Goals from Sion Spence,Cai Williams and a double from Sam Bowen saw Cardiff City’s U18 side comeback from three goals behind to secure a 4-4 draw against Nottingham Forest at Leckwith International Stadium on Saturday, 4th April 2017.
A young Cardiff side started strongly in the opening ten minutes against a determined Forest team with midfielder Sion Spence the focal point of a tenacious front line.
Forest showed a clinical edge throughout the first half and were first to score after 16 minutes. Arvin Appiah with some fine play on the right before crossing for Brennan Johnson to fire past George Ratcliffe at close range. Six minutes later, the away side and Johnson added a second goal against the run of play.
Bluebirds midfielder Sam Bowen went close to reducing the deficit with his free kick from 25 yards out in the 24th minute - his strike beating the goalkeeper but cannoning off the crossbar and subsequently cleared.
The home side were made to rue this opportunity when Riley Harbottle added Forest’s third of the game just 180 seconds later.
This young Cardiff City line-up showed their will and desire during a tough first half, and deservedly got on the score-sheet after 29 minutes. Bowen, son of former Bluebird Jason, showed real composure in slotting the ball past George Shelvey.
Despite City controlling the flow of the match, Forest increased their lead once again. Forward Johnson clinching his hat-trick from the spot after City had been punished for a foul in the area.
This goal-filled first half was topped off with a second for City. Cai Williams scoring on the stroke of half-time, reducing the deficit to just two goals.
The strike before the interval had clearly inspired Cardiff City and after 53 minutes they scored a third. Welsh youth international Sion Spence added to his fine performance, netting from 15-yards.
The home side were rewarded for their persistence, equalising on 77 minutes when Sam Bowen unleashed an unstoppable strike into the top corner from 30-yards.
The young Bluebirds weren’t ready to settle for a draw and went close to winning the match, with Spence’s shot taking a deflection and drifting just wide on 82 minutes. It as an exciting match for all to watch at Leckwith International Stadium – with both teams scoring some incredible goals to end the PDL2 campaign.
U18 FINAL SCORE: CARDIFF CITY 4-4 NOTTINGHAM FOREST
Cardiff City: Ratcliffe, Margetson, Davies, Bowen, Jones, Bodenham (C), Williams, Wootton, Spence, Patten, Williams (Parsons 67’). Subs Not Used: Sharif, Burwood, Pinchard, Mayembe.
Nottingham Forest: Shelvey, Charlesworth, Re (C), Stewart, Ram, Harbottle, Taylor, Appiah, Johnson, Mighten.