Pre-Season Match Report | Cardiff City 3-2 Cambridge United
Cardiff City began the 2022/23 pre-season campaign by defeating Cambridge United at Cardiff International Sports Campus on Saturday afternoon.
James Collins’ first-half goal was cancelled out by United’s Harvey Knibbs, only for strikes from Max Watters and Joel Bagan to put City in the ascendancy. Seikou Janneh pulled a goal back for the visitors late-on, but it wasn’t enough to mount a comeback for the U’s, as Steve Morison’s side sealed the victory.
After a competitive start, the Bluebirds found the net with the contest’s first dangerous attack, as summer recruit Andy Rinomhota’s low cross found its way to striker Collins, who turned home from close-range to give City the lead in the 10th minute.
The visitors responded well and came close to an equaliser, as Knibbs found space on the right to cross, with his delivery just evading striker Joe Ironside. As the U’s earned a corner, former Liverpool defender Lloyd Jones headed narrowly over the woodwork.
In a positive attack for Morison’s men, James Collins found Gavin Whyte free on the edge of the area, leading to the Northern Ireland international curling an effort over the bar. City looked to have doubled the advantage after 20 minutes, as Rinomhota finished clinically into the bottom corner, only for a foul to be given in the build-up.
Cambridge United searched for an equaliser through Shilow Tracey, who crossed well from the right towards Knibbs, but his header was saved by City shot-stopper Dillon Phillips. The U’s found the net in the 38th minute, as Joe Tarpey’s cross was powered home at the back post by Knibbs, ensuring the score was level at the break.
City started the second period brightly, with Ollie Tanner set free on the right, whose dangerous delivery evaded everyone in the area. In another promising Bluebirds attack, Mark Harris and Watters combined well, only for the latter to be caught offside. Morison’s men weren’t to be denied however, as a fine intricate move resulted in Watters finishing well from close-range, restoring City’s lead in the 57th minute.
Goalkeeper Ryan Allsop, featuring for the first time since signing from Derby County this summer, made a fantastic save to keep the Bluebirds in front, denying Janneh from close-range. Much like for the hosts’ second goal, City were rewarded for a brilliant passing move, as left-back Bagan finished excellently in the 70th minute to double the advantage.
Morison’s side could have further added to the scoresheet with a period of positive attacks, as Watters was denied by Will Mannion’s smart stop. As added time neared, the visitors pulled one back through Janneh, who raced through and finished neatly past Allsop. Despite United’s late goal, City played out the final minutes to claim the victory.
The Bluebirds return to action on Tuesday evening (12/07), with two 60-minute games against Newport County at Cardiff International Sports Campus, 6.30pm KO.
FINAL SCORE: CARDIFF CITY 3–2 CAMBRIDGE UNITED
Cardiff City: First Half: Phillips, Romeo, Jamilu Collins, McGuinness, Denham, Wintle, Rinomhota, Leahy, James Collins, Whyte, Crole. Second Half: Allsop, Daley-Campbell, Bagan, Nelson, Ng, King, Adams (J Colwill 50’), Sang, Watters, Tanner, Harris. Subs not used: Luthra, Alnwick, Semenyo, Benjamin.
Cambridge United: First Half: Holden, Tarpey, Okedina, Jones, Dunk, Digby, Simper, Tracey, Knibbs, Worman, Ironside. Second Half: Mannion, Williams, Jobe, Taylor, Haunstrup, Yearn, Lancaster, Janneh, Smith, O’Neil, May, McConnell.