Cardiff City res 2 - 1 Reading res

Last updated : 07 May 2003 By Michael Morris
Cardiff City entertained Reading this afternoon at Ninian Park in the final reserve game of the season.

Leo FW gave the Bluebirds and early lead before Mario Noto levelled on 20 mins. Jason Bowen scored the winner from the penalty spot with 10 minutes remaining.

Report from Paul Evans.
Well I've done it achieved a 100% attendance record for home reserve games for the first time ever (bet your all really jealous!).

Today's game though wss no hardship like so many of the others have been. For the second successive home game, the team played well and, in the first half especially, played some really nice stuff.

Unfortunately, I missed Leo's early goal (thank you St. Fagans Railway Crossing!) and virtually as soon as I arrived Reading equalised with a dreadful goal from the City's point of view as Scott Young's back pass fell well short of Arran Lee Barrett who came charging off his line to try and whack the ball clear. The two City players, and the covering Steve Jenkins, still should have sorted the problem out between themselves though, but, somehow, the lone Reading forward managed to fend them all off and roll the ball into the empty net.

For the rest of the first half it was all the City as they passed the ball with a fluency that the first team have not produced in ages, but some good goalkeeping and some poor finishing kept the scoresheet at 1-1 at the interval.

To be honest, the second half was nowhere near as good. Jason Bowen performed some individual magic to lay on an easy chance which the white booted, white haired Maxwell swung his foot and missed completely, Leo had a couple of headed opportunities which he maybe should have done better with, but that was about it until the team put together a lovely passing movement involving about eight players which was ended by a blatant Reading handball in the box.

For a while, it looked like nobody wanted to take the penalty, but eventually Jason Bowen came forward to score with a real "taking the piss" penalty as he ran up to take it stopped with his right foot in mid air as if was having his photo taken and then placed his shot into the corner of the net with the Reading keeper not having a clue what was going on! I have never seen anything like it before and, somehow I doubt if I will be seeing it again in the play offs next week - none of our players would have the bottle to try it (at least, I hope they wouldn't!)!

There were a few good individual performances today, for a start there was a young lad called Michael Byrne playing up front with Leo (I assume he was a trialist) who had some lovely dribbling skills - he faded in the second half and was, perhaps, a bit greedy, but he certainly had a lot of talent. I was again impressed by Lee Fowler who seemed to be involved in everything good about the City performance and I thought Des Hamilton has a good game as well. Jason Bowen, playing on the right, had the beating of his full back most of the time and created so many half chances for the strikers and Gethin Jones and Steve Jenkins (who went off early) did well in defence.

Personally, I would have Fowler, Bowen and, possibly, Jenkins on the bench on Saturday, but, unfortunately, I wouldn't be surprised if the only player involved today who makes the squad is Scott Young.