On Monday, 20th August, Cardiff City’s U23 side defeated Barnsley 2-0 at Cardiff International Sports Campus to secure their opening three points of the 2018/19 Professional Development League Two campaign.
Jarred Harvey named First Team players - Brian Murphy, Matthew Connolly, Kadeem Harris and Rhys Healey along with three trialists in the starting XI.
City’s first opportunity came after nine minutes through Kadeem Harris. From the left flank, the winger cut inside before firing low and hard at the edge of the area, forcing Jake Greatorex to parry and the chance came to nothing. Harris was proving a handful for the away defence and crafted an opportunity, 16 minutes later. The 25-year-old sped down the left wing and crossed for Healey just inside the area, who hammered agonisingly over the crossbar.
Barnsley right-back Louis Wardle demonstrated his frustration at Harris’ threat, after 31 minutes. The 19-year-old was booked for a heavy challenge on the City attacker, who had just returned to the pitch from treatment. Then 10 minutes later, Wardle was shown a second yellow card and sent-off for a rash challenge on central defender Ciaron Brown.
After the interval, it took the young Bluebirds four minutes to come close again. From just inside the area, Paul McKay’s violent volley flew agonisingly astray of the right post. Harvey’s side deservedly broke the deadlock through Healey, after 62 minutes. Following ten pre-season goals, the influential striker opened the scoring with a close-range finish.
One minute later, Ibrahim Meite was introduced on his return from a prolonged injury and had a chance, after 74 minutes. Harris dashed down the left flank and crossed to find the forward at the back post, who could not control and Greatorex gathered.
However, Meite seemed determined to make an instant impact on his first game back and was successful with two minutes of the 90 remaining. From the right wing, the 22-year-old powerfully strode into the area before striking into the roof on the net at an acute angle to double City's advantage.
Two minutes into injury time, City were denied a third by a superb Greatorex save. From range, substitute Jamie Veale spotted the goalkeeper off his line and the midfielder’s sweetly struck shot was acrobatically tipped away. That proved to be the last action of the affair and the young Bluebirds took an opening three points from their second match of the PDL2 season.
U23 FINAL SCORE: CARDIFF CITY 2-0 BARNSLEY
Cardiff City: B. Murphy, Riveria, Coxe, P. McKay, Brown, Connolly, Shaw (Veale 46’), Ayite (Evans 46’), Healey, J. McKay (Meite 63’), K. Harris. Subs not used: Burwood, Bodenham.
Barnsley: Greatorex, Wardle, Barnett, Fielding, Smith, Otim, Brown (Simpson 61’), Bird, McDonagh (Da Silva 83’), Chisholm, Berkovits (Walsh 70’). Subs not used: Assenso, Feeney.