U23 Match Report: Cardiff City 3-1 Watford
Cardiff City’s U23 side defeated Watford U23 3-1 in the Professional Development League following a strong performance at Cardiff International Sports Stadium.
Isaak Davies’ brace before the break and Mark Harris’ late strike sealed the three points. Steve Morison named First Team players Neil Etheridge, Brad Smith, Sol Bamba and Isaac Vassell in the starting line-up.
The Bluebirds started strongly and a defensive error almost gifted them a goal after three minutes. Teddy Perkins headed backwards towards his own goal, but Adam Parkes saved.
City’s attacking pressure led to a terrific chance being created 16 minutes later. Tom Sang sped along the right flank, before delivering a low cross towards forward Vassell, but he couldn’t connect.
The home side came close within the space of a minute from 34 minutes played. Attacker Harris’ shot on the turn was saved well by goalkeeper Parkes, before he kept out defender Bamba’s header.
Substitute Davies opened the scoring with seven minutes of the opening 45 played. The speedster broke away from midfield, before slotting past the onrushing Parkes to seal his first U23 goal of the season.
Forward Davies went on to secure a brace shortly before the break. The youngster reacted quickly during a scramble in the area to tap in his side’s second of the encounter.
After the interval, play began to tighten as Cardiff City hunted a third and Watford looked for a way back into the game.
The Hornets did pull a goal back one minute prior to the hour mark. Striker Dalby leaped high to head into the far, left corner and gave his team hope.
City responded in attacking fashion and neared a third three minutes later. Determined Davies pounced on a defensive error and found himself one-on-one with stopper Parkes, who saved.
The Bluebirds had a brilliant chance to score another with 64 minutes played. Forward Harris chested the ball down in the area, before striking on target first-time, but it was kept out.
Resolute Harris did go on to score and add the home side’s third after 88 minutes. The 21-year-old skilfully directed the ball home and secured his fourth U23 goal of the campaign.
Despite five minutes of additional time no further goals came, as the Bluebirds defeated the Group South leaders.
FINAL SCORE: CARDIFF CITY 3-1 WATFORD
Cardiff City U23: Etheridge, McWilliams, Smith, d’Almeida, Bamba, Jones (Colwill 53’), Sang, Williams, Vassell (I. Davies 25’), Harris, K. Evans (King 80’). Subs not used: Pritchard, Cogman.
Watford U23: Parkes, Lavinier, Green (Spencer-Adams 69’), Whelan, Barrett, Perkins, Hungbo (Bennetts 58’), Wise, Dalby, Dele-Bashiru (Crichlow 58’), Cassidy. Subs not used: Hoskins.