The Tigers were forced to come from behind against the Welsh outfit after Keenan Patten opened the scoring for the visitors after just four minutes. But goals from Keane Lewis-Potter and Rob Guilfoyle, saw the club negotiate their way beyond the Bluebirds despite being reduced to ten men in the latter stages after Ben Adamson’s 80th-minute dismissal.
There was a late change to John Anderson and Terry Boyle’s side before the game, with Will Jarvis having to be replaced in the starting by Rob Guilfoyle after picking up an injury during the warm-up.
And the Tigers side got off to the worst possible start under the lights at the KCOM Stadium as Cardiff took an early, albeit thanks to an enormous slice of fortune. Patten’s strike from outside the box took a wicked deflection off a defender in black and amber, sending the ball past the unfortunate Harrison Foulkes and into the back of the net.
The Bluebirds were seeing more of the ball in the early stages and almost nearly doubled their lead when Ben Margetson’s long-range effort clipped the top of the crossbar.
However, it wasn’t long before the home side were creating chances of their own and Jacob Greaves forced Cardiff keeper George Ratcliffe into a fine save with a header from Dan Hawkins’ free-kick.
Hawkins had a chance of his own, only to see his effort well blocked by Margetson before Keane Lewis-Potter sent a low free-kick just past the wrong side of the post.
And as the Tigers continued to grow in the game, they came within inches of finding an equaliser when Jake Nicholls won the ball in a 50/50 challenge before finding Hawkins out wide. The winger advanced into the box and pulled the trigger, only to see his low strike drift agonisingly wide of the far post.
Cardiff should have doubled their lead when Harry Pinchard’s shot fell to striker Daniel Griffiths inside the box. His initial effort was saved by Foulkes but the ball fell favourably for the Cardiff youngster and it seemed as though he would tap the ball into an empty net, only for Greaves to produce a wonderful last-ditch tackle to privet him doing so.
Foulkes was called into action minutes later as he tipped Kieron Evans’ one strike from distance over the bar, before producing a great tackle to stop Sam Bowen from scoring after the Tigers had needlessly conceded possession in their own half.
Lewis-Potter almost grabbed an equaliser after weaving his way into the Cardiff box from the left, only to see his goalbound effort somehow kept out by Ratcliffe. Ben Adamson was the next to try his luck as he sent a header from Hawkins’ corner wide of the post with Ratcliffe rooted to the spot.
However, the Tigers finally managed to get the goal their first half performance deserved a minute before the break when another Hawkins’ corner was met by Lewis-Potter, who rose majestically to head home – much to the delight of the 250 fans inside the KCOM.
Foulkes was called into action early on in the second half, first saving from Connor Davies’ close-range effort before gathering Bowen’s fierce drive at the second time of asking.
At the other end of the pitch, the dangerous Lewis-Potter continued to cause problems for the Cardiff backline as he sent a low shot towards the bottom corner after linking-up well with Hawkins, but Ratcliffe produced a smart save to prevent the ball from nestling in the back of the net.
The Tigers went ahead in the 76th minute as Lewis-Potter’s interception and pass played through Guilfoyle, who rifled home into the bottom corner.
There was still time for more drama though as the Tigers were reduced to ten men twelve minutes from time when Ben Adamson was shown a red card for a late challenge, but thankfully there were no further scares for the team in black and amber as they held on to claim what was an impressive win against U18 Professional Development League South leaders
Hull City: Foulkes, Nicholls, Jacob, Taylor, Adamson, Greaves, Hawkins, Best, Guilfoyle (Rouse 90), Lewis-Potter, Beckett (Smith 80).
Subs Not Used: Cartwright, Wood.
Cardiff City: Ratcliffe, C. Davies (J. Davies 62), Margetson (Mayembe 83), Reynolds, Bagan, Patten, Davies, Pinchard, Griffiths, Bowen, Evans.
Subs Not Used: Kavanagh, Duffey, Jones.