Cardiff City res 0 - 3 Plymouth Argyle res

Last updated : 29 October 2003 By Michael Morris
City line up

Arran Lee-Barrett, Byron Anthony, Kirk Huggins, James Collins, Scott Young, Spencer Prior, Layton Maxwell, Nicky Fish, Andy Campbell, Stuart Fleetwood, Julian Gray

Subs: Ingram, Brimble, Hayward, Thomas, Parkins

Report from Paul Evans 

May I be the first to say "Wilkinson out" after this 3-0 thumping! Only joking, you can hardly blame Paul Wilkinson for not sorting out within a couple of weeks the malaise which afflicts our reserve team so often, but this was another very poor performance by our second string.

A few weeks ago I watched a City reserve team containing seven or eight players with first team experience being outclassed to the tune of 3-0 by Bristol City, yet last week a team featuring mainly youngsters played with heart and no little skill to beat Cheltenham 2-0. Today our side included Scott Young, James Collins, Spencer Prior, Layton Maxwell, Andy Campbell, Julian Gray and Stuart Fleetwood all of whom have played league football for the club and they were murdered 3-0!

How do you explain these results? Perhaps you could say that the players on the fringe of the first team are reluctant to really go at it 100% in these games because they fear picking up an injury, but then you see that Plymouth had six first teamers in their team today and they showed no lack of commitment.

To be fair, Plymouth were very impressive today and their attitude was spot on, right from the start they looked the better team and City were chasing shadows much of the time.

I suppose the City were unlucky not to score because their keeper made some good saves from Campbell (twice) and Maxwell, but on another day Plymouth could easilly have had seven or eight as they hit the woodwork twice (well actually one of those came from a City player as James Collins came within inches of scoring a spectacular own goal!) and had many other shots saved or fly narrowly wide.

To my mind, the only City player to come out of the game with any credit was Arran Lee Barrett in goal who had no chance with the goals, made some great saves and handled well - it was the best game I have seen him play for the reserves, although that, of course, says every thing you need to know about the sides performance.

Of the rest, I suppose Scott Young is still feeling his way back after his injury and shouldn't be criticised, but it was all pretty poor stuff from the City players.

The goals were all good ones, Martin Phillips (once billed by Alan Ball as Britain's first £10,000,000 footballer) scored the first after 14 minutes with a fine shot after the City defence made a mess of dealing with a straightforward cross. Captain Hasney Aljofree doubled the lead about ten minutes later with a spectacular over head kick following a free kick and Phillips got the third midway through the second half with a well struck angled volley.