U18 Match Report: Charlton Athletic 1-2 Cardiff City
Young Bluebirds produce inspired comeback…
Cardiff City’s U18 side returned to the top of the PDL2 South table after an excellent second-half comeback against the Addicks at Sparrow Lane on Saturday, October 20th.
The young Bluebirds returned to league action after the international break, looking to bounce back from a 3-2 defeat against Coventry City at the Alan Higgs Centre on October 6th. Goals from Isaak Davies and Dan Griffiths helped City to a hard-fought victory against last season’s Professional Development League Champions.
Craig Bellamy’s side started the game strongly, with Griffiths forcing Joe Osaghe into a routine save in the 7th minute. The forward, who was returning from injury, showed great composure to turn Charlton defender Charlie Barker before striking from distance on his right-foot.
It didn’t take long for the hosts to get into the game, though. Kareem Isiaka made a good run to latch onto a through ball, but when George Ratcliffe was called into action the City ‘keeper made a fine stop to keep the scores level with just under fifteen minutes gone.
Cardiff City continued to create chances and looked like a side fighting for the top spot. Despite this, they couldn’t quite get the luck they required to break the deadlock as captain Sam Bowen had a pin-point strike from a set-piece caught by Osaghe.
The visitors would be left to rue missed chances when Charlton Athletic went ahead in the 32nd minute, arguably against the run of play. James Gody went on an emphatic surging run, beating defender Joel Bagan in the process, before making no mistake in slotting the ball past Ratcliffe with his right-foot.
Ryan Reynolds tried an audacious effort from just inside the opposition half as City tried to stage a late first-half comeback; his attempt ended up going just over the crossbar, meaning that the young Bluebirds went into the break trailing by a single goal.
Even though Cardiff City went into the break a goal down, they staged the perfect response just two minutes into the second-half. Ratcliffe produced a moment of quality as he managed to pick out Isaak Davies with a powerful goal-kick, and the striker needed no invitation to draw the young Bluebirds level with a composed half-volley from outside the area.
After drawing level against the Addicks, the young Bluebirds continued to push for another goal to seal a deserved comeback.
Just after the turn of the hour, City were rewarded for their efforts. The ever-influential Isaak Davies this time registered the assist, as Dan Griffiths marked his return from injury with his fifth goal of the 2018/19 campaign. Griffiths found himself on the end of a superb through-ball from Davies, finding the bottom-left corner to put the visitors ahead with sixty-two minutes played.
Ben Margetson could’ve put the young Bluebirds two ahead from a corner and surely sealed an impressive win against Charlton, but he headed over from ten-yards out. It wouldn’t matter though, as Cardiff City stayed resilient and took all three points back to South Wales.
FINAL SCORE: CHARLTON ATHLETIC 1-2 CARDIFF CITY
Charlton Athletic: Osaghe, Moore, Aidoo, Chin, Barker, French, Allsopp, Vennings (C), Isiaka, Williams, Gody. Subs: Appiah, Harvey, Kasey, Keefe, Alboh.
Cardiff City: Ratcliffe, C. Davies (J. Davies 86’), Margetson, Reynolds (Parsons 88’), Bagan, King (Kavanagh 86’), Bowen (C), Evans, Mayembe, Griffiths, I. Davies. Subs Not Used: Duffey, Colwill.