The young Bluebirds were unfortunate to be defeated by Coventry City in this PDL2 fixture.
The visitors started brightly at the Cardiff International Athletics Stadium, with early ventures into the Bluebirds box hastily halted. City found their feet soon after, with Jamie Bird coming close. His powerful run ended with a shot which went wide of the target. Bird was involved again soon after, playing an inch perfect ball to Aiden Chappell-Smith. His header from eight yards out was well held by the Sky Blues keeper.
As the clock ticked on, the Bluebirds enjoyed the majority of possession in the Coventry half, but couldn’t create any clear-cut chances. And with 24 minutes gone, the Sky Blues took the lead through Jay Albini. The forward picked up the ball inside the Cardiff half, strode forward and unleashed an excellent effort, which soared into the top corner. Bird came close to equalising only minutes later, but placed a free-kick over the bar.
CITY FIND AN EQUALISER
Rabbi Matondo forced a fine save from Coventry keeper Konrad Skuza, as City looked to get back in the game. Cutting in from the right hand side, the striker flashed his shot across goal, bringing a smart stop. Eleven minutes after conceding, the Bluebirds got their equaliser, through Mark Harris. An inch-perfect ball from Rhys Abbruzzesse put Chappell-Smith away down the left-hand side. A burning run from the winger ended with him squaring the ball across the face of goal; where teammate Harris was waiting to apply to finishing touch. He slotted the ball into the bottom corner, to get Cardiff back on level terms.
In the second period, Coventry came close to regaining the lead through Liam Doyle. The ball was fizzed across the City box, but Doyle was unable to turn it home from close range. At the other end, Bird came close once more, with an effort from the edge of the box which dipped over the crossbar.
The Sky Blues began to apply intense pressure with twenty minutes to go. A goal mouth scramble saw the ball being tipped over the crossbar by Bluebirds ‘keeper Scott Coughlan, and from the resulting corner the visitors squandered a golden opportunity. Substitute Tom Bayliss somehow headed over from two yards out – a let off for the young Bluebirds.
As the game opened up, Matondo thought he had put City in front, arriving at the back post to stab the ball home. However, he was adjudged to have been offside, and his effort was chalked off. Harris came close to getting his second; a low drive which was parried out by Skuza.
However, despite the Bluebirds’ attacking intent, it was the away team who snatched victory. A counter attack saw the Cardiff defence outnumbered, and Kyle Finn was on hand to smash the ball into the net, to the delight of his teammates.
With the game entering the dying moments, Coventry were able to increase their lead, with a goal from full-back Jack Hickman. He drove down the left flank, before cutting inside in the box and firing past Coughlan to confirm victory for the Sky Blues.
FULL TIME: CARDIFF CITY 1-3 COVENTRY CITY
Cardiff City: Coughlan, Coxe, Abbruzzesse, Humphries, Parry (Bodenham 66’), Williams, Chappell-Smith (Menayese 66’), Waite, Matondo, Bird, Harris. Subs not used: Wakeman, Spence, Proctor.
Coventry City: Skuza, Hickman, Camwell, Doyle, McMahon, Thompson, Green, Shiply (Bayliss 67’), Smith, Finn, Albini (Mantsounga 90’). Subs not used: Watmore, Eccles.