Alyas Debono

U18 Match Report | Cardiff City 2-0 Fleetwood Town

Cardiff City’s U18s got back to winning ways, as they defeated Fleetwood Town 2-0 at Cardiff International Sports Campus.

Alyas Debono’s late first half header coupled with Mannie Barton’s second half stoppage time penalty sealed all three points for the Bluebirds.

Manager Tom Hutton elected to make three changes from the side that lost away to Burnley last time out. James Lester, Jac Thomas, and Dan Ola were replaced by Joseff Edwards, Noah Walsh, and Barton.

As the first half developed, Fleetwood created chances, as a defender blazed his volley over the bar from close-range. The visitors hit the post from a promising counter-attack, while City’s trialist keeper had to be on-hand to deny them twice.

However, towards the end of the first 45 minutes, the Bluebirds began to feel their way into the contest. Barton threaded a sublime through ball into the path of Jake Davies, only for the forward to put the ball narrowly wide of the mark.

Five minutes from time, City hit the front. A short corner routine ended in Lennon Talbot whipping a cross onto the head of Debono. His effort took a small deflection on its way through, but it was enough to loop the ball over the keeper and into the net.

Joseff Edwards

The Cod Army had a chance 20 minutes from time. A quick free kick routine almost caught City out, but Edwards managed to clear off the goal line superbly to preserve the lead.

Having weathered that warning sign, the Bluebirds controlled the ball. While Fleetwood did try and strike a couple of times, they couldn’t make their passes stick, especially with Debono and Edwards marshalling the defence expertly.

City would be rewarded for their second half display in stoppage time. Barton was brought down in the box cynically, leaving the referee no choice but to award a penalty. Up stepped Barton, who sent the keeper the wrong way to double the lead and seal the win.

The young Bluebirds will next be in action on Wednesday, as they travel to London to take on Millwall.


Cardiff City: Trialist, Kpakio © (N. Williams 59’), Debono, Edwards, Walsh (Parfitt 90’), C. Williams, Watts, Rees, Talbot (Hobson 90’), Davies, M. Barton. Subs not used: Higgs.

Tom Hutton in training for Cardiff City U18

After the game, we caught up with manager Tom Hutton.

“I’m really pleased with the performance, and that’s always something we want to try and reflect on instantly after the game. It’s two-fold for us, we always look at the performance from a style perspective, what the football looks like, and how we execute the principles. At the same time, there’s also certain behaviours that we expect from the boys in terms of how hard they work and how they compete against the opposition. For 60 minutes, I saw a lot of those aspects in play, and I was pleased by that. We were a little critical of the boys a couple weeks ago in terms of their performances. We played well against Burnley but didn’t get the result that we felt we deserved, but today we completed that job with a really young group as well. There’s more boys from the U16s coming up and I think they’ve done really well, and that’s how it should be at this stage of the season.

“Alyas and Joseff deserve a lot of credit. Our job is to develop footballers and try to make them better. If you look at those two in particular, in terms of where they were at the start of the year, they found U18s football tough at times from a physical and tactical point of view. However, it’s not about where you start but how you finish, and they’re finishing the season strongly. I’m delighted for them, and there’s been positive developments in those two in particular.”