Cardiff City’s four game unbeaten run came to an end following a defeat to a strong Crewe Alexandra side at Cardiff International Sports Campus.
Prior to the 2pm kick-off, Jarred Harvey named five changes to the side which defeated Hull City 1-0, last time out. Matthew Connolly was joined by Kieron Evans, Isaak Davies, Ryan Kavanagh and Rubin Colwill in the starting XI.
The hosts began brightly and almost took an instant lead inside the opening minute. Joel Bagan surged forward before seeing his curled left-footed drive glance narrowly wide of the far right post from 25 yards.
Despite City’s promising start, the visitors took the lead with their first effort on goal. The experienced Alex Nicholls fired low into the bottom left corner from 10 yards after latching onto a through ball, with five minutes played.
This galvanised the away side who netted a second and third goal inside the first 10 minutes. Striker Connor Heath tapped home from a rebound to double the lead before striking from range to make it 3-0.
As the first half wore on, the Bluebirds remained determined to reduce the deficit. A deserved goal for the hosts arrived shortly after Kieron Evans was brought down inside the box, resulting in a penalty. Stuart O’Keefe took responsibility and fiercely guided the ball into the top left.
The Bluebirds dominated possession in the second half and almost pulled another goal back shortly after the hour mark. Following O’Keefe’s blocked strike, substitute Siyabonga Ligendza saw his curled attempt deflect wide from close range.
Chances of making a comeback before the final whistle suffered a blow when Laurence Wootton was given a second yellow card, with 75 minutes played. The midfielder received the yellow cards following two bookable offences.
With opportunities sparse for both sides following the sending off, the referee blew for full time after four minutes of added time.
Harvey’s side will look to bounce back quickly as they face Watford at Maurice Rebak Stadium for their next league encounter on Friday, 29th March 2019 – 3pm kick-off.
U23 FULL TIME: CARDIFF CITY 1-3 CREWE ALEXANDRA
Cardiff City: Burwood, Pryce, Wootton, Connolly (Ligendza 45’), Margetson, Bagan, K. Evans, O’Keefe, I. Davies (Pritchard 46’), Kavanagh, Colwill (King 58’). Subs not used: Duffey, Ligendza, King, Smith.
Crewe Alexandra: Jaaskelainen, Johnson, Offord, Griffiths, Sass-Davies, Lundstram (Fenton 89’), Nicholls, Lynch, Heath (Linton 70’), Lowery (Adebisi 79’), Dale. Subs not used: Booth.