U23 Report: Sheffield Wednesday 2-3 Cardiff City
Cardiff City's U23 side won their first away match of the 2019/20 season on Monday afternoon as they defeated Sheffield Wednesday 3-2 at the Look Local Stadium.
Six changes were made to the side that started against Bolton Wanderers in the week before, with First Team players Curtis Nelson, Isaac Vassell, Gary Madine and Neil Etheridge bolstering the young side on the road.
Etheridge was called upon early on in the first half as the hosts looked to gain an early lead. Before the quarter-hour mark the 'keeper made two terrific saves to deny the Owls their advantage, stopping shots both ranged and from point-blank range.
James Waite had City's first chance to press back, shooting from range with the ball going just wide of the target.
If the opening 15 minutes were in Sheffield Wednesday's favour, then the half's closing 15 were certainly City's, as they pressed to find the opener.
Isaac Vassell showed creativity in attack, firstly with a cross that very nearly connected with Cameron Coxe in the hosts' area, and then setting up Gary Madine to put the Bluebirds ahead.
The forward laid off the ball to the waiting Madine, who struck home coolly from inside the area with five minutes of the half remaining.
Vassell doubled City's lead less than five minutes into the second half, carefully placing the ball into the bottom right corner from inside the area.
Though the hosts quickly found a goal for themselves - Jordan O'Brien's shot flying into the top right corner of City's goal - captain Aaron Bolger regained the two goal lead before the hour mark.
Bolger tapped home as Gary Madine's shot was parried away by the 'keeper, making the score 3-1 to the visitors.
Sheffield Wednesday found their second goal following a spell of intense pressure on City's defences, with Etheridge again making a series of fantastic saves, including one against goalscorer O'Brien.
Liam Shaw reduced the deficit to 3-2 to City with a penalty kick, after he was brought down inside the area with less than 20 minutes of the match remaining.
City defended well for the remainder of the match, ensuring that the hosts did not find their equalising third goal. With the final blow of the whistle, the Bluebirds had won their first away victory of the season, and their second in a row overall.
U23 FINAL SCORE: SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY 2-3 CARDIFF CITY
Cardiff City: Etheridge, Coxe, Sang, Jones, Nelson, Bagan, Waite, d'Almeida (Wootton 75'), Madine, Bolger (Evans 80'), Vassell (Williams 83'). Subs not used: Davies, Burwood.
Sheffield Wednesday: Render, Baker (Hughes 41'), Uroghide, Hunt, Thorniley, Lee, Shaw, Waldock, O'Brien (West 85'), Grant, Preston. Subs not used: Jackson, Rice, Borukov.