down their opposition in the early exchanges. City had most of the ball but the first chance of note fell to the visitors when Westbrooke’s shot from the edge of the area sailed over the bar after Josh Bohui’s initial effort was blocked.
The London club came closer still when that man Westbrooke linked up with Bradley Clayton but the striker’s shot was easily saved by City ‘keeper Joe Massaro.
The hosts went close to breaking the deadlock as skipper Robbie Patten’s long range shot clipped the outside of the post and went behind mid-way through the first half.
But they didn’t have to wait long to get on the score sheet. Winger Abdi Noor cut inside and freed Jake Watkins who crossed, but it was parried by ‘keeper Nik Tzaner straight to Lloyd Humphries whose makeshift finish gave City the lead.
GOAL: CARDIFF CITY 1-0 BRENTFORD (Lloyd Humphries, 38 mins)
Humphries almost had another just before the break following a swift counter attack, but his sweeping shot from Eli Phipps’s cross was well saved by Tzaner.
HALF TIME: CARDIFF CITY 1-0 BRENTFORD
The Bluebirds flew out of the traps in the second half and their high pressing resulted in many opportunities to double the lead. Firstly Noor volleyed wide when he was one-on-one with Tzaner after a Massaro goal-kick had evaded The Bees defence.
Next it was Jake Watkins’ turn, but his curling effort went over following a misplaced pass in the Brentford backline. Striker Eli Phipps had two chances in as many minutes but couldn’t make them count, first his free-kick from the right-hand side of box hit the wall and then his shot from eight yards out was blocked for a throw-in.
City were made to rue those missed chances when Brentford were awarded a penalty for Tom Pearson’s foul on Josh Bohui in the 66th minute. Striker Clayton confidently dispatched the spot-kick to bring his side level.
GOAL: CARDIFF CITY 1-1 BRENTFORD (Bradley Clayton, 66 mins)
This proved to be the turning point in the game and Brentford started to step things up. The lively Bohui danced past a couple of tackles but his shot was well blocked by the City defence.
Massaro then made an excellent, acrobatic save to tip full-back Tom Field’s deflected shot over the bar, but there was nothing he could do about the winner. Zain Westbrooke’s half volley flew past the City stopperinto the top right-hand corner; it was a goal worthy of winning any match.
GOAL: CARDIFF CITY 1-2 BRENTFORD (Zain Westbrooke, 87 mins)
City were unfortunate not come away with something from the game but there were plenty of positives on display for the young Cardiff stars.
FULL TIME: CARDIFF CITY 1-2 BRENTFORD
Cardiff City: Massaro, Pearson, Rees, Patten, R Menayese, Baker, Noor (Chappel-Smith, 73), Taylor (Burridge, 69), Phipps, Humphries (Veale, 81), Watkins. Subs Not Used: Wakeman, Parry.
Brentford: Tzaner, Mepham (Owens, 63), Field, Westbrooke, Milenge, Laucys, Khanye (Webster, 90), Kamanzi, Eshun (Fenn-Evans, 55), Clayton, Bohui. Subs Not Used: Carey.