U21 Pre-Season Match Report | Barry Town United 1-3 Cardiff City
Cardiff City's U21 side began their pre-season with a 3-1 victory from an entertaining friendly fixture at Jenner Park on Friday night.
Goals from James Crole, Trialist and Kieron Evans swung the result in the young Bluebirds' favour against senior opposition, whilst former Academy player Jamie Veale netted for the hosts on the stroke of half-time.
Darren Purse's side showed good composure both on and off the ball throughout the encounter, taking control of possession early on and threatening consistently. Joel Colwill had the first clear-cut chance of the evening as he struck from the edge of the area early on, but his effort flew high of the mark.
With Barry Town United limited to attacking on the counter, Jake Dennis was called into action minutes later, as he saved a dangerous headed effort.
Following some end-to-end action around the quarter-hour mark, it was City who found the breakthrough as Crole headed home strongly from inside the area.
Now on the front foot, City worked to extend their lead, eventually doing so through Trialist. Eli King and Colwill both held up the ball well beforehand, before the latter burst into the area and cut a pass back towards his teammate, who struck with his first touch into the back of the net.
The hosts responded with a goal of their own before half-time, as Veale chipped a speculative shot over the reach of Dennis, with the ball going over the line at the far post.
Kieron Evans got his name on the scoresheet less than two minutes after the restart, as the forward took his chance well from the edge of the area to plant a shot in the bottom right corner of the net.
The young Bluebirds continued to work well following a series of substitutions, displaying their defensive capabilities increasingly as the match wore on. With the hosts pushing for a way back into the match, defensive substitute Luey Giles stood up to the challenge well on several occasions, with sub 'keeper Joe Thomas also claiming the ball as he commanded his area with authority.
Keeping the two-goal difference for the remainder, City claimed their first victory of their pre-season from an exciting and competitive match against their local opponents. The young Bluebirds next face Weston-Super-Mare away from home on Tuesday, July 18th.
FINAL SCORE: BARRY TOWN UNITED 1-3 CARDIFF CITY U21
Cardiff City: Dennis, Campbell, T. Davies, Trialist, Lawlor, Trialist, J. Colwill, King, Crole, I. Davies, Evans. Subs: Spiers, Thomas, Giles, Jefferies, Beecher, Ashford, Barton, Trialist, Zimba, Wigley, Hughes.
Following the final whistle, U21s Manager Darren Purse discussed the performance:
"We're really happy," Darren began. "It's strange sometimes when you're working on a shape with the lads and then find out at short notice that you've got some lads from the First Team dropping down to get some minutes in your game. It shows the adaptability that you need when you're with the U21s, but when you've got the lads who are dropping down taking on board the messaging quickly, within ten minutes of the game we started to dominate it.
"We deserved to be 2-0 up with two really well-taken goals. Every goal that you concede is poor, but we're here to learn and the boys will learn from it.
"It was a good performance, and for some of the second-year scholars who came and had never played against men before, hopefully it will mean that they come on leaps and bounds. It sets us up for a really good pre-season."