Played today (Sat):
Under 23 result:
Birmingham City 3, Cardiff City 1
Bez Lubala, Corey O’Keeffe and Remeao Hutton scored for Birmingham City in their Professional Development League under-23 match against Cardiff City Auto Tech Stadium.
The Blues led 1-0 at half-time and two more during the first 15 minutes of the second half before Stuart O’Keefe pulled a goal back after 85 minutes.
It has been a disappointing season for the young Bluebirds in terms of results. They have earned seven wins and eight draws from 27 matches at this level. They have had two wins in their last six fixtures.
Coaches Jarrad Harvey and Andy Legg have one more match to prepare for and that is at home against Bolton Wanderers next Monday (Cardiff City Stadium, 7pm).
Jack Masrani was included in the Bluebirds under-23 squad for the first time against Birmingham on a big day for a family who have strong connections to Maindy Corries FC. Brother Luke played for Cardiff & Vale Schools against Carmarthenshire in the Welsh inter-association under-12 semi-finals.
Senior professional Stuart O’Keefe also played for Cardiff along with 18-year-old attacking player Samuel Faniyan, who was with Reading FC before joining the Bluebirds.
Kenyan under-23 international midfield player Henry Ochieng, who has been playing for Leyton Orient, Braintree FC and Welwyn Garden City, started his youth career with West Ham United.
Ochieng, aged 20, was born in Redbridge, England and the family live in the Ilford area.
Cardiff City Under-23: Warren Burwood, Laurence Wootton, Kirunda, Henry Ochieng, Ryan Pryce, Aaron Bolger, Danny Williams (Jack Masrani 82), Stuart O’Keefe, Moore, Mills (Ntazana Mayembe 67), Samuel Faniyan. Subs not used: None
Played today (Sat):
Crewe Alexandra 3, Cardiff City 1
The young Bluebirds suffered a damaging defeat in their Professional Development League South fixture at Crewe.
Cardiff had Keenan Patten sent off for a second bookable offence during the away teams second defeat in four days following a 2-1 loss at Sheffield United.
City made four changes to their starting line-up against the Blades with goalkeeper Jordan Duffey, Connor Davies, Sam Reynolds and Sam Parsons called up.
They would have qualified for the PDL play-off semi-finals with a win at Crewe and could have gone top of the table, but they lost to a Crewe team who were bottom of PDL North.
This was only their seventh win of the season and ended a run of nine successive defeats in all competitions, a run which stretched to December.
Cardiff scored first when the prolific Dan Griffiths, going round goalkeeper Sam Booth before rolling the ball into goal.
Crewe’s equaliser was scored by Matthew Fenton four minutes later and the teams were level at 1-1 going into the second half.
Kieron Evans went close to giving Cardiff the lead with a sublime curling effort from the edge of the penalty after 63 minutes. The shot was too good for goalkeeper Booth but rebounded off a post.
Crewe went ahead for the first time when Connor Heath scored (73 mins) and City had Patten dismissed nine minutes later.
Malach Linton added Crewe’s third goal during injury time.
Under-18 Crewe Alexandra: Booth, Allen, Woodthorpe, Odipe, Fenton (capt), Southern, Djalo, Robbins, Linton, Heath, Onyeka. Subs: Hartshorn, Walklate, Lokko.
Under-18 Cardiff City: Jordan Duffey, Connor Davies (Owen Pritchard 54), Ryan Kavanagh, Ryan Reynolds (Siyabonga Ligendza 48), Joel Bagan, Keenan Patten, Sam Parsons, Sam Bowen (capt), Harry Pinchard, Kieron Evans, Dan Griffiths. Subs: George Ratcliffe (gk), Rubin Colwill, Owen Pritchard, Smith.
Cardiff’s remaining Professional Development Under-18 League fixtures:
Tuesday 9 Bolton Wanderers (away, 11am)
Saturday 13 v Burnley (home at Cardiff International Sports Campus, Leckwith, 11am)
Sheffield United 2, Cardiff City 1
Captain Sam Bowen and his under-18 Bluebirds slipped to a harsh defeat in their Professional Development League match against Sheffield United at the Steelphalt Academy in Yorkshire.
Bowen was desperately close to an equaliser when he hit both post twice in the space of a few seconds just before the hour. His free-kick came back off a post and his follow-up effort seconds later struck the other post.
Substitute Robin Colwill fired against the bar four minutes from time and left Cardiff feeling remarkably frustrated after controlling much of the play.
An away win would have lifted Cardiff City into top spot in the Southern Division ahead of current leaders Ipswich Town
Jake Young’s header after 20 minutes put the Blades in front before Cardiff levelled the score from a Dan Griffiths penalty after half an hour.
The Bluebirds found the net following a flowing attack, but the referee had blown before the ball went in and awarded a spot-kick.
It was 1-1 at half-time before Tom Wilson’s towering header from Frankie Maguire’s corner 10 minutes from time clinched the points during a match in which Sheffield United had to hang on at times.
Goalkeeper Sam Kelly made some excellent saves for United, while Cardiff’s George Ratcliffe pulled off a superb save to claw away a Scott header before getting up to hold a strong effort from Nickseon Gomis from the resulting corner.
Sheffield United: S Kelly, Williamson, Foulstone, Wilson, Weaver, Gomis, Antwin (Ackroyd 66), Broadbent, Young (Gaxha 81), Ompreon (Maguire 58), Scott. Subs not used: Amissah, Hackford.
Cardiff City under-18: George Ratcliffe, Ryan Kavanagh (Taylor Jones 64), Ben Margetson, Joel Bagan, Sam Parsons (Rubin Colwill 48), Keenan Patten, Ntazana Mayembe (Siyabonga Ligendza 80), Harry Pinchard, Sam Bowen (capt), Kieron Evans, Dan Griffiths. Subs: Jordan Duffey (gk), Smith.