U23s Defeat Cardiff
Monday, 14th Oct 2019 14:53
Goals from trialist Joy Mukena, Kai Brown and Tyreece Simpson saw Town’s U23s to a 3-1 victory over Cardiff City at Playford Road. Mukena and Brown gave the Blues a 2-0 lead at the break and Simpson (pictured above centre) added the third just after the restart, before Shamar Moore pulled one back for the visitors.
Town again included on-trial pair Joy Mukena and Levi Andoh, the duo having previously featured in the 6-3 home victory over Bolton on Wednesday.
Central defender Mukena, 20, was released by Watford in the summer having come through their academy having previously been with Tottenham’s youth set-up.
Teenage right-back Levi Andoh, who has been playing for Worcester City, was previously with Cradley Town and Thompson Rivers University in Canada. Born in Amsterdam, 6ft 3in tall Andoh was brought up in Leicester.
Aside from centre-half Corrie Ndaba replacing Louie Fehrenbach, who suffered a knock at the end of the Bolton match, Town were unchanged from Wednesday’s fixture.
In persistent drizzle, Cardiff went closest in the early stages, Laurence Wootton hitting low shot wide in the seventh minute, then a minute later Siyabonga Ligendza diverted a Moore cross from the right against the post.
From the corner, Ben Margetson struck a shot from the edge of the box which Harry Wright did well to turn past his left post.
Ligendza saw a shot deflect over on 19, then at the other end Simpson burst into the left of the area before hitting a an effort which Cardiff keeper Matt Hall saved. The visitors made heavy weather of clearing but the striker was unable to get a clean contact on the loose ball.
Cardiff had looked the more dangerous side in the opening half an hour but on 32 Town felt they should have been awarded a penalty when Andoh’s cross from the right was diverted onto a defender’s hand by the keeper and out for a corner.
The appeals were waved away but from the flag-kick the Blues went in front. Brett McGavin’s corner fell to trialist Mukena midway inside the box and the ex-Watford youngster slammed the ball high into the corner of the net.
Three minutes later, it was 2-0. Trialist Andou sent over a teasing ball from the right which Kai Brown hit low across the Cardiff keeper and into the net as he broke into the area at the back of the box.
Town, who had been very much second best until going in front, had their tails up after their quick-fire two-goal salvo and in the 41st minute skipper Bailey Clements hit a powerful effort which keeper Hall did well to palm past his left post.
It had been a half of two halves with the visitors on top and creating virtually all the chances until the Blues scored their two goals and from there Town were on top and weren’t far from adding to their lead via Clements’s strike.
A minute and a half after the restart - manager Paul Lambert having given the half-time team-talk - the Blues made it 3-0. Brown cut back from the right and Simpson found himself space before smashing a shot which just crossed the line despite Ryan Pryce’s desperate attempt to keep it out with what appeared to be a hand.
At the other end, Joel Bagan saw a well-struck shot deflected wide as the Bluebirds put the Blues under a brief spell of pressure.
In the 55th minute Simpson did well to hold off his man before breaking into the area and hitting a shot which Hall blocked.
A minute later, Hughes, scorer of two goals in the Bolton game, struck a low effort which Hall did well to save away to his left. On 66 the midfielder curled another shot just over.
With the game going through a fallow period, Cardiff pulled a goal back on 73 when Moore struck a low effort past Wright, who had rarely been involved since the early stages, from the edge of the box.
Six minutes later, Wright failed to claim a high ball into the box but Mukena cleared the danger.
In the final minute of scheduled time, Simpson did well on the left and teed-up Brown but his shot curled well wide.
Town were never in danger after going into their two-goal first-half lead with Simpson’s goal so soon after the break all but ending the game as a contest.
Cardiff pulled their goal back out of nothing but the Welshmen never seriously threatened a comeback and the Blues might have added to their lead.
Hughes in midfield again impressed, while Simpson was a big presence up front and took his goal confidently.
Trialists Mukena and Andoh didn't look out of place with the centre-half taking his goal clinically and defending confidently, while the right-back laid on the second goal for Brown.
Having gone six games without a point at the start of the season, the U23s have now won two in a row.
U23s: Wright, Andoh, Mukena, Ndaba, Clements (c), Scott, McGavin, K Brown, Hughes, Foudil, Simpson. Unused: Alley, Oppong, Gibbs,
Cardiff City: Hall, Warnock, Sang, Margetson (Jones 74), Pryce, Bagan, Wootton, D’Almeida (King 70), Moore, Ligendza, Evans. Unused: Cogman, Davies.
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