Rubin Colwill Leads Welsh Clean Sweep

It was a five-star weekend for Wales’ leading four football clubs, who all won to boost their respective league campaigns.

Just a week after none of them had won – with only Wrexham’s draw saving the quartet from a slate of defeats – all four of them bounced back in style to record victories across the board.

It’s the first time this season that Cardiff City, Swansea City, Newport County and Wrexham have all enjoyed wins on the same weekend.

Cardiff’s win attracted the most attention as it included a goal – and a sparking performance – from Wales youngster Rubin Colwill.

The 21-year-old had been the subject of some harsh words from his manager, Erol Bulut, earlier this season around his defensive contributions.

But Colwill responded with a mature display, and a magnificent goal, as the Bluebirds beat Bristol City 2-0 in the Severnside derby at the Cardiff City Stadium.

It was a result that proved to be the straw that broke the camel’s back for Bristol City manager Nigel Pearson, who was sacked 24 hours later.

The victory lifted Cardiff up to fifth in the Championship table after back-to-back victories.

Colwill’s goal was his first in the league since March 2022 and comes after Bulut said he needed to see more defensive strength from the midfielder as well as from striker Callum Robinson.

“I was clear what I wanted from those two players,” Bulut said.

“Offensively they are good. Today we saw again from Colwill a great goal, last game Robinson scored and also today he worked a lot.

“Defensively they are doing much better than before. I am expecting this because we are 11 on the field and I need 11 players, not 10.

“They understand what I want. I am honest with my players. I don’t tell them anything else. I tell them exactly what I want. The good thing is that they try to give me back what I want from them. This makes me happy.”

The Swans also silenced some of their critics as a superb goal from another Wales youngster – Liam Cullen – gave them a 1-0 win at Blackburn Rovers.

Swansea had lost back-to-back home matches to Leicester City and Watford, but Cullen says they are now capable of winning games when not at their best.

“It’s our first win here in 52 years, so it is a big win for us,” said Cullen.

“It may not have been as pretty as we would have wanted it to be, we were a little bit scrappy in the second half, but we dug in and three points is three points.

“A lot of the lads have mentioned how together we are as a group, and I think games like this show it. We get on so well, and have fun together, but we also enjoy working hard together.

“It was really important to get a reaction like that. We felt we performed well against Leicester, but we let our standards drop in midweek, and we have responded and got the result.”

Wrexham won the battle of the clubs who came up into League Two from the National League, as they went to Notts County and earned a notable 2-0 success.

Elliot Lee and Ollie Palmer scored the goals that moved Wrexham up to third in the table, inside the automatic promotion places.

Manager Phil Parkinson said: “I think it’s up there in terms of wins in my time as a manager at Wrexham because we’ve had a lot of disruption this week.

“To have all that disruption and put in a performance like we did is enormous credit to the lads.

“But I thought the way the lads implemented the game plan we set out was outstanding and it was a really important three points for us.”

Newport made it a clean sweep for the Welsh sides with a 2-0 win at Gillingham that was marred by racist abuse directed at County striker Omar Bogle.

Bogle had scored twice from the penalty spot before he was verbally abused by a home fan, an act which Gillingham later said would result in a lifetime ban.

In a post on social media, Bogle said: “It’s 2023. Do better. I appreciate the support I received from the Gillingham players and staff and also a lot of the supporters and I urge you all to continue to drive out the majority that stain the club’s reputation and values.”