Cardiff City’s U18 side battled to a 1-0 victory over QPR in freezing conditions at Leckwith on Saturday morning.
Elvis Menayese’s first-half strike was enough to secure all three points; after the game had been moved to an adjacent pitch due to recent weather issues.
The game started slowly with both teams getting to grips with the difficult playing conditions in the early stages. It would be the visitors who would have the first attempts on goal; striker Brandon Adams going close twice. First, his low effort was saved by Scott Coughlan before he flashed a teasing ball across the face of the goal, all coming before the 20 minute mark.
Lloyd Humphries had City’s first sight of goal, firing over from distance. Then Coughlan was on hand again to deny Dan Darbyshire with his feet, who had a clear sight of goal. Jamie Bird, who recently signed a professional contract with the club, whipped in a delicious free-kick, which was inches away from connecting with the head of Cameron Coxe.
The two teams exchanged chances once again as Aidan Chappell-Smith’s shot deflected agonisingly over the away side’s bar just after the half hour mark. Five minutes later the lively Adams’ volley bounced into the ground and into the grateful arms of City ‘keeper Coughlan.
Elvis Menayese grabbed the first and only goal of the game on 38 minutes. Midfield man James Waite found space in the hole and slipped in the number 9 who raced clear to slot home with ease. There was still more action before the interval as QPR came forward again; with the influential Adams hitting the right hand post from the left side of the area. Winger Hugo Cardoso was following up the rebound but could only fire over a golden opportunity to equalise almost immediately.
Second half chances
The game had been full of full-blooded challenges on both teams part but it eventually boiled over when Chappell-Smith was scythed down by right-back Thomas Matthews to stop a promising City counter attack. Cue a mass brawl and Chappell-Smith’s substitution for Sam Snaith. Playmaker Bird then stepped up to fire the resulting free-kick wide after things had calmed down.
Striker Adams had another clear sight at goal but could only direct his header straight at Coughlan. This was followed up on 77 minutes by wide man Romed Ahnola’s shot being saved.
In the final ten minutes City went close on no fewer than three occasions. Humphries fizzed a long range effort towards goal which Conor Huanott just got a hand to. Number 10 Bird went closer still as he connected with Coxe’s pull back but his effort was dynamically saved by Huanott. In stoppage time Humphries fired over again but the young Bluebirds saw out the remaining six minutes of injury time to secure a deserved victory, and extend their winning run to three games in the process.
FINAL SCORE: CARDIFF CITY 1-0 QUEENS PARK RANGERS (E.MENAYESE ’38)
Cardiff City: Coughlan, Coxe, Abbruzesse, Humphries, R.Menayese ©, Parry (Williams ’76), Harris, Waite (Spence ’90), E.Menayese, Bird, Chappell-Smith (Snaith ’68). Subs not used: Wakeman, Proctor.
Queen’s Park Rangers: Huanott, Matthews, Williams ©, Donnellan, Arthur, Fox (Klass ’45), Ahnola, Folkes (Earles ’45), Adams, Darbyshire, Cardoso. Subs not used: Dickenson