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Weston-super-Mare AFC v Cardiff City U21s

Weston-super-Mare AFC 1 - 4 Cardiff City U21s
18 Jul 2023 - 19:30The Optima Stadium

Across 120 minutes, the Seagulls were defeated 4-1 by a young and energetic Cardiff City U21 side.

Weston had an effort inside the first minute when Trialist B released Trialist A down the left, who drove into the box and had his low attempt pushed away by Jake Dennis. Chanka Zimba had a shot from inside the six-yard box kept out by the feet of Harry Lee, before the rebound was blocked by James Dodd.

The visitors broke the deadlock five minutes in when Eli King played Isaak Davies in behind, who broke away from the recovering defenders and fired a low shot past Lee into the back of the net.

Isaac Jefferies curled a shot just wide of the far post after checking back onto his left foot, with Weston’s Trialist B seeing a 25-yard shot deflect wide for a corner moments later. Marlon Jackson then had a chance when attacking Rex Mannings’ cross at the back post, but his header struck the shoulder of Dennis and deflect behind for a corner. Joel Colwill then had a 25-yard attempt held by Lee after cutting inside from the left.

Weston were to level just before the midway point inside the first half when Trialist B’s pass into the box was dummied by Jackson for Mannings. A Cardiff defender managed to poke the ball away to Grubb 25 yards out, who took a touch to set himself and fired into the top corner for 1-1.

Dennis managed to palm a Grubb cross-shot from a free-kick behind for a corner, and Zimba rattled the side-netting when being played in by Cian Ashford. Trialist B had a shot from 25 yards deflect behind for a corner from Mannings’ lay-off, and from the resulting set-piece, Lloyd Humphries sliced a volley wide from 18 yards following Grubb’s delivery.

The visitors were to go ahead once again when Davies broke at pace and poked Zimba in behind, who managed to slide a shot past Lee despite Thomas’ attempts to clear off the line.

Trialist E had a chance from six yards following Dodd’s lay-off when trying to turn from substitute Jordan Bastin’s low cross, and Vontae Campbell dragged a shot wide on his left from the visitors when bringing down King’s long ball in behind.

The young Bluebirds got a third not long into the second half when Humphries made a great challenge inside the area to stop an effort, but the ball rolled kindly for Caleb Hughes to curl a shot past Lee first-time from 18 yards.

Humphries had a dipping drive from 40 yards pushed away by the Cardiff keeper, before Colwill curled over the bar from just inside the area down the other end. Substitute Elis Watts then had a chance when weaving past four men to get into the area and one-on-one, before dragging his shot just past the far post.

James Crole was to make it 4-1 when he turned on the edge of the area from a pass, beat two men to find a yard of space and drove a low effort beyond Lee into the back of the net.

Academy graduate Oscar Collins had an opportunity when a short free-kick led to Jay Murray hanging a cross up to the back post. The header was only partially cleared to Collins 12 yards out, and his low volley was pushed round the post. Murray came close to netting a header from Watts’ cross, but his attempt at the back post was pushed away by the Cardiff keeper and the visitors could clear in the last real attempt of the half.

FT: Weston 1-4 Cardiff City U21s (Grubb 27 – Davies 5, Zimba 54, Hughes 64, Crole 81)
Attendance: 281.

Weston XI: Lee (Purnell 90), Thomas (Trialist C 75), Trialist A (Kempster 75), Humphries (Trialist D 87), Avery (Maspero 90), Trialist E (Murray 75), Dodd (Trialist F 87), Jackson (Collins 90), Grubb (C) (Pope HT), Trialist B (Bastin 47), Mannings (Watts 69). Unused substitute: Jagger Cane.