Cardiff City’s U18 team’s unbeaten run of four matches came to an end after a 2-1 defeat by Crewe Alexandra in their latest fixture. Manager Steve Jenkins made four changes to the team that had drawn with Bristol City the previous week, with Luke Armstrong, Morgan Lewis, Troy Perrett, and Josh Beecher coming in to replace Joe Thomas, Cole Fleming, Tanatswa Nyakuhwa, and Japhet Matondo.
The match began with an early chance for the Bluebirds, with Trey George hitting the post from a narrow angle. Crewe, who had scored 14 goals in their last two league games, responded with a chance of their own when Callum Agius missed from point-blank range after a cross from Max Woodcock. However, they managed to open the scoring in the 12th minute with a perfectly placed 30-yard shot by Lewis Nolan.
Crewe’s goal seemed to spark their attacking momentum, and they continued to push for a second. However, Armstrong in the City net made an excellent double save to deny Rhys Allport and then Agius.
The first half ended with neither side creating any significant chances, and the second half began much like the first, with George hitting the post again. Shortly after, Crewe scored their second goal, with Ty Webster finding the bottom corner of the net after receiving a cut-back pass from Owen Lunt.
Cardiff City responded well, with Perrett and Beecher having chances of their own, but Jack Flint in the Crewe goal made two fine saves. However, the Bluebirds managed to score a goal with 25 minutes left, thanks to a cool finish by substitute Cole Fleming. Although City pushed for an equalizer, time ran out before they could level the game, and Crewe took all three points with a final score of 2-1.
After the game, U18 Head Coach Steve Jenkins expressed his disappointment with the team’s lack of energy and aggression in the first half. He praised Crewe’s performance, stating that they played well and deserved to win. However, he acknowledged his team’s efforts in the second half and the chances they created, but noted that they didn’t have enough quality on the day to secure an equalizer or a win.
Jenkins’ comments highlight the importance of energy and aggression to his team’s playing style. He will be looking to regain that spark in their next game to get back to winning ways.
Despite the defeat, there were some positives to take from the game for Cardiff City. They showed resilience and character in their efforts to get back into the game after conceding the second goal, and the introduction of Cole Fleming from the bench had a positive impact on the team’s attacking play. The team will be looking to build on these positives in their upcoming fixtures.
Meanwhile, Crewe Alexandra will be pleased with their performance and the three points gained from the victory. The team showed their attacking prowess once again and will be looking to continue this form in their next games.
The defeat for Cardiff City puts them in fifth place in the U18 Professional Development League South table with 30 points from 19 games, while Crewe Alexandra remain in second place with 38 points from 18 games.
FINAL SCORE: CARDIFF CITY 1-2 CREWE ALEXANDRA
Cardiff City: Armstrong, Keeping © (Fleming 55’), Giles, Lewis, Lawlor, Barton, Spiers, Twose, George, Perrett (Mafico 73’), Beecher (Philips 73’). Subs: Thomas, Jones.
Crewe Alexandra: Flint, Bhatti, Kempster-Down, Nolan, Washington, Crolla, Webster, Lunt ©, Allport, Agius, Woodcock (Vincent 89’). Subs: Fisher, Williams, Senior, Parry.