Cardiff City res 2 - 0 Swindon Town res

Last updated : 11 February 2004 By Michael Morris
A 50th minute penalty by striker Stuart Fleetwood and a header from Gavin Gordon on 63 mins won the game for City.

Report from Paul Evans

Another fairly comfortable win for the reserves today as they maintained their position at the top of the league. Swindon had their moments certainly with Lee-Barrett making an excellent save from a header in the second half, another effort being cleared off the line and one or two chances they should have put away, but the City always looked to have that bit more quality.

John Robinson played the whole 90 minutes (although, after being booked early in the second half, he must have come close to a red card as he kept up a non stop dialogue with the ref and the linesman on the Grandstand side - they were both pretty bad mind!). The fact Robbo kept on at the officials in a fairly meaningless reserve match says everything about his attitude and his commitment level seemd no lower than at a first team game, he also showed his quality with some clever passing as well.

However, it was, once again, the youngsters who took the eye in my view. I think it has done so many of them good to be regulars in the reserves this season, most of them now look comfortable at this level and are not imtimidated by opponents that are nearly always a bit bigger than them.

I saw an interview with Danny Parslow on Cardiff City World this week where he said he had played right back earlier in the season, but had now switched back to centre half, well he didn't do badly at right back today! Parslow made a good goal line clearance in the opening minutes, tackled crisply and show a good turn of pace when he got forward. On the other flank Kirk Huggins also looked pacy and defended well, as did Byron Anthony who looks more comfortable at centre back now than he did earlier in the season.

The central midfield pairing of Fish and Parkins had a nice balance with Fish giving the sort of solid performance in a holding role that he has done all season, while the more adventurous Parkins is a threat when he breaks forward.

The goals came early in the second half with the first being a penalty confidently converted by Stuart Fleetwood whose pace caused the Swindon back line plenty of problems (I am afraid that I have to admit that I was chatting about Ian Walker's own goal when the penalty incident occured so I not 100% sure who was fouled although I think it was Fleetwood - it was a definite penalty though!). On the hour mark, the hard working Gavin Gordon, who I thought gave one of his better performances for the reserves, netted the second with a good header from an excellent cross from the right by the impressive Parslow.

Last season watching the reserves was like watching paint dry most of the time and made some of the turgid performances turned in by the first team look like excellent entertainment! However, this year reserve games have been much more enjoyable mainly because the youngsters have done so well - I hope they can clinch the title, they deserve it.