Cardiff City’s U23 development side defeated Coventry City, 3-1, at Cardiff City Stadium on Monday, 19th December 2016.
Cardiff started the game brightly with Dylan Rees causing trouble on the right side. The Coventry back line stood firm throughout this early period of pressure until a Marco Weymans cross found Semi Ajayi unmarked at the back post and the big centre-half volleyed the ball in to put Cardiff ahead.
Coventry had an excellent chance to level the game on the 20-minute mark as Jodi Jones made a powerful run down the wing before firing a low shot at Brian Murphy in the Cardiff goal. The goalkeeper parried the ball out as far as Devon Kelly-Evans but the attacker volleyed wide.
Kelly-Evans continued to look dangerous for the away side and displayed wonderful skill and pace as he dribbled from the half-way line before firing a shot just wide of Murphy’s goal.
The Bluebirds started causing Coventry problems down the left wing as Macauley Southam played in a number of teasing crosses towards Mark Harris. One of these found Harris unmarked but the striker headed just over the bar.
Minutes later another Southam cross fell to Harris, who managed to dribble around Coventry keeper Corry Addai but was unable to find the back of the net from an acute angle.
This attacking pressure from Cardiff paid off soon after that Harris chance, as Tommy O’Sullivan played a delightful through ball to Southam with the outside of his foot. The Cardiff-born midfielder then fired the ball into the top right corner of the net to give City a two-goal lead going into the break.
After coming on at the break, substitute James Waite was soon involved, dribbling past an opponent before striking an effort from outside the box which was saved well by Addai.
Belgian U19 international Weymans had a fantastic chance to extend Cardiff’s lead but he couldn’t quite get the power behind his header and it was comfortably saved.
Just past the hour mark Cardiff brought on sixteen-year-old Sion Spence(pictured below) to make his U23 debut. Midfielder and Welsh youth international Spence has been a key player for the U16 & U18 teams this term, and continued his impressive 2016/17 with a strong start to life at U23 level.
Coventry managed to pull a goal back with fifteen minutes to go as a low cross from Cian Harries found George Thomas in the box to tap in.
City’s two-goal advantage was restored soon after though as Harris reacted fastest to tap in after O’Sullivan’s shot was spilled by Addai.
Cardiff ended the game comfortably to see off the visitors and continue their fine form this season with another high-scoring victory.
U23/DVP FINAL SCORE: CARDIFF CITY 3–1 COVENTRY CITY (Ajayi 8’, Southam 43’, Harris 76’; Thomas 72’)
Cardiff City: Murphy, Rees, John, Weymans (Spence, 62’), Ajayi, Blaise (Coxe, 55’), Southam, Wharton, Harris, O’Sullivan, Kennedy (Waite, 46’). Subs Not Used: Abbruzzese, O’Reilly.
Coventry City: Addai, Whitmore, Sayoud (Shipley, 66’), Maycock, Finch, Harries, Kelly-Evans, Stevenson, McBean, Thomas, Jones (Ponticelli, 76’). Subs Not Used: Skuza, Thompson, Bayliss.