U21 Match Report | Cardiff City 3-0 Bristol City
Cardiff City’s U21 side returned to winning ways with a comprehensive victory in the Severnside derby on Tuesday afternoon.
Darren Purse’s side impressed from the off in Leckwith, overcoming initial pressure from the visitors as they looked to make a mark early on.
James Crole opened the scoring early on for the Bluebirds, with their first real chance of the match. Joel Colwill drove forwards with the ball at his feet and found a supporting Cian Ashford, who in turn laid the ball off for Crole to finish neatly from close range.
Kieron Evans followed up with a shot of his own two minutes later, testing the ‘keeper from a wide angle as the effort was saved at the near post.
At the other end, Will Spiers and Jake Dennis combined well to keep the Robins at bay, between them tipping a dangerous headed effort onto their crossbar and away from danger.
Crole very nearly bagged a brace before the half-hour mark, heading onto the crossbar from a corner-kick, while Ryan Kavanagh put in a terrific sliding tackle to deny the visitors an equaliser minutes later.
Having scored the opener, Crole turned provider for the second of the afternoon, finding Colwill with a neat through ball into the area, which the midfielder finished expertly under immense pressure. Having put in a resolute performance throughout the first half, City went in at the break deservedly ahead.
Following the interval, City extended their lead further, as Ashford became the third City goalscorer of the afternoon. Colwill was once again instrumental as he broke free under pressure and played a perfectly-weighted throughball for the forward to latch onto.
Rounding the ‘keeper, Cian did well to keep his effort on target, and struck home to put the score out of reach for the Robins.
Well and truly on the front foot for the remainder, the Bluebirds continued to look to create scoring opportunities, and very nearly found their fourth with 20 minutes remaining. Will Spiers – who impressed both in attack and defensively down the right – linked up well with Ashford, allowing the forward a shot on goal from just inside the area. The goalbound effort was blocked by a defender, however.
Seeking a consolation goal, the visitors had one last chance late on, as they looked to burst into the City area on the counter. However, Spiers was again equal to the challenge and tackled well to ensure the hosts kept a clean sheet.
FINAL SCORE: CARDIFF CITY 3-0 BRISTOL CITY
Cardiff City: Dennis, Campbell, Spiers, Kavanagh, Benjamin, Cook, Ashford, Antwi, Crole, Colwill, Evans. Subs: Beecher, Thomas, Twose, Wigley, Conte.
Bristol City: Thomas, James, Araoye, Kadji, Knight-Lebel, Idehen, Pearson, Taylor-Clarke, Yeboah, Backwell, Francois. Subs: Rose, Nelson, Anderson, Hewlett, Campbell-Slowley.
Following the final whistle, Darren Purse spoke to Cardiff City TV to discuss the result:
“It’s been a long time coming, and I’m really happy," Darren began. "It’s nice to get some of the boys back from injury, including Ryan Kavanagh, who’s coming back after 18 months away. Cameron Antwi and Raheem Conte being back too is a big positive.
“If you look at some of the more experienced U21 players, they’re coming back from injury and we’re in a good place because of it.
“If you look at where we’ve been this year, it’s been a bit of a slog at times with First Year Scholars playing in really tough games, but the performances are starting to come together now. We didn’t get the result against QPR last week, but today the performance was there and the result too, so we have a top opportunity now to keep building into the Christmas period.”