Cardiff City’s U18 Academy squad overcame a strong Colchester United side in a tense battle to win 2-1 on Saturday, 12th November 2016.
Before their matches with Swindon Town and Colchester United respectively, Cardiff City's U16 & U18 held a one minute's silence in memory of former Academy coach, Paul Feltham, who sadly passed away recently.
The young Bluebirds dominated the opening exchanges, crafting out chance after chance. Ibraim So Sani had an excellent chance in the first five minutes but he was unable to get a clear connection on the shot.
Minutes later Jarrad Welch had a shot blocked inside the box, then the ball fell to him again just after and his effort curled inches wide of the post.
Cardiff goalkeeper Scott Coughlan was called upon to make a fantastic save just past the half hour mark as he dove down to his left to deny Colchester the lead.
James Waite fired a low ball across the six-yard box after some good work down the left hand side and the cross found So Sani unmarked but his effort was saved by George Phillips. Then So Sani went close with a headed chance after Welch found him with a brilliant cross but the effort was just wide of the post.
Just before half time Isaak Davies had two great chances to put Cardiff ahead. The first of those came after a through ball from Welch gave Davies a chance to score with his left foot but it was saved impressively. The second came from a low cross from a corner that fell to the striker but he poked his effort wide.
Straight after the break Welsh youth international So Sani went on a surging run through the Colchester defence. The ball broke loose and came to the feet of Davies who slotted the ball home to put Cardiff deservedly ahead.
Just five minutes later Sion Spence spread the ball out wide to Waite who smashed it first time with his right foot and the ball slipped under the Colchester goalkeeper to double Cardiff's advantage.
Cardiff’s two-goal cushion didn’t last long though as Colchester captain Ollie Kensdale scored with twenty minutes remaining to bring the visitors within touching distance of a draw.
The home side were awarded a penalty late on as Spence was fouled in the area as he tried to wriggle through the Colchester defence. So Sani stepped up to take the spot kick and his powerful strike cannoned off the crossbar.
Colchester winger Ryan Clampin was a danger throughout the game and he almost levelled the game in the dying moments but he was denied brilliantly by Coughlan. Seconds later Clampin would have been clean through had Ben Margetson not prevented him from getting past him.
Cardiff held on to claim all three points in a game from a tough match at USW Sports Park.
U18 FINAL SCORE: CARDIFF CITY 2-1 COLCHESTER UNITED (Davies 46’, Waite 51’; Kensdale 70’)
Cardiff City: Coughlan, Margetson, Kelly, Young (c), Bodenham, Baldwin (Madden 22’), Waite, Welch (Wootton 78’), Davies, Spence, So Sani. Unused Subs: Burwood, Williams, Davies.
Colchester United: Phillips, Keys, Debrick (Mulryne 75’), Anderson, Partridge (Jones 58’), Kensdale, Cosgrave, Carlton, McKeown, Syrety (Ager 68’), Clampin.