U23 Match Report | Cardiff City 2-0 Sheffield United
City's U23 side continued their 100% winning start to the PDL season, defeating Sheffield United, 2-0, at Cardiff City Stadium on Monday afternoon.
Chanka Zimba netted the opener from distance, before Kieron Evans added the finishing touch with a penalty in added time at the end of the match.
The Bluebirds were excellent from the opening whistle at CCS and threatened their visitors almost immediately.
Skipper James Connolly headed over after two minutes, as Steve Morison's side looked to open the scoring.
It took an impressive block from Blades defender Kyron Gordon to stop the dangerous Kieron Evans netting another goal after his strong start to the season. The 19-year-old scored twice for City last time out, including a delightful free kick away at Sheffield Wednesday, but his tenth minute set piece drifted just off target.
City were in the ascendancy and looking lively. The first goal eventually came with 17 minutes on the clock. The exciting front three of Evans, Isaak Davies and Chanka Zimba combined, with the latter firing a low strike into the bottom corner from 20-yards.
Zimba was challenged in the area two minutes later, but no penalty was given. City's No.9 for the afternoon saw another chance come after 21 minutes, but on this occasion, he lofted the effort over the crossbar.
Paul Heckingbottom's side had their first real opportunity of the game after 25 minutes. Leo Gaxha diverted Oliver Arblaster's cross towards goal, but George Ratcliffe was in the right place, clearing to safety with his legs. Gaxha was involved again 11 minutes later, but he headed a good chance off target.
After the break, it continued to be a real battle. Ratcliffe made another good stop, this time denying defender Angelo Capello with 66 minutes gone, after the full-back had broken in behind on the overlap.
Cian Ashford nearly made it two rapid sub appearance goals in successive matches at home after entering the game on 75 minutes. The 16-year-old's diving header was excellently cleared by United goalkeeper Jordan Amissah.
The final exchanges saw the away team push for a leveller, while Morison's Bluebirds aimed to counter and seal the victory. Arblaster's blocked shot for the Blades was punished in added time, as City secured the PDL three points.
Evans broke clear, rounded Amissah, but was taken down. Kieron picked himself up, grabbed the ball and placed the spot kick down the middle to net his fourth goal in four U23 competitive matches this season.
City had just enough time to welcome Owen Pritchard into the match to replace the tenacious Jai Semenyo before the five minutes of added time were up. Our U23 side earning a fourth win from four league games this term.
U23 FINAL SCORE: CARDIFF CITY 2-0 SHEFFIELD UNITED
Cardiff City: Ratcliffe, D'Almeida, Semenyo (Pritchard 90+3'), Denham, McGuinness, Connolly, King (Jones 86'), Patten, Zimba, Davies (Ashford 75'), Evans. Subs Not Used: Luthra, Leahy.
Sheffield United: Amissah, Starbuck, Capello (Angel 79'), Grant, Gordon, Gomis, Slater, Arblaster, Gaxha (Brunt 61'), Marsh (Ayari 46'), Maguire. Subs Not Used: Dewhurst.