Cardiff City’s U18 side produced an excellent second-half performance to beat a competitive Nottingham Forest side 3-2 on Saturday, March 9th at Cardiff International Sports Campus as City maintained their position at the top of the PDL2 South table.
Isaak Davies was selected for the Starting XI for the first time since December, after a long-term injury kept the forward out for over three months. Needing to bounce back from an unfortunate defeat to Ipswich Town last weekend, City selected an attacking line-up against Forest.
Sion Spence had a decent opportunity just five minutes into the game, as the tricky forward made a superb run down the left flank, only for his cross to be blocked at the last moment.
Despite having started the game on the front-foot, City would be punished against the run of play just a minute later. Will Swan finished past Jordan Duffey, who had no chance of saving the effort which nestled into the right hand side of the net.
Forest went searching for another goal, in order to nullify the threat that City had caused going forward. Goal scorer Swan played a delicate chip across the goal for the visitors, but Ryan Reynolds was alert to stop the danger with eighteen minutes played.
Cardiff City would continue to put pressure on the Forest backline in hope of an equaliser, with Rubin Colwill testing Michael Statham after 20 minutes from the edge of the box.
The young Bluebirds pressure would soon pay dividends, though, as Isaak Davies was brought down in the box following a superb break from the forward. Spence stepped up to take the spot-kick and made no mistake in firing Cardiff City level in the 32nd minute.
Nottingham Forest would soon score a second however, as Gabriel Ogunseri benefitted from a stroke of luck in the 37th minute. Jordan Duffey made a solid save to keep the forward’s attempt out, however in windy conditions, Ogunseri’s effort managed to provide enough backspin to end up in the back of Duffey’s goal. The Bluebirds went into the break a goal down after conceding an unfortunate goal.
Neither side made a change at the break, and there was an instant upturn in Cardiff City’s performance as they again searched for an equaliser.
Eventually in the 53rd minute, City would get their reward for their dominance on proceedings. Isaak Davies produced an excellent finish into the bottom-right corner to score his twelfth league goal of the season in all competitions.
Just seven minutes later, the hosts would have a third goal through Kieron Evans. Substitute Connor Davies made a bombarding run down the right flank, before finding Evans in the Forest area with a dangerous low-cross. Evans fired home on his right foot on the hour mark to give Cardiff City the lead for the first time in the game.
Siyabonga Ligendza won a free-kick with 75 minutes played, however Sam Bowen’s attempt didn’t challenge Statham. It wouldn’t matter though, as the young Bluebirds defended excellently to hold onto a narrow lead and claim all three points at Cardiff International Sports Campus after a brilliant second-half comeback.
FINAL-SCORE: CARDIFF CITY 3-2 NOTTINGHAM FOREST
Cardiff City: Duffey, Reynolds, Patten, Parsons, Pinchard, Kavanagh, Evans, Bowen, I. Davies (Ligendza 54’), Colwill (C. Davies 57’), Spence (Knott 90’).
Subs not used: Ratcliffe, Mayembe.
Nottingham Forest: Statham, Bello (Trialist 71’), Mutoti, Back, Barnes (C), Bolland, Dekel-Daks, Asare, Swan, Mighten (Gibson-Hammond 69’), Ogunseri.
Subs not used: Liburd-Hines, Hammond, Fankwe.