U18 Match Report | Cardiff City 3-2 Swansea City
Cardiff City’s U18 side came back from being two goals down to defeat the Swans on Saturday afternoon.
Tom Hutton’s side continued their recent run of form with a victory over their South Wales derby rivals, thanks to Trey George’s late hat-trick that sealed all three points for City in Leckwith.
City pressed the home advantage throughout the opening periods of play, working well with the ball at their feet and retaining possession, operating primarily from the middle of the park.
The Bluebirds had the first clear cut chance of the match with less than ten minutes played, when Josh Beecher’s dangerous low cross found Tanatswa Nyakuhwa inside the area. However, the forward’s strike with his first touch went just wide. City had another chance a few minutes later, as Troy Perrett took on a shot from 20 yards, though it went over the crossbar.
With the visitors limited to attacking on the counter, their opener came moments after the Bluebirds very nearly broke the deadlock at the other end of the pitch. With Trey George’s effort going just off target from a one on one, the Swans’ counterattack resulted in Thomas Woodward finishing at the near post from a low cross.
Before the end of the half, Josh Beecher dispossessed his man terrifically at the edge of the area right as the visitors looked to capitalise on a quick counterattack.
After the interval, play resumed with City remaining with a majority of possession. However, once again the visitors capitalised despite their lack of time on the ball, and scored from a goalmouth scramble immediately following a corner-kick.
Holding on to their composure on the ball, City now began a battle to find their way back into proceedings. Threatening consistently from wide angles, the young Bluebirds threw themselves forwards at pace, eventually finding their deserved goal with 20 minutes remaining, thanks to Trey George’s great chipped finish.
With time running out, City were rewarded for their persistence with a second goal not long afterwards, with George again spearheading the attack and finishing from close range, thanks to a wicked cross by Beecher.
City finally took the lead for the first time in the match as injury time began. With the hosts well and truly on the front foot, it was Trey George who once again found the back of the net, this time finishing beautifully from inside the area, crafting an effort that went past his defender and the ‘keeper before meeting the back of the net at the far post.
With their new-found lead, the Bluebirds held fast for the remainder, claiming an important three points from a memorable fixture in CF11.
FINAL SCORE: CARDIFF CITY 3-2 SWANSEA CITY
Cardiff City: Armstrong, Beecher, Lawlor, Edwards, Spiers, Mafico, Barton, Perrett, Matondo, Nyakuhwa, George. Subs: Higgs, Thomas, Debono, Ola, Phillips.
Swansea City: Griffiths, Jones, Parker, Cook, Phillips, Watts, Llewellyn, Griffith, Davies, Woodward, Govea. Subs: Minchey, Margetson, Williams, Perry, Pescatore.
Following the final whistle, U18s Manager Tom Hutton and hat-trick hero Trey George spoke to www.cardiffcityfc.co.uk.
“I think that the overarching feeling is that we’re proud of the boys,” began Tom. “We were disappointed to come in a goal down at half-time because of the chances that we had, and we asked them to just be a bit more ruthless, particularly when we were delivering balls in from the wide areas.
"We felt that if we kept on doing the right things then we’d get the chances, and to be fair to the boys, they believed in what we asked of them and that along with their togetherness got them over the line to win it in the end, which is fantastic.
“I’ve known Trey for a very long time, and something that he’s always been able to do is score goals. He’s played more in the midfield in recent years, but when he knows where the back of the net is, you’ve always got that idea to get him up front. He scored a hat-trick for us last season against Sheffield Wednesday, and I think playing him up there today really worked, as he’s repaid us with those goals.
“Full credit to the boys today, we’re proud of them and it’s always nice to get three points from a South Wales derby, because they need to understand the importance of competing in those fixtures going forward.”
Having played the full 90 minutes and scored all three goals for his side, hat-trick hero Trey George reflected upon leaving the pitch:
“It’s unbelievable to score three goals in the derby,” began Trey. “For my first one I didn’t have the best first touch, but managed to get onto it and chip the ‘keeper. Josh [Beecher] put a great ball in for the second one, and at half-time the coaches had been telling me to get in between the defenders and the ‘keeper to be ready for that ball in.
“I can’t describe the feeling of scoring that hat-trick in a derby. The team dug deep at the end, but even when we were two-nil down we had that belief; we played much better football and were on top, so we deserved the three points at the end of the day.”