Cardiff City’s U18 side continued in a rich vein of form, maintaining their 100% record in 2019 and extending their lead at the top of the PDL2 South with a 4-0 win in South London against Crystal Palace.
First-half goals from Sion Spence, Sam Bowen, Kieron Evans and Rubin Colwill ensured that the visitors would travel back to South Wales with all three points after a sublime performance on Saturday, February 16th.
City elected to make two changes to the side who beat Bristol City 5-0 at Cardiff International Sports Campus last weekend, with Kieron Evans and Ryan Reynolds replacing Siyabonga Ligendza and Connor Davies.
It would be the visitors who started strongest, causing the Eagles a number of problems early-on. George Ratcliffe was called into action early on however, stopping Sean Robertson’s near-post effort with 14 minutes played.
Just two minutes later, Welsh youth international Spence put his side ahead. Kieron Evans found the forward with an excellent cross into the box from the right-hand side, and Sion made no mistake in finding the bottom-left corner on his right-foot to break the deadlock.
It seemed as though City’s dominance in the game was starting to pay off, as they were creating a number of chances against an unsure Palace backline. Spence almost scored his fifth goal in two games on 18 minutes, but his strike nestled into the side netting.
Soon enough, City doubled their advantage, just rewards for all their considerable efforts. Captain Sam Bowen played a smart one-two inside the box to create an opportunity for himself, and he left Rohan Luthra with absolutely no chance, finding the top-right corner with an unbelievable finish after 24 minutes.
Returning from a long-term injury, Ryan Reynolds certainly didn’t look out of place, putting in an inspired performance at the heart of the City defence. Reynolds put a pin-point ball into the direction of Evans a minute after Bowen’s goal, and Kieran kept composed to tap home into the Palace goal for his third league goal of the season.
City weren’t content to sit back, and they found a fourth with 36 minutes gone through Rubin Colwill – going into the break four goals ahead after a sublime half of football.
Both sides played their part in a rather low-key opening to the second-half, with the only real notable chance coming in the 52nd minute, as David Omilaby’s strike from close-range ended up well over Ratcliffe’s goal.
Midfielder Bowen had a shot saved from long-range on his right-foot just before the hour mark, and substitute William Warnock saw his attempt drift wide of goal on 66 minutes.
After an outstanding display, Cardiff City turned their attention on securing their second clean sheet in as many weeks. Our backline remained alert and switched on throughout the remainder of the second-half, claiming all three points to remain top of PDL2 South.
FINAL SCORE: CRYSTAL PALACE 0-4 CARDIFF CITY
Crystal Palace: Luthra, Russell, Bello, Gurung, Trehy, Chamberlain, Robertson (C), Boateng, Ajayi, Donkin, Omilaby (Parris 73’). Subs not used: Russell, Thisetton, Kymani-Gorden, Onoabhagbe.
Cardiff City: Ratcliffe, Kavanagh, Reynolds, J. Davies (Warnock 54’), Trys. Jomes, Pinchard (Patten 49’), Mayembe, Evans, Bowen (C), Colwill (Parsons 61’), Spence. Subs not used: Duffey, Knott.