Pre-Season Match Report | Cardiff City 2-1 Cheltenham Town
Cardiff City defeated Cheltenham Town 2-1 in their final pre-season match at Cardiff City Stadium on Tuesday afternoon.
Leandro Bacuna’s first-half volley and Aden Flint’s second-half header sealed victory for the Bluebirds.
City kick-off their competitive 2020/21 campaign at Northampton Town in the Carabao Cup this Saturday afternoon.
Despite missing players through international call-ups, Neil Harris named an experienced starting line-up. New loan signing Jordi Osei-Tutu was part of a five man defence that also included Sol Bamba, Sean Morrison, Curtis Nelson and Joe Bennett.
City’s opening opportunity came after just two minutes. Nelson’s terrific through-ball out of defence reached the feet of Josh Murphy, who was swiftly slide tackled by the onrushing Cheltenham goalkeeper Josh Griffiths.
Determined Murphy came close to opening the scoring, 17 minutes later. The 25-year-old received Robert Glatzel’s back pass and powerfully shot from close range, but Charlie Raglan bravely blocked.
Cardiff City did break the deadlock through midfielder Leandro Bacuna with 25 minutes played. Marlon Pack’s crossed free-kick was met by 18-year-old Griffiths, who punched the ball out but Bacuna rifled home first time on the volley from 25-yards.
The Bluebirds looked to double their advantage and were denied by a brilliant save, ten minutes later. Forward Glatzel got on the end of a loose ball within the area, but his thunderous strike was kept out by stopper Griffiths.
Determinedly, the hosts neared a second goal with three minutes of the opening 45 remaining. Midfielder Pack’s corner from the right met the head of Sean Morrison at the back post and composed Griffiths saved.
After the interval, it took four minutes for troubling Bacuna to eye a brace. The Curaçao international’s finessed effort from the edge of the box travelled agonisingly astray of the right post.
The visiting side found a way back into the match despite seeing little of possession and equalised after 57 minutes through Alfie May. The forward curled into the top left corner from inside the area.
Winger Murphy attempted to regain the Bluebirds’ lead, six minutes later. The former Norwich City man cut inside off the right flank and directed an effort just wide of the back post.
Substitute Aden Flint stepped up to put Cardiff City ahead again with 20 minutes of the 90 remaining. 29-year-old Pack’s whipped free-kick from the right wing was met by the towering defender, who headed in his second goal of pre-season.
The Bluebirds attacked for a third goal, but two proved to be enough as they concluded pre-season with a hard-fought victory.
FINAL SCORE: CARDIFF CITY 2-1 CHELTENHAM TOWN
Cardiff City: Smithies (Etheridge 61’), Osei-Tutu (Sang 46’), Nelson (Cunningham 61’), Bamba, Morrison (Flint 61’), Bennett (Bagan 61’), Pack (D’Almeida 80’), Bacuna (Bowen 80’), Hoilett (Evans 61’), Murphy (Margetson 67’), Glatzel. Subs not used: Day.
Cheltenham Town: Griffiths, Raglan, Tozer, Freestone (Skurek 84’), Thomas, Sercombe (Chamberlain 82’), Azaz (Williams 76’), Clements, Hussey (Horton 61’), Reid (Addai 76’), May (Lloyd 76’). Subs not used: Harris, Campbell.