Cardiff City's James Waite.. Pic: CCFC

Bluebirds' Opener Attracts Record Capacity Attendance At Taffs Well

Taff’s Well 0, Cardiff City 1

Bluebirds fans turned out in force for their club’s opening pre-season match against Taff’s Well at the Rhiw Ddar Stadium.

A capacity attendance of almost 3,000 spectators watched Cardiff City take on the Welsh League Division One Wellmen.

Proceeds from the match are being shared by Velindre, Cancer Research and Taffs Well, while there was an emotional minute of applause in memory of young Sunderland FC fan Bradley Lowery, whose funeral was held earlier on Friday.

Manager Neil Warnock, who included several under-23 players in his squad, chatted with spectators and posed for photographs before kick-off.

Anthony Pilkington left his mark on Cardiff City’s opening pre-season fixture and then limped off after 12 minutes.

He was troubled by a minor muscle strain, but he made way for Bluebirds under-23 squad player James Waite.

By then Pilkington had already fired a superbly struck volley high into the Taffs Well net from 20 yards.

Matty Kennedy set up the chance with a trick run down the right and a cross whipped into the far post. City were unable to get a shot on target, but the ball looped towards the edge of the penalty area where Pilkington was technically spot on as he smashed his shot into goal.

That was the only goal of the first half, but there were plenty of positives for manager Neil Warnock and his players.

Teenager Cameron Coxe started at right-back, a young defender with loads of potential, playing just behind Kennedy, while Warnock included four new signings.

They were goalkeeper Neil Etheridge, Loic Damour, Nathaniel Mendez-Lang and Danny Ward. All had their moments during an entertaining first half.

French midfield player Damour and winger Kennedy caught the eye before the break against a spirited Taff’s Well team who kept trying to play a passing game.

Cardiff led 1-0 at half-time and changed nine players who had finished the opening 45 minutes.

Substitute Waite, playing alongside Stuart O’Keefe in central midfield, and goalkeeper Etheridge stayed on, while rangy young striker Ibrahim Meite was among those who went on.

Bruno Manga and Matt Connolly linked up at the heart of City’s back four.

Former Bluebirds players Scott Young, whose son Conor was among the substitutes, and Andy Legg, now an under-23 team coach at the club, watched from among the spectators.

Midfield player Lloyd Humphries and defender Young were sent on during the second half. Young took over from Coxe at full-back.

None produced a moment of his best with a tricky run and low shot which was saved by the keeper.

Cardiff City First Half: Etheridge, Coxe (Young 70), Morrison, Bamba, Bennett, Ralls, Damour, Kennedy, Mendez-Laing, Pilkington (Waite 12), Ward.

Cardiff City Second Half: Etheridge (Byrne 70), Coxe, Manga, Connolly, Abbruzzese, O’Keefe, Waite (Humphries 60), John, Noone, Meite, M Harris.

Cardiff City subs: Weymans, Murphy (gk).

Taff’s Well: Gould, Thomas, Mohsin, Hodge, McDonnall, Toghill (Johnson 55), Evans, W. Jones, Burnett (Howard 55), M. Jones, Junior Mdwezo (Read 65). Taff’s Well subs: Shaw, Fofana.

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