Tomlin On The Mark For Bluebirds In Pre-Season Clash

Larkhall Athletic 1, Cardiff City (under-23) 1

Cardiff City went head-to-head with a former Bluebird near Bath when the under-23 team travelled to play Western League Larkhall Athletic.

Welshman Phil Bater, who made 76 first appearances for Cardiff, is the Larkhall manager.

Bater, now aged 63, was in the Cardiff squad when they were promotion to Division Three and won the Welsh Cup in 1987-88.

He replaced son Geraint in charge of the Larkhall team and Bater junior, aged 38, plays for the Bath-based club.

Larkhall also include former Cardiff Met University midfield player Harry Hope.

Gary Madine. Pic: Cardiff City

Cardiff’s starting line-up, officially an under-23 team, included first team players Gary Madine and Lee Tomlin, both unable to go on the first team trip top North America because of visa issues.

Alex Smithies started in goal and it looks likely he will be third choice ‘keeper next season. Brian Murphy is out of contract and has left Cardiff, while Neil Etheridge and new signing Joe Day are with the first team in the USA.

Four members of the under-23 group have flown with the first team and they are Aaron Bolger, Ciaron Brown, Cameron Coxe and James Waite.

Striker Rhys Healey has not flown to the USA and was not involved with the under-23 team ate Larkhall, while Sol Bamba and Callum Paterson did not travel because of injuries and Jazz Richards is ill.

Leandro Bacuna and Junior Hoilett are not be involved having been granted extra time off after featuring for their countries at the Gold Cup.

Smithies, Madine and Tomlin look certain to be with coach Andy Legg’s Bluebirds’ under-23 team when they travel to Devon and Cornwall for a three-game, week-long pre-season trip.

Their first match is against Tavistock on Monday followed by Bodmin (Wednesday) and Plymouth Parkway (Friday).

Tomlin scored Cardiff’s goal against Larkhall at the Securitas Stadium, firing home from a 54th minute penalty after Ntazana Mayembe’s sheer pace embarrassed home defenders and the speedy forward was brought down.

Within two minutes Larkhall were level with Matt Britton netting their equaliser.

The match was played in 24 degrees heat and the players were given regular water breaks over the 90 minutes.

Larkhall Athletic: Shaun Semmens, Dan Restorick, Wayne Nderemani, Dale Evans, Mike Baker, Josh Jones, Harry Hope, Geraint Bater, Matt Britton, Lewis Powell, Alex Lambert. Subs: Oliver Morris, Corey Simpson, Mitchell Page.

Cardiff City players on the Larkhall Athletic pitch before kick-off.

Cardiff City: Alex Smithies (Matthew Hall 46), Ryan Pryce, Jake Davies (Keenan Patten 62), Laurence Wootton, Ben Margetson, Ryan Reynolds (Trystan Jones 46), Dan Williams (Daniel Griffiths 62), Jacob Evans (Sam Bowen 62), Gary Madine (Trialist 60), Lee Tomlin (Shamar Moore 60), Ntazana Mayembe (Conor Davies 72).

Referee: Shane Mansfield.

While Cardiff’s under-23 squad head to Devon and Cornwall, manager Neil Warnock and his first team are in North America.

The Bluebirds take on San Antonio on Sunday, July 14, New Mexico on Friday, July 19 and Real Valladolid on Sunday, July 21.

Travelling first team squad: Joe Day, Neil Etheridge; Joe Bennett, Ciaron Brown, Cameron Coxe, Greg Cunningham, Bruno Manga, Sean Morrison, Curtis Nelson, Lee Peltier; Aaron Bolger, Loic Damour, Nathaniel Mendez-Laing, Josh Murphy, Joe Ralls, Will Vaulks, James Waite; Omar Bogle, Bobby Decordova-Reid, Danny Ward, Kenneth Zohore.

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