U18 Match Report | Cardiff City 1-1 Forest Green Rovers
Cardiff City U18's were held to a 1-1 draw by Forest Green Rovers in the PDL Cup at Cardiff International Sports Campus.
Morgan Wigley’s superb second-half strike was cancelled out by Murphy Bennett’s equaliser for the visitors.
City had the first chance inside 20 minutes, when Wigley broke past two defenders and looked to have a one-on-one, until he unselfishly played a pass which narrowly evaded Tanatswa Nyakahwa.
In a first half of few opportunities, the Bluebirds began to find their feet when spreading passes. This build up of possession led to a lofted ball to Trey George, who had made a smart run, only to have his strong effort blocked.
The second half started in much more lively fashion than the first, as some promising play out of defence from Morgan Lewis and Dylan Lawlor led to a chance, giving Japhet Mpadi the opportunity to fire from the edge of the box on the left hand side. Unfortunately, the forward struck the crossbar with his fine effort.
With the visitors struggling to get the ball out of their own half, Wigley found himself with a chance to shoot from outside the area.
The midfielder cut inside to fire past the keeper at the near post and give City the lead on 55 minutes, with the young Bluebird continuing his fine form for Wales U19 and City U21 last week.
Forest Green Rovers began to fight back later in the second period, and soon found a leveller. Shortly after the hour mark, Oliver Sully put in a dangerous low cross, which was fumbled over the line by Bennett to level the game with the visitors’ first chance of the half.
As the game opened up, with both sides looking for a winner, some great work by substitute Josh Beecher down the left flank sparked an attack for the Bluebirds. A half-cleared cross made its way to Nyakuhwa’s feet, though he could only find the hands of Dylan John in the Forest Green goal, after the ball came through a sea of bodies.
As the clock wound down into stoppage time, Dan Barton tested the keeper from an acute angle with a free kick, forcing a fingertip over the bar from John to ensure that the points would be shared.
FINAL SCORE: CARDIFF CITY U18 1-1 FOREST GREEN ROVERS U18
Cardiff City: Armstrong, C Jones (Phillips 82’), Giles, Lewis, Lawlor, Barton, Nyakuhwa, George, Wigley (Twose 61’), T Jones (Fleming 61’), Mpadi (Beecher 65’). Subs not used: Thomas.
Forest Green Rovers: John, MacKenzie, Merrett (Mason 89’), Woodhouse, Bennett, Fraser Bell, Finley Bell, Dunn (Marquez 70’), Sully (Henry 70’), McLaughlin, Alonzi (Hewlett 89’). Subs not used: Blackburn.
After the final whistle, Head Coach Steve Jenkins said: “I’m probably a little bit disappointed, to be honest. Give Forest Green credit, they worked really, they were committed and made it really difficult for us. A draw was probably a fair result.
"I thought we started the game well in the first 15-20 minutes, we moved it quite well. Our rotation looked good and we looked comfortable without really creating an opening.
"They then came into the game and slowly, it became more even. We talked about increasing the intensity and getting on the half-turn, being progressive with our passing in the second half, but we didn’t really control the game as we wanted. They were always in it when we were 1-0 up, and got the equaliser, so it was probably a fair result.”