Cardiff City’s U18 side fell to a 3-1 defeat against league leaders Charlton Athletic following a hard fought battle at Cardiff International Sports Stadium.
The home side had the first opportunity of the game when Mark Harris did well to close down an under hit back pass. A slightly unfortunate ricochet fell to fellow winger Kieron Proctor out wide, who cut the ball back for Harris, but his effort fell inches short of the mark.
On 21 minutes, dangerous winger Harris cut inside and fired an effort just over from the edge of the area. From the resulting corner, a Charlton defender George Lapslie headed the ball against his own crossbar.
The Bluebirds were working hard in attack, carving out opportunities in the hope of netting against the impressive Addicks. It was the away side though who struck first, Alex Willis firing home from long range following a well worked corner routine on the half-hour mark.
City stopper Scott Coughlan was called into action as he superbly denied Charlton a second with a reflex save which proved to be the last action of the first half.
After the restart, the game stopped again due to a serious injury to goal-scorer Willis during which the players returned to the changing rooms so he could receive further treatment. The game restarted on the hour mark after a 15 minute delay.
Cardiff were quicker out of the blocks as the game restarted, and deservedly levelled when defender Shane Parry rose highest to power home a header.
The away side came to the Welsh Capital City full of confidence and on the back of a 7-1 win over local rivals, Brentford. They retook the lead when substitute Brendan Sarpong-Wiredu showed some incredible close control before firing the ball home.
The away side exuded the confidence of an in-form team, and increased their lead on the counter attack as City were searching for an equalising goal. Terrique Anderson with a well-taken finish, cutting in from the left.
Towards the end of the game, Welsh U19 international Harris went close as he got in behind but his shot was well saved as City put the pressure on in the 20 minutes of stoppage time. The future City stars will have the opportunity of returning to winning ways immediately as they face Goytre in the FAW Youth Cup on Sunday morning.
U18 FINAL SCORE: CARDIFF CITY 1-3 CHARLTON ATHLETIC
Cardiff City: Coughlan, Parry, Kelly, Humphries (So Sani ’90), R.Menayese, Bodenham, Proctor (Welch ’74), Spence, E. Menayese, Waite (Chappell-Smith ’74), Harris. Subs not used: Wakeman, Young.
Charlton Athletic: Beeney, Simpson, Zemura (Bangura ’90), Bone, Assiana, Yao, Lapslie, Millar, Anderson, Bah, Willis (Sarpong-Wierdu ‘55). Subs not used: Prall, Morgan, Bowry.