Cardiff City U18’s side succumbed to a 5-1 defeat to travelling Millwall at a cold and wet Cardiff International Sports Stadium.
John-Prince Rylah scored a hat trick for the Lions to help them to a comfortable victory over a much changed City side ahead of their FA Youth Cup 4th round tie against Burnley on Tuesday night.
The Young Bluebirds did grab a consolation late on amidst a crazy last five minutes where three goals were scored but it was too little too late. They will now look to put this result behind them as they travel north for an all-important cup tie.
Cardiff flew out of the traps with wingers Mark Harris and Jamie Bird both shooting wide. City were made to regret those misses as Millwall raced into a two-goal lead within three minutes.
Lone Striker Noel Leighton headed back across goal to give the visitors the lead after just 12 minutes. Then, just three minutes later, the Lions doubled their lead. John-Prince Rylah seized on a misplaced back pass from the City defence to beat ‘keeper Scott Coughlan from close range.
Both teams then traded several long range efforts with Lloyd Humphries and Will Taylor firing off target for City whilst Lions captain Zak Byron and goal-scorer Leighton also saw efforts go wide. Meanwhile the influential Rylah had four shots at the City goal but thankfully for the Bluebirds only one of these needed to be dealt with by shot stopper Scott Coughlan.
Just before half-time the Bluebirds had two chances to get themselves back in the game. Firstly Jamie Bird skipped through the Lions backline only for his deflected cross to be cleared off the line by recovering defender James Brown. Also on the stroke of the interval, Lloyd Humphries’ long range strike was only parried by Millwall stopper Max Goodman into the path of striker Aidan Chappell-Smith only for him to be tackled just when he was pulling the trigger, Millwall entering the break two-goals to the good.
HALF TIME: CARDIFF CITY 0-2 MILLWALL
The Academy coaching staff made two changes at half-time to try and salvage something from the game with Christian Toonga and U16 forward Ibi So Sani replacing Chappell-Smith and Taylor respectively.
The Lions then made it three after 54 minutes when Rylah broke through the City defence and poked the ball past Coughlan to give him his second of the game.
City tried to respond immediately with Lloyd Humphries’ volley being blocked before it could reach the target. The Bluebirds then built the pressure further and had a handball appeal turned down by the referee. Full back Cameron Coxe’s shot was also blocked before it could hit the target.
Then came a quite incredible five minutes, firstly on 83 minutes secondary striker Ndioli scored Millwall’s 4th following a swift counterattack. Four minutes later and City had a goal their endeavour deserved when substitute Ellis Bellamy fired towards goal and his shot was too powerful for the defender on the line. Despite this, almost instantly Millwall restored their four goal advantage when Rylah grabbed his hat trick through a close range header.
That brought the end to a breathless five minutes and indeed the game in which the score line did not reflect the hard work the young City stars put in.
FULL TIME: CARDIFF CITY 1-5 MILLWALL
Cardiff City: Coughlan, Coxe, Angel, Taylor (Toonga, 45), Young, Parry, Harris (Bellamy, 15), Welch, Chappell-Smith (So Sani, 45), Humphries, Bird. Subs Not Used: Massaro, Pearson.
Millwall: Goodman, Brown, Chesmain, Byron, Bray, Deogr, Humphrey-Skinner (Eze, 75), Fitzgerald, Leighton, Rylah, Ndioli. Subs Not Used: Gayle, Girling, Mundle-Smith, White.