George Thomas on the scoresheet again for the U23s as they suffer defeat in Wales...
Nicky Eaden’s Under-23 side suffered defeat at the Cardiff City Stadium, losing 3-1 against the Bluebirds.
Ex-Sky Blue Craig Bellamy took charge of the home side for the first time, as two first half goals for Cardiff gave City’s development side too much to do in the second half.
The home side began the game on the front foot, and their early pressure soon told. Marco Weymans delivered a fantastic ball into the back post for defender Semi Ajayi to find the net from a matter of yards, giving Cardiff the advantage in the eighth minute
The game slowed after the early goal, as City began to grow into the contest. A Bilal Sayoud cross fell to Devon Kelly-Evans on the opposite flank. The wingback drove it back into the area, but George Thomas’ effort was deflected into the ‘keepers arms.
The Sky Blues should have been level just moments later through Kelly-Evans. Jodi Jones got to the byline and tested ‘keeper Brian Murphy, but on the rebound City’s skipper couldn’t find the target as his effort was deflected behind.
Ten minutes before half time, City’s players appealed for an apparent foul on Thomas, which the referee waved away before awarding a free kick on the edge of the box. Jones whipped the ball into a dangerous area, but McBean failed to make enough contact to force it goalwards.
Despite a good spell of City pressure, Cardiff nearly doubled their advantage moments before half time, as captain Tommy O’Sullivan was found unmarked, but could only head over.
However, the home side wouldn’t have to wait long as they added a second on the stroke of half time. O’Sullivan slipped a ball through the City defence and Macauley Southam applied the finish, finding the top corner.
City would only have to wait a few minutes into the second half for an opportunity to halve the deficit. McBean held it up well and slid it towards Sayoud, but from a tight angle he hit his effort into the side netting.
The Sky Blues again looked to have found a way through when Thomas escaped the Cardiff defence, but as Ajayi got back well, the forward turned and fired over the bar off balance.
After a quiet period in the game, City had a lifeline with 20 minutes left to play. Cian Harries embarked on a mazy run, going past multiple Cardiff defenders before squaring the ball for Thomas top tap in from a yard.
However, Cardiff’s two-goal lead was soon restored at Addai could only parry an O’Sullivan effort into the path of Mark Harris, who placed it into the corner.
Yellow: Dev. Kelly-Evans, Wharton, John.
Coventry City U23: Addai (GK), Whitmore, Finch, Harries, Dev. Kelly-Evans (C), Stevenson, Maycock, Sayoud (Shipley 66'), Jones (Ponticelli 75'), McBean, Thomas.
Subs: Scuza (GK), Thompson, Bayliss.
Cardiff City U23: Murphy (GK), Rees, John, Weymans (Spence 61'), Ajayi, Blaise (Coxe 67'), Southam, Wharton, Harris, O'Sullivan, Kennedy (Waite 45').
Subs: O'Reilly (GK), Abbruzzese.