Cardiff City res 2 - 0 Cheltenham Town res

Last updated : 22 October 2003 By Michael Morris
Danny Thomas and Michael Hayward scored the goals as City beat Cheltenham in this afternoon's reserve team fixture at Ninian Park.

Scott Young made a return to the side and played the first half.

Report from Paul Evans 

At Ninian Park for today's reserve match with Cheltenham. Three Cheltenham players wore gloves this afternoon (although one wore a short sleeved shirt which, to me at least, defeats the object of wearing the gloves!) and you couldn't blame them, it was freezing and when the rain started at half time you could truly say winter had arrived.

As for the game, City won 2-0, it wasn't brilliant but it was made enjoyable for me by the performance of our youngsters.

The first team experience in the side was provided by Margetson, Young, Collins, Maxwell and Gray. Of those Scott Young played the first half in his first game off before departing at half time for another youngster, Danny Parslow. Of the others, Julian Gray attracted the most attention and, after a quiet first half, showed flashes of his quality in the second period with a shot just wide and some good passing and running with the ball, he also won his fair share of tackels.

The one other player with first team experience was Stuart Fleetwood and I thought he had an excellent second half today, hitting the crossbar with a shot from twenty five yards, being instrumental in setting up the second goal and forcing a very good save from Book in the Cheltenham goal (Fleetwood probably should have scored mind, but the turn which left his marker floundering was pure quality). I was also impressed by Byron Anthony today - I thought he struggled in the two previous games I have seen him play this year, but he looked good today playing right back in the first half and then swiching to centre back when Scott Young went off.

Mentioning just two of the youngsters doesn't mean the others didn't play well, they all had their moments. Although you had to bear in mind that, despite the fact that they had quite a few players with first team experience, Cheltenham weren't much good, for the first time since I have been watching the reserves play regularlly I felt that the performance of our youngsters showed that the hype we hear so often about them may be justified.

As for the goals, there was one in each half - Danny Thomas hooked home the first from close range after 24 minutes after Cheltenham failed to clear a corner. The second came about ten minutes after the break when City put together probably the best move of the game, a neat piece of work by Julian Gray freed Stuart Fleetwood down the left, he beat a defender before putting over a low cross to Layton Maxwell who, unselfishly, laid the ball into the path of Michael Hayward who finished well with a shot from about twelve yards.

All in all, not a bad game and it was nice to see the reserves finally win!

Report from Cardiff City