Bristol City 2, Cardiff City 2
Ntazana Mayembe, known as ‘Taz’ to his mates, was Cardiff City’s man of the match in their Professional Under-23 Development League Severnside derby draw.
The former England under-15 international, whose family are from Zambia, scored a cracking goal and gave Robins’ defenders a difficult time with his pace and trickery.
Mayembe, promoted from the under-18 team to show what he can do in the higher age group, has already been described as the new Bluebirds Zambian Prince – goals ace Robert Earnshaw was the first – and, at the age of 16, is showing real potential.
He is an attacking midfield player who loves to score and has a rich ability to create chances for team-mates.
Mayembe’s inch perfect pass soon after half-time put Joel Bagan through on goal and he finished in clinical style.
Then Mayembe scoffed his sixth goal of the season with a long distance shot into the bottom corner of Finnish goalkeeper Niki Maenpaa’s net. It was an astonishing, audacious effort by Mayembe, but it left Maenpaa helpless.
Cardiff almost added a third when Mayembe had a clear sight of goal from 15 yards, but defender Callum Pearson blocked the shot in magnificent style.
Bristol City selected an experienced team including senior midfield player Korey Smith plus former Newport County loan players Antoine Semenyo and Tyreeq Bakinson, but it was the talented Mayembe who constantly caught the eye.
Coach Andy Legg’s young Bluebirds fought back from two goals down to earn a draw against the Robins at Weston-superMare FC’s Optima Stadium.
Cardiff City are one point behind Millwall and Coventry City, who are joint second in PDL South, and level with Charlton Athletic.
The next fixture for Cardiff is against Charlton at home Monday, November 25 and that is the first of three games left is 2019. Legg’s team also have away matches against division Watford and Queens Park Rangers.
Former Colchester United forward Sammie Szmodics put Bristol City ahead on the half hour, curling his shot into the top right-hand corner. Goalkeeper Matt Hall threw himself across goal, but could not touch the ball.
Spanish striker Rodri, a 29-year-old who was one of the four over-age players who can feature in the under-23 league, doubled Bristol City’s lead after 39 minutes when a loose ball feel at his feet and he tapped it into the net.
Bagan scored from Mayembe’s pass two minutes later and then Mayembe’s blast after 51 minutes completed the scoring.
Bristol City v Cardiff City: Niki Mäenpää, Hakeeb Adelakun, Vincent Harper, Ryley Towler, Alec Baldwin, Taylor Moore (Callum Pearson 46), Korey Smith (Zac Smith 71), Sammie Szmodics, Antoine Semenyo, Rodri, Tyreeq Bakinson. Subs not used: Aaron Sainsbury (gk), Marcus Day, Ayman Benarous.
Cardiff City: Matthew Hall, Cameron Coxe, Tom Sang, Trystan Jones, Ryan Pryce, Joel Bagan, Laurence Wootton, Tavio d’Almeida, Shamar Moore (Siyabonga Ligendza 81), Ntazana Mayembe, Jake Evans (Sam Parsons 78). Subs: Ben Margetson, Jamie Cogman, Kieron Evans.
Professional Under-23 Development League
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Professional Under-23 Development League fixtures
Monday 25: Cardiff City v Charlton Athletic
Monday 9: Watford v Cardiff City
Monday 16: QPR v Cardiff City
Monday 6: Cardiff City v Coventry City
Monday 13: Cardiff City v Colchester United
Monday 20: Coventry City v Cardiff City
Monday 27: Crystal Palace v Cardiff City
Monday 3: Millwall v Cardiff City
Monday 10: Cardiff City v Bristol City
Monday 17: Charlton Athletic v Cardiff City
Monday 2: Cardiff City v Watford
Monday 9: Cardiff City v Ipswich Town
Monday 16: Cardiff City v QPR
Monday 23: Leeds United v Cardiff City
Monday 30: Cardiff City v Burnley
Monday 6: Crewe Alex v Cardiff City
Monday 20: Cardiff City v Hull City
Monday 27: Wigan Athletic v Cardiff City
Professional Under-18 Development League