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Academy come out on top in thriller

Cardiff City’s Under 18’s side got their pre-season fixtures underway with a 5-4 win over Exeter City.

It was a topsy-turvy game at the University Of South Wales Sports Park with Cardiff taking the lead before Exeter put themselves in front before the break. But an excellent Cardiff second-half performance ensured they got the victory. 

Early Dominance

Under 18’s managers Matthew Bloxham and Jarrad Harvey fielded a side with first-year apprentices in the starting eleven and second-years on the bench.

It was the home side’s full-backs that had the first meaningful efforts of the game, with Cameron Coxe and Issac Kelly both having efforts saved from the left-hand side of the area.

Mark Harris couldn’t connect properly from an Ibi Sosani cross, before the young Bluebirds took the lead half an hour in. Jarrad Welch’s free-kick was drilled in and found its way to centre-back ConnorYoung who beat two men to fire in off the post.

On-loan striker Sosani had three chances to extend the advantage but couldn’t convert. He had two efforts in close succession but neither found their way in to the net. Minutes later he couldn’t convert Harris’s cross.

Exeter Fightback

The visitors from Devon had been largely quietly until they equalised seven minutes from half-time, in spectacular fashion. From a free-kick, the initial cross was blocked out but the follow up lobbed ‘keeper Scott Coughlan in the Cardiff goal.

A clumsy challenge in the area meant the visitors had the perfect chance to take the lead from the penalty spot, and they dispatched it confidently. The whistle blew for the break which had come six minutes later than planned as midfielder Will Richards had to be stretched off for the Grecians with a knee injury.

Crazy Five Minutes

Cardiff made wholesale changes at the break to give everyone a run out in this friendly game.  pace caused problems for the Exeter backline and his effort was the first of note in the second period.Aidan Chappell-Smith’sSubstitute

Then a came a manic five minutes as both teams traded long range goals. First winger Harris won the ball midway inside the Exeter half and fired past the ‘keeper in to the top-left hand corner from 25 yards. Moments later, and not to be outdone, Exeter scored another spectacular strike of their own to regain the lead. This time, however, it was a curling effort in to the top-right hand corner of the goal.  scored to level things up once again.Jamie BirdThat wasn’t the end though, as substitute

Bluebirds back in front

It was all Cardiff after this and after a couple of near misses from Harris and Elvis Menayese they scored. The lively Chappell-Smith found himself one-on-one after a defensive mix up and rounded the ‘keeper to put Cardiff in front for the first time since they opened the scoring. Minutes later he scored again, this time firing in off the post from an angle.

That wasn’t the end of the scoring in this goal-friendly match as Exeter scored what proved to be nothing but a consolation after the ball was cut back from the by-line. There was no drama this time fortunately for Cardiff though, as they opened their 2015/16 pre-season with a win.

Cardiff City XI: Coughlan, Kelly, Coxe, Welch, Young, Baldwin ©, Harris, Trialist, Sosani, Trialist, Waite. Subs: Parry, Wakeman, Menayese, Bird, Chappell-Smith.

Highlights to follow on Cardiff City Player