Sheffield Wednesday U18s win PDL2 National Play-Off Final
Sheffield Wednesday’s Under-18s secured their second piece of silverware of the season with a dramatic 3-2 win over nine-man Cardiff City in the PDL2 National Play-Off Final at Hillsborough on Friday night.
The Owls raced into a two-goal lead by half time thanks to strikes from Charles Hagan and Charlie Reaney before Cardiff upped the tempo after the break.
First, Daniel Griffiths, who was later sent off, reduced the arrears, only for Wednesday substitute Elliott Vasalao to restore the home side’s two-goal cushion. But Cardiff defender Ben Margetson set up a tense finale, making it 3-2, before Griffiths and Kieron Evans were sent off late on.
Brimming with confidence, Wednesday took the lead on 27 minutes when Hagan latched onto Josh Dawodu’s through ball and finished cooly beyond George Ratcliffe in the visitors’ goal.
The Owls then doubled their advantage shortly before half time when Reaney capped off a fine team move with a low, first-time effort beyond Ratcliffe at the near post.
Whatever was said to the Cardiff players at half time worked. First Isaak Davies saw his header tipped past the post by Owls goalkeeper Josh Render before Evans saw a fierce drive strike the underside of the crossbar.
The Bluebirds weren’t to be denied, though, pulling one back through Griffiths, only for Wednesday to reclaim their two-goal advantage immediately when substitute Vasalo burst through one-on-one.
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But Cardiff weren’t done there, getting another one back, this time through a header from Margetson after he rose highest to nod home from a corner.
More drama was to come, though, in the closing stages as both Griffiths and Evans were sent off for second yellow cards.
Wednesday: Render; Dawodu, Rice, Thompson, Ellery; Waldock; Hagan (Farmer 90'), Shaw, Reaney, Grant; Hammoud (Vasalo 79'). Substitutes: Kenyon, Jackson, Brandy.
Cardiff: Ratcliffe; Conor Davies, Kavanagh, Margetson, Bagan, Patten; Bowen, Issak Davies (Mayembe 62'), Evans, Spence, Griffiths. Substitutes: Pinchard, Burwood, Parsons, Ligendza.
Referee: Mark Reeves.