U18 Match Report | Cardiff City 0-3 Birmingham City
Cardiff City’s PDL campaign got off to a losing start, after they were defeated 3-0 by Birmingham City.
A brace for Frank Tattum and one for Zaid Betteka sealed the win for the visitors, as City couldn’t find the target.
The Bluebirds made a bright start to the game and penned Birmingham in early on. The first chance fell to Tanatswa Nyakuhwa, but his free kick just whistled over the bar.
Down the wings in particular was where the hosts were finding most of their success, but Birmingham looked a threat on the break, and they squandered a good chance after Ben Wodsku found himself in acres of space in the box.
Yet it was an error in the City defence that allowed Birmingham to take the lead. A loose ball was capitalised on by Frank Tattum, who tapped in to stun the home side.
As they tried to find the equaliser, a series of decisions went against the Bluebirds. Stoyan Pergelou’s clear handball on the halfway line stopped Trey George from racing through one-on-one with the keeper, but it was deemed as a yellow card offence.
A few minutes later, Will Spiers looked to have been clearly fouled in the box, but the referee decided the City full back dived and brandished a yellow his way.
On the stroke of half time, the Bluebirds hit the post through Nyakuhwa’s free kick, but it was the visitors who headed into half time in the lead.
Throughout the first half the home side were on top, and at the start of the second the narrative remained the same. But ten minutes into the second half, Birmingham doubled their lead. A low cross into the box found Zaid Betteka lurking at the far post, and he managed to poke the ball home.
Later, a corner bobbled around in the area, and eventually Tattum got the crucial touch that turned the ball over the line, as the away side went three up.
The hosts did work hard to try and get themselves back into the contest, but the Blues defence stood resolute and firm, as they travelled back to the second city with all three points.
The young Bluebirds will be back in action next week as they travel to face PDL North side Sheffield Wednesday.
FINAL SCORE: CARDIFF CITY 0-3 BIRMINGHAM CITY
Cardiff City: Armstrong, Spiers, Thomas, Barton, Mafico, Edwards (Debono 84’), Fleming (Kpakio 79’), Twose, Nyakuhwa ©, George (Ola 63’), Phillips (Perrett 63’). Subs not used: Jones.
Birmingham City: Warmington, Sanders, Pergelou (Betteka 46’), Boakye, Willis ©, Wynne, Da Silva, Eubank (Borrell 72’), Tattum, Wodsku (Bateman 63’), Ruiz Rente (Ahmed 77’). Subs not used: Sayer.
After the game, U18 coach Tom Hutton, who took charge of the match on Saturday, shared his thoughts on the defeat.
“Disappointment is the feeling around the dressing room,” Tom began. “It’s not necessarily to do with the result. Of course, we want to try and win the game and the boys were really looking forward to trying to win the first game like they did last season. It’s more around the performance. When you’re working in youth development, you’re looking for an identity on the pitch in and out of possession. We did that relatively well in pre-season, but we didn’t do it at all today. Collectively, we were not at the level we would expect.
“We will reflect on today as we always do. I think it’s important to consolidate that learning and support the players through what happened today. Then it’s about looking forward to Sheffield Wednesday. We know it’s going to be a tough test and a different type of game to what they’ve experienced today. That’s the benefit of U18s football, there’s a lot of variety in the teams you play. So, we will work hard this week and be prepared for Saturday.”