Report: Blues Under-23s 2 Cardiff City Under-23s 1

Blues Under-23s beat Cardiff City in the Professional Development League on Monday night.

Riley Mcgree had given Blues the lead shortly before the break with a cultured effort from distance before Max Watters equalised for Steve Morrison’s charges in the second-half

But an own goal inside the final ten-minutes ensured Blues left B9 with the points.

The victory secured a return to winning ways after the team were overcome by Sheffield United on their last outing

Played at St. Andrew’s Trillion Trophy Stadium, Steve Spooner named no fewer than nine first team players in his starting XI.

Although, it was the visitors who made the brighter start and after wasting a series of set-piece opportunities they had the evening’s first effort on target. Mark Harris attempted a powerful curling shot which was beaten away by Andres Prieto in the Blues goal after eight minutes.

Blues responded with an attempt of their own in the 21st minute. Kyle Hurst and Keyendrah Simmonds combined, with the former Manchester City youngster stylishly flicking the ball to Yan Valery who tested the handling of Cardiff’s ‘keeper.

There was a further chance for the hosts shortly after, although Sam Cosgrove could only flash a header across goal from a McGree free-kick.

The first-half continued with more openings and both Mikel San José and Cosgrove threatened from corners before Steve Seddon stung the palms of the Bluebirds stopper who was a triallist.

And just as it seemed Blues would have to settle for parity at the break, the deadlock was broken in added time. McGree found space outside the area and his left-footed drive found the corner for the opener.

Half-time: Blues 1 Cardiff City 0

The beginning to the second-half was largely scrappy in its nature, with neither side able to control a midfield battle that Blues had a stranglehold of come the end of the opening 45.

But ahead of the hour mark, both outfits tested the men between the sticks. First Kieron Evans could only fire his long-range shot at Prieto, whilst at the other end, Seddon’s free header proved a comfortable grab for Cardiff’s goalkeeper.

From this Blues gained further territorial presence in the visitor’s half but it was against the run of play that an equaliser was found. Latching onto a long punt forward, Watters poked the ball past Prieto for the leveller.

Seddon almost immediately put Blues back ahead with a fiercesome effort that crashed back off the crossbar and, fortunately, Spooner’s men were not made to wait much longer for their lead back.

McGree’s corner was floated into the six-yard box and under pressure from Adan George, Cardiff’s keeper diverted the ball in for an own goal that proved decisive with 83 minutes on the clock.

Blues (4-4-2): Andres Prieto, Yan Valery, Josh Dacres Cogley, Jake Clarke-Salter, Steve Seddon, Mikel San Jose (captain) (Tate Campbell 76), Keyendrah Simmonds, Riley McGree, Kyle Hurst, Sam Cosgrove (Adan George 62), Jonathan Leko (Jayden Reid 62).

Substitutes not used: Zach Jeacock, Geraldo Bajrami.

Booking: None.

Cardiff City (4-4-2): Triallist, Owen Pritchard, Triallist, Keenan Patten (Tavio D’Almeida 64), Triallist, Jack Bodenham (captain), Isaak Davies, Lee Tomlin, Mark Harris, Max Watters, Kieron Evans.

Substitutes not used: Ryan Reynolds, Jamie Cogman, Taylor Jones.

Booking: None.

Referee: Mike Barlow.