U23 Match Report: Cardiff City 2-1 Millwall
Cardiff City's U23 side won their third consecutive match in their 2019/20 PDL2 campaign on Monday, defeating Millwall 2-1 at home.
The match began without any significant chances for either side in the opening minutes, as both sides looked to gain a foothold before pressing forward in attack. Millwall's Billy Mitchell had the first chance of the match with five minutes played, as his curled shot from the edge of City's area was deflected wide.
City's defended resiliently in the first half, with a back line bolstered by First Team player Curtis Nelson, who made several contributions at the back with his tackles under pressure.
Nelson's solid work at the back was matched by his younger teammates, with Ryan Pryce making several key tackles to prevent the visitors from taking the lead. Pryce's sliding tackle with less than 20 minutes of the match gone was crucial as he dispossessed a Millwall forward on the edge of City's area.
With few opportunities for scoring in the opening half-hour, City were presented with two in quick succession with five minutes to go from half-time. Goalkeeper Ryan Sandford made a good save on his goal line to deny an advancing Aaron Bolger, and James Waite's shot from range shortly afterwards flew low and just wide of his target.
Following a goalless first half, the pace quickened following the interval as the Bluebirds began to exert more pressure on the visitors.
First Team player Omar Bogle forced a save from Sandford shortly after play resumed, and a lead was found through Tom Sang in the following minutes.
Bogle, who had run up the pitch in possession, fed the ball to Jacob Evans on the right wing. From there, Evans crossed powerfully and low across the face of goal. The ball went past Millwall's defenders and towards space in the area, which Sang met with a slid shot that found the back of the net from ten yards out.
Substitute Shamar Moore had an immediate impact as he came onto the pitch, injecting the side with more pace going forward, which he made sure to utilise. The forward very nearly scored on his first touch of the ball, but Sandford again put in a good save to deny the hosts their second.
James Waite doubled City's lead with 20 minutes remaining, running the ball from deep towards the opponents' area. His solo effort continued as he rushed into the final third, and placed a wonderful low shot from the edge of the box. The ball flew straight towards its mark, finding the left hand side of the net and putting the Bluebirds two ahead.
Jayden Davis scored for the visitors three minutes later, taking advantage of a loose ball in the area to put it away and reduce the deficit.
The final ten minutes featured more chances for both sides as City sought to restore their two-goal advantage. Bogle crossed for Curtis Nelson to meet, but his effort saw the ball narrowly fly over the bar. On the other end, Joe Day pulled off a terrific end tipping a well-placed shot wide, for it to later be cleared by City's defence.
Defending solidly for the remainder, the Bluebirds came away with another three points on their tally, extending their winning streak to three consecutive matches.
FINAL SCORE: CARDIFF CITY U23 2-1 MILLWALL U23
Cardiff City: Day, Wootton, Sang, Pryce (Williams 50'), Nelson, Margetson, d'Almeida, Bolger, Bogle, Waite, Evans (Moore 65'). Subs: Warnock, Hall, Davies, Moore.
Millwall: Sandford, Moss, Tiensia, Mitchell, Topalloj, Strachan, Burey, Skeffington, Alexander, Duncan, Davis. Subs: Muller, Wright, O'Brien, Oloafe, Mitchell