Typical Cardiff City home fare 2016/17.

Coymay

There were a few minor differences, but this afternoon’s Under 23 Development team match with Barnsley at Leckwith was just like watching a typical Cardiff City first team home game this season – City lost, they didn’t score and the opposition got their obligatory penalty (in fact they got two of them).

One of those differences was that while it’s hard to find any excuses for the dross that’s been provided across the way at Cardiff City Stadium this season, City did have one this time as they fielded the youngest team I’ve ever seen us put out at this level.

Captained by Robbie Patten, who it only seems five minutes ago was skippering our Under 18s, City had nobody with competitive first team experience in their squad and four players in the starting line up who have played for the Under 18s this season (Cameron Coxe, Jarred Welch, Mark Harris and Ibi So Sani), while three other members of this season’s Academy team (Connor Young, Isaac Kelly and James Waite) came on as subs.

The lack of experience at this level showed as Barnsley started much the stronger and put City under a lot of pressure – I thought we were looking at a heavy defeat at this stage, but, as they did throughout really, Barnsley struggled to turn their possession into something that carried a real threat to our goal.

Indeed, when City were finally able to get a shot away, they came closer than Barnsley had as Marco Weymans forced visiting keeper Nick Townsend into a full length tip round the post with a well struck effort from twenty five yards.

It was beginning to look like City had put their rocky start behind them when the commodity which so many teams we play seem to have in far more quantity than us played a part in giving Barnsley the lead.

Right throughout the ninety minutes, Barnsley had that bit more attacking pace than us and much of that sprang from their right winger Dylan Mottley-Henry. City had two defenders back to deal with a long ball forward by Barnsley and there appeared to be no danger until Mottley-Henry burst between them to close in on goal only for him to be brought down by a heavy challenge by Rollin Menayese which left both players needing treatment.

The only doubt about whether it was a penalty or not concerned a question as to whether the offence had occurred outside the penalty area, but the ref was satisfied that the offence was deserving of a spot kick. City fans have had plenty of sights of our keepers being unable to keep penalties out this season, but Luke O’Reilly was able to do so for a while at least as he dived to his left to stop Josh Kay’s shot only for the ball to go back to Kay who scored easily at the second attempt.

It was bad luck on O’Reilly who has shown himself to be an impressive shop stopper in his appearances for the Under 23s this season, but he and his team mates could have few complaints about finding themselves behind at the break.

The second half saw much more of City as an attacking force and right from the time that a Coxe cross forced Henderson into an urgent diving stop in the opening seconds, there was more drive and dynamism from the home team as they looked to get back on level terms.

Visiting centreback Julio Rodriguez was about a yard wide from equalising for us with what looked something like a shot from around the penalty spot area as Barnsley came under pressure for the first time in the match, but despite plenty of endeavour, City were unable to make themselves a clear cut chance – there were plenty of headers and shots from promising positions, but, credit to Townsend and the Barnsley defence, they always managed to get a save, tackle or block in to foil City.

As the match entered it’s final ten minutes, it seemed like Barnsley had weathered the storm and they were given the chance to wrap up their win when they were awarded a second penalty. If the first one had probably been a correct decision, this one looked  a bit more dubious as the ball appeared to be played by the penalised City defender.

Once again, Kay opted to take the kick and, once again, his penalty failed to find the net as this time his low shot struck a post and rebounded clear.

This escape roused City into a strong finish in which Menayese twice came close to getting a decisive touch as the ball flew around close to the visitor’s goal, but, despite much more in the way of pressure than the first team ever manages, the result was the same – another home defeat in which we failed to score.

All in all a scrappy affair, but one in which City probably deserved to draw on the balance of play over the ninety minutes, with Welch getting my vote as the best of the newcomers.

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2 Responses to Typical Cardiff City home fare 2016/17.

  1. Clive Harry says:

    This was another case where it looked as if the U23’s have been coached to play in the same way as the first team – in this instance, this meant playing for only 45 minutes! Barnsley were much livelier in the first half but as Paul mentioned above, Wellmans could have brought the City level before the interval – he’s a player who always looks as if he’s got a bit about him to me. After half time City looked a different team but there’s nothing I can add to Paul’s report other than to add my views on a couple of players.
    I saw Jarrod Welch play for a Wales age group team last season and he took all the dead ball kicks and looked very neat and tidy, as he did yesterday. Wellmans I’ve already mentioned but I also liked a cameo towards the end of the game by Academy youngster James Waite who looked clever and technically good. Finally, Paul also mentioned Barnsley winger Mottley-Henry who was red hot throughout and showed the pace which City’s first team have been lacking all season.
    Despite the result, it was an enjoyable afternoon as usual watching at this level, probably because the lack of tension makes for a more relaxed viewing.

  2. russell roberts says:

    Thanks Paul and Clive’s view , hopefully you will spot Neil Warnock at one of the u23 games anytime soon , as he may have a better eye and view on natural young talent ,?

    The big question for me , will we now halt the “”Cardiff Way”" project at all levels , as I guess we will see a more pragmatic approach to our first teams tactics , gathered from the NW comment around ” 20 passes inside your own half “.

    I guess a few younger players who though they might be sniffing at the first team squad maybe have to put on hold those thoughts with all these new signings, it may however provide a positive if NW can engage the younger lads to at least rub shoulders with some of these experienced players in training sessions ??

    Cant wait for Paul’s report and the contribution comments after Fridays game ,gosh i’m actually looking forward to going to this game ,what has happened to me , is it just a placebo effect ?

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