Cardiff City’s U18 squad produced a resilient performance against the Tykes to maintain their 100% record in the Professional Development League Two, with a 2-0 win at Oakwell Training Ground on Saturday, August 25th.
The young Bluebirds started the game strongly, and only six minutes into the game Connor Davies drilled a brilliant ball into the box with his right-foot, which forced Barnsley ‘keeper Harry Kendrick into an improvised stop, averting the danger early on.
After a spell of early pressure from the visitors, Barnsley spurned a huge opportunity in the 17th minute. Sezgin Aleksiev played a superb through ball into the path of Kieron Feeney, who found himself one on one with Cardiff City ‘keeper George Ratcliffe. In what had been an almost perfect counter-attack, the Barnsley No.9 couldn’t find the target with his right-foot.
Six minutes later, Davies arguably should’ve broken the deadlock for Craig Bellamy’s side. The explosive defender made a superb run from the right flank into the box and got on the end of an excellent cross from Joel Bagan. Davies looked certain to put the visitors ahead, but yet again Kendrick pulled off a smart save to keep his side level.
As half-time approached, Barnsley had one final chance to take the lead against the run of play. Feeney received the ball with his back to goal, before displaying great footwork to fashion an opening under intense pressure. City went into the break level, as he dragged his effort wide of Ratcliffe’s goal.
Daniel Griffiths broke the deadlock for the young Bluebirds through a composed finish into the bottom-right corner with just over an hour played. The forward – who scored his third goal in as many games, was in the right place at the right time to slot home from an excellent left-footed delivery by Sion Spence.
Bellamy’s side then doubled their advantage at Oakwell, with seventy-seven minutes played. Griffiths rose highest from a free-kick and his header could only be parried by Kendrick into the path of substitute Jac Davies, and he made no mistake in doubling the young Bluebirds’ lead with a smart volley from close-range.
Barnsley’s Kieron Feeney forced Ratcliffe into a routine save with just ten minutes left, but Cardiff City held onto their two-goal lead to pick up a third successive league victory and remain top of the PDL2 South.
U18 FINAL SCORE: BARNSLEY 0-2 CARDIFF CITY
Barnsley: Kendrick, Green, Winfield, Helliwell, Moon (C), Pache, Rangel (Calligan 74’), Lancaster (Greenfield 60’), Feeney, Willard, Aleksiev (Thorpe 62’). Subs Not Used: Marsh, Olatubosun.
Cardiff City: Ratcliffe, C.Davies, Jones, Reynolds, Bagan, Patten, I.Davies, Bowen (C), Griffiths, Spence, Colwill (J.Davies 63’). Subs Not Used: Margetson, Duffey, Mayembe, Parsons.