U23 Match Report | Cardiff City 6-1 Wigan Athletic
Cardiff City's U23 side put in one of their performances of the season against Wigan Athletic on Tuesday afternoon, with Rubin Colwill netting a hat-trick in Leckwith.
A tentative opening half hour saw both hosts and visitors push for an early deadlock, with few risks being taken. The Bluebirds pressed well throughout the first half, however, forcing mistakes from the Latics defenders before surging up the field with numbers.
Roland Idowu scored City's first of the afternoon, when the winger was first to pounce onto a loose ball that had been tipped away by 'keeper Sam Tickle. Idowu was ruthless in taking his goal, beating his marker to meet the ball before dispatching quickly into the back of the net.
Having waited patiently for their first, the hosts doubled their lead almost immediately. Rubin Colwill picked up his first of the match, expertly shooting with his first touch from Kieron Evans' pinpoint low cross into Wigan's area.
City's ascendancy continued as Isaak Davies ran the ball around the 'keeper in the 38th minute, having latched onto Evans' terrific through ball from his own half.
Colwill, having moved into a more central role from where he'd started the match, proved an ample scorer with his second. Newly-returned Ryan Reynolds found Evans in space, who once again turned provider for the midfielder.
With the whistle blown for the first half, the Bluebirds were four to the good and dominant over the visitors, who had most of their chances squandered by Tavio D'Almeida and Jack Bodenham in the heart of City's defence.
Changing formation for the second half, the Latics managed to get a goal back in the opening moments following the interval. Scott Smith turned his header from a free-kick in towards goal at the far post, reducing the deficit to three for the visitors.
Taking a few minutes to adjust to their new formation, City made themselves comfortable in possession once more before Colwill eventually claimed his hat-trick. The 18-year-old's third was possibly his best, as he drove into the area with support before beating the 'keeper with a shot towards the near post.
The fifth goal provided an impetus for the Bluebirds, who then regained their momentum established in the first half. Sam Bowen's strong challenges in the middle of the park commanded the flow of play, as the visitors tried to break through with wide long balls rather than to feet down the centre.
Patten, who had threatened the visitors' goal frequently despite his position in the midfield, finally got his name on the scoresheet with five minutes of time remaining. Keenan's goal was arguably the pick of the bunch, as he struck home convincingly from 25 yards out.
At the blowing of the final whistle, City's U23 side had defeated the Latics comfortably, with a fair result for the work put in by the whole team.
U23 FINAL SCORE: CARDIFF CITY 6-1 WIGAN ATHLETIC
Cardiff City U23: Trialist, Reynolds (Trialist 46'), Martin, Patten, D'Almeida, Bodenham, Colwill (Rippon 80'), Bowen, Davies, Idowu, Evans. Subs: Ratcliffe.
Wigan Athletic U23: Tickle, Walls, Snell, Trialisr, Trialist, Smith, O'Neil, Trialist, Trialist, McGurk, Brown. Subs: Mooney, Lloyd, Sze, Costello, Lomax.
Speaking after the match, Steve Morison shared his thoughts with cardiffcityfc.co.uk.
"We applied ourselves really well" said Steve. "With both teams of a similar age and fully fledged U23 players.
"The boys realised that they had to be patient and wait for their moment, but when that moment came it was like the floodgates opened and their confidence grew.
"We scored six goals, and the most disappointing thing was that we conceded. We shouldn't have, especially from a set-piece, but overall we were excellent."
Also speaking to the Club website was hat-trick hero Rubin Colwill, who had recently returned to the U23 side's starting lineup following an international appearance for Wales' U21 side.
"We've been working really hard in training in these last few months, and I think that it's really paid off," he began. "We've been playing really well in the last few weeks, and I really think that we've shown what we can do attacking-wise, and we were solid at the back as well, which was good.
"That's just the team spirit that we've got at the minute. Everybody's sticking together and all the boys are great. We're all working well together."