U21 Match Report | Cardiff City 0-0 Watford
Cardiff City’s U21 side began the new year with a clean sheet in Leckwith on Monday afternoon.
Starting with a side that featured several scholars, the young Bluebirds began the match looking to make an immediate impact, pressing well without the ball.
Though initially forced to operate without a majority of possession, City worked well to attack on the counter once their defensive press bore fruit, with Japhet Matondo registering City’s first shot on target early on.
Trey George followed up at the end of another counterattack when he darted into the area with the ball at his feet, though his shot was subsequently tipped wide for a corner-kick.
As play levelled out, City had the biggest chance of the match, when Malachi Fagan-Walcott received a crossed free-kick at the back post. However, his header was directed slightly high of the mark, with half-time arriving a few minutes later.
Play opened up further as the second half progressed, as Will Spiers and Fagan-Walcott had early chances blocked.
Taking a solitary chance for the visitors, Albert Eames struck from a well-worked attack around the City area, though he fired off-target.
With little more than ten minutes remaining, City looked again the more likely of the two sides to find an opener. Threatening from out wide, Luey Giles’ cross found substitute Tanatswa Nyakuhwa inside the area, though his glancing header went wide.
With few clear-cut chances, the Bluebirds were held as both sides were forced to settle for a goalless draw in Leckwith.
FINAL SCORE: CARDIFF CITY 0-0 WATFORD
Cardiff City: Thomas, Spiers, Fagan-Walcott, Cook, Giles, Barton, Kenniford, George, Conte, Matondo, Johnson. Subs: Dennis, Nyahuhwa, Phillips, Mafico, Perrett.
Watford: Macaulay, Eames, Trialist, Ramirez-Espain, Coyne, Mullins, Adu-Poku, Davis, Torres, Gyamfi, Massiah-Edwards. Subs: Browne (GK), Stallard, Balogun, Hamiga, Collins.
Following the final whistle, Darren Purse reflected on the performance:
“It wouldn’t have been for the purists,” Darren began. “But there were plenty of positives from a lot of the U18s who played today. It’s going to be a work in progress for the second half of the season to build upon a really strong platform, which the boys showed today, but just to add a bit more creativity and quality in the final third.
“I’m happy, and now we’re looking forward to the next one on Friday. The game suited us a bit and was end to end particularly early on, and that’s what we’re good at, when we’re breaking on the counter.
“I think that when we got into the final third we lacked that little bit, but we had some good performances in there from the boys. We have a good base to build from for the next four or five months of the season.”