Under-23 Match Report – Cardiff City 2, Crystal Palace 2

Gary Madine and Jamie Veale scored for Cardiff City in their 2-2 draw against Crystal Palace in the Professional Under-23 Development League.

But the young Bluebirds were far from happy with a draw after dominating the match at Cardiff International Sports Stadium.

“We’re disappointed with the result,” said Wales under-21 international. “We were on top for most of the game.

“We had some great chances, particularly in the second half. We needed to be more clinical because Palace were able to take their chances.

“There is, though, a lot we can take away from this performance. Despite drawing, that’s probably one of our best displays we’ve shown so far this season.

“We were on the front foot for a large majority of the game. It just wasn’t our day.”

Coke played a key role in Madine’s goal, providing the assist before the centre-forward headed in.

Coach Jarred Harvey’s view was: “A draw is a disappointing outcome.

“We controlled the game and for large parts it was one-sided. We had several chances in the second half, but were unable to take them. As a result, we got caught out.

“Overall, though, I’m proud of the performance. The lads did well through large periods of the game. There are plenty of positives to take from how we performed.

“During the first half in particular, we were good with the ball and excellent at controlling the game to our favour.

“We have to keep trying to improve and then earn some better results which reflect our overall performance.”

Harvey and fellow under-23 coach Andy Legg made six changes to the team who defeated Charlton Athletic in their previous match.

First team squad players goalkeeper Alex Smithies, Matthew Connolly and Gary Madine were joined by Cameron Coxe, Tyrone Duffus and Paris-born Christian Koffi in the starting XI.

The 18-year-old Koffi played youth football at Fiorentina before making the switch to Cardiff.

The hosts started positively and reacting to mounting pressure took a deserved lead after just six minutes. Cameron Coxe whipped a delightful cross into the box and the towering Madine headed in at the far post to break the deadlock.

However, last season’s PDL Two South champions almost equalised 12 minutes later. A swift counter saw Levi Lumeka cut inside and curl a low effort into the hands of an alert Smithies.

Cardiff continued to dominate and almost scored a second when Coxe again set up Madine after 30 minutes, but his effort deflected off a defender and into the hands of the ‘keeper.

The lively James Waite produced a clinical pass to Laurence Wootton, who saw a low shot from close range saved.

Substitute Jamie Veale tapped home from close range to make it 2-0 after Madine’s curled strike was dropped by the ‘keeper.

Levi Lumeka pulled a goal back after 78 minutes, shooting home from 15 yards.

Palace equalised three minutes later when they broke quickly and Brandon Aveiro slotted home.

City pushed for a winning goal, but the game finished all square.

The next fixture the young Bluebirds is an away match to face Ipswich Town on Monday, November 5.

Cardiff City: Alex Smithies, Cameron Coxe, Dan Martin, Tyron Duffus, Ciaron Brown, Matthew Connolly, Laurence Wootton, Christian Koffi, Gary Madine, James Waite, Kieron Evans. Subs not used: Jack Bodenham, Matthew Hall (gk), Paul McKay, Jamie Veale, Lloyd Humphries.