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Young U23s Side Beaten at Cardiff
Tuesday, 2nd Feb 2021 14:58

A young Town U23s side fell to a 4-0 defeat away at Cardiff City this afternoon, Isaak Davies scoring twice and Kieron Evans and Roland Idowu once each for the Welshmen.

No senior players were included in the Town U23s, who also have a friendly against Brentford’s B team at Playford Road tomorrow afternoon [which has subsequently been called off]. There is also an in-house game involving first-teamers and also perhaps some of the development squad.

It’s likely regular U23s players such as Armando Dobra, Elkan Baggott, Zak Brown and Tyreece Simpson will be involved in those matches.

The U23s again named trialist Callum Page, a teenage midfielder from Needham Market, who has featured on a number of occasions since November, among their subs.

Barry Cotter, playing as the right-sided centre-half, was the only player with any league experience in the team facing the second string from ex-Town manager Mick McCarthy's new club.

Town, wearing their light blue away kit, went behind via the game’s first serious attack in the 11th minute. Rubin Colwill played a ball across the edge of the box to left winger Kieron Evans, who shot past Blues keeper Bert White.

The home side continued to threaten and in the 16th minute goalscorer Evans saw a low cross-shot from the left deflected behind. On 20 Cardiff skipper Jack Bodenham headed wide from a free-kick from deep.

A minute later, it was 2-0. Colwill crossed from the right and the ball was flicked into the net from the edge of the six-yard box by Davies or perhaps inadvertently by Cotter.

The Blues were close to an equaliser in the 25th minute when a corner from the right was headed against the bar by central defender Albie Armin.

Cotter won a header at another corner in the 29th minute but the Irishman was unable to direct it goalwards with the Blues seeing more of the ball and showing more threat.

Just after the half hour, Kai Brown hit a shot from a tight angle on the right which Cardiff keeper Dillon Phillips blocked. The loose ball fell to striker Colin Oppong but his effort cannoned off a defender and went behind for a corner.

Town were forced into a change in the 39th minute when trialist midfielder Page replaced right-back Ben Wyss, who had suffered a knock, in a switcharound which saw Cotter move to right-back and Ross Crane to left-back.

Two minutes into the second half, Blues midfielder Fraser Alexander was sent through on the right of the area but his effort at goal was blocked by Phillips.

Town keeper White saved from Mark Harris’s shot from just inside the area, before a follow-up was blocked. From the resultant flag-kick skipper Bodenham’s header looped into White’s arms.

Cardiff were continuing having the better of it and on 55 U23s boss Kieron Dyer swapped Allan Viral and Cameron Humphreys for Alfie Cutbush and Harley Curtis.

Curtis had a great chance to pull a goal back for the Blues in the 66th minute when he was sent away in on goal by Brown but a heavy touch allowed Phillips to dive at his feet before the sub had managed to get in his attempt at goal.

Four minutes later at the other end, Davies hit a shot on the turn into Town keeper White’s arms.

On 73 Cardiff broke quickly after Crane had been dispossessed in the Bluebirds’ area, Davies crossed from the right but White saved Colwill’s header back across him.

In the 80th minute Cotter tried to battle his way through the Cardiff ranks but was eventually halted on the edge of the area. Three minutes later, Oppong turned a shot against a defender from a cross from the right.

Cardiff made it 3-0 in the 85th minute when Town failed to clear a ball played to the edge of the area by Tom Sang and Davies seized on it and hit a shot on the turn past White to his left.

Two minutes later, with rain by now falling very heavily, it was 4-0. Davies was sent through on goal towards the left, White made yet another save but Cardiff sub Idowu, who had only just come on, was on hand to tap home the rebound from close range.

Cotter chipped a 25-yard free-kick over in the final scheduled minute, then in the last action of the game the Irishman headed wide having won another free-kick on the right.

It was aways going to be a tough afternoon for the young Blues side against a more senior Cardiff team, especially after they had gone in front early on and then added to their lead midway through the second half.

Town were unlucky Armin didn’t pull a goal back when he hit the bar as they rallied in the period towards half-time, while Alexander and Curtis will both feel they should have scored their opportunities.

As the Blues tired in the closing stages Cardiff chances became increasingly regular and despite White, Town’s man of the match, making a number of saves, further goals always seemed likely.

Bristol City are now three points ahead of the Blues at the top of Professional Development League Two South following a 2-1 home victory over Watford, who Town's U23s travel to face on Friday afternoon.

Cardiff U23s: Phillips, Sang, Pritchard, Bowen, Waite (McWilliams 61), Bodenham, Colwill (Idowu 85), Patten, I Davies, Harris, Evans (King 61). Unused: Ratcliffe.

Ipswich U23s: White, Cotter, Stewart, Armin, Wyss (Page 39), Alexander, Humphreys (Cutbush 55), Crane, Viral (Curtis 55), K Brown, Oppong. Unused: Ridd.

Photo: Action Images

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Linkboy13 added 15:16 - Feb 2
Is it really necessary to travel all the way to Cardiff to play a u23 game , especially in the present climate absolute madness. The standard of these games is so poor it would be more beneficial to scrap this league and just play friendlies against say the likes of Tottenham, Colchester teams that are more local.

dirtydingusmagee added 15:34 - Feb 2
oh well Pt 2

aloanagain added 16:16 - Feb 2
A lot of square backwards passing,not a lot of excitement in the opposition penalty area. Where have we seen this before?

runningout added 18:04 - Feb 2
This game Didn’t help anyone apart from opposition

arc added 02:04 - Feb 3
Is Lambert trying to sabotage Dyer by giving him no players??

WonTheCupin78 added 05:54 - Feb 3
U23s have been good this year but this wasn't their best game. Cotter was the major attacking threat especially near the end of the game.

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