Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock pictured with a Bluebirds fan.

Rhys Fires Double, Lee and Matthew Impress In Goal

Goalkeeper Lee Camp, the experienced former Rotherham United and Nottingham Forest goalkeeper, was given a chance to impress manager Neil Warnock against Taffs Well at Rhiw Ddar.

Camp, 33, started for the Bluebirds in their opening Welsh League match – and his aim must be to earn a place in the 25-man Premier League squad or move on.

He has a year left on his contract with City and, while Neil Etheridge and new signing Alex Smithies look set to battle it out for the starting place, Camp will aim to impress.

Brian Murphy has signed a new one year contract and is likely to be ahead of Camp now and the Derby-born keeper is surely likely to want regular first team football at this stage of his career.

That makes it likely Camp will move on if he can find the right club, while goalkeeping coach Andy Dibble said after Cardiff’s 3-0 win at Taffs Well: “We have four highly competitive goalkeepers battling against each other.”

Camp, though, can reflect with satisfaction on his performance. He has yet to make a competitive debut for the Bluebirds, mainly because of injury, but he impressed with his composure against the Wellmen.

During the second half Camp made way for Matthew Hall, a highly-rated 20-year-old signed from Bangor City, took over from Camp and impressed, particularly with the ball at his feet. Hall’s distribution was spot on.

Bluebirds players turned out in force at Taffs Well – and the players mixed with supporters throughout the 90 minutes.

It was, after all, a charity evening raising memory for the Velindre and Rookwood hospitals in Cardiff and both clubs threw their weight behind the fixture.

New signings Bobby Reid, Josh Murphy, Greg Cunningham and goalkeeper Smithies were among the first team players who joined manager Neil Warnock at Rhiw Ddar.

Captain Sean Morrison, Sol Bamba, Neil Etheridge and Kenneth Zohore were also among those who turned out, posing for photographs and signing autographs.

The only player I noticed was missing was Aron Gunnarsson, who links up with his City mates in Cornwall on Monday.

Cardiff City ran out 3-0 winners thanks to goals from Rhys Healey (2) and substitute Jack McLean, while in-form Healey also missed from a penalty.

Welsh League Taffs Well fought hard on a pitch baked hard in the hot weather and Aaron Garrett did fire home from Cortez Belle’s pass, but the effort was ruled out for offside.

Warnock erred on the side of caution because of pitch conditions – the Wellmen have been unable to water their pitch – and he fielded a young team comprising mainly under-23 players and trialists.

Blackburn-born Brayden Shaw, a 21-year-old former Bury and Accrington midfield player who was with Bangor City last season, started for Cardiff along with Glasgow-born Jack McKay, a young striker who joined City from Leeds United.

Healey, who scored six goals in eight league appearances for Torquay United last season, impressed from the start against Taffs Well and scored his first goal after 20 minutes when he tapped in from close range.

A capacity attendance of almost 3,000 watched Cardiff’s young team play with composure on a hot evening and they had the chance to go 2-0 ahead, but Stephen Hall, in goal for the Wellmen, saved Healey’s 34th minute penalty.

It was Healey again within a minute of the restart, sliding his shot under goalkeeper Hall, and McLean made it 3-0 in the 88th minute.

https://twitter.com/davies250395/status/1017881922847084545

Ryan Pryce set up the chance and McLean fired home.

Full-back Cameron Coxe plus midfield battlers Jamie Veale and James Waite were other Cardiff players to catch the eye on a night when Warnock was looking for his young guns to shine.

When the final whistle blew, Warnock was just setting out on the long journey to Cornwall where his Bluebirds start their week-long pre-season tour against Truro City on Sunday (2pm).

Warnock, concerned about how hard pitches will be during this sweltering spell of weather, will call in at Truro and Tavistock on Sunday to check out the playing surfaces.

The match against Vanarama National League Truro is an under-23 fixture, although Lee Tomln, Anthony Pilkington, Omar Bogle, Stuart O’Keefe and goalkeeper Camp may well feature.

Warnock’s A team are then due to face Tavistock on Monday, but he won’t want to risk injuries if the surface is difficult.

Taffs Well: Stephen Hall, Jamal Roberts, Max Cullen, Aaron Garrett, Matty James, Lloyd Toghill, Chris Davies, Warren Jones, Laurent Mondo, Abdi Noor, Lewis Ellis. Subs: Ryan Fleming, Amine Benkorichi, Cortez Belle, Kallum Hajgato, Ellis Bellamy, Dylan Amin.

Cardiff City: Lee Camp, Cameron Coxe, Jamie Veale, Ciaron Brown, Jack McKay, Matt Taylor, James Waite, Jake Evans, Rhys Healey, Braydon Shaw, Mark Harris. Subs: Ryan Price, Matt Hall (gk), Dan Martin, Jack Bodenham, Nathan Baxter, Elvis, Dylan Sumner, Burrows, Wootton, Jack McLean, McLean.

Cardiff pre-season fixtures

July

Friday 13: Taffs Well 0, Cardiff City 3

Sunday 15: Truro City v Cardiff City u-23 (Treyew Road, 2pm)

Monday 16: Tavistock AFC v Cardiff City (Langsford Park, 7pm)

Tuesday 17: AFC St Austell v Cardiff City u-23 (Poltair Park, 7pm)

Wednesday 18: Bodmin Town v Cardiff City (Priory Park, 7pm).

Thursday 19: Porthleven FC v Cardiff City u-23 (Gala Parc, 7pm).

Friday 20: Torquay United v Cardiff City (Plainmoor, 7pm).

Saturday 21: Liskeard Athletic v Cardiff City u-23 (Lux Park, 2pm).

Wednesday 25: Rotherham United v Cardiff City (New York Stadium, 7.45pm).

Saturday 28: Burton Albion v Cardiff City (Pirelli Stadium, 2pm)

Tuesday 31: Greenock Morton v Cardiff City (Cappielow Park, 7.45pm)

August

Saturday 4 Cardiff City v Real Betis (Cardiff City Stadium, 5.15pm)

Taffs Well: Stephen Hall, Jamal Roberts, Max Cullen, Aaron Garrett, Matty James, Lloyd Toghill, Chris Davies, Warren Jones, Laurent Mondo, Abdi Noor, Lewis Ellis. Subs: Ryan Fleming, Amine Benkorichi, Cortez Belle, Kallum Hajgato, Ellis Bellamy, Dylan Amin.

Cardiff City: Lee Camp, Cameron Coxe, Jamie Veale, Ciaron Brown, Jack McKay, Matt Taylor, James Waite, Jake Evans, Rhys Healey, Braydon Shaw, Mark Harris. Subs: Ryan Price, Matt Hall (gk), Dan Martin, Jack Bodenham, Nathan Baxter, Elvis, Dylan Sumner, Burrows, Wootton, Jack McLean, McLean.

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