Bluebirds players turned out in force at Taffs Well – and the players mixed with supporters throughout the 90 minutes.
New signings Bobby Reid, Josh Murphy, Greg Cunningham and goalkeeper Alex Smithies were among the first team players who joined manager Neil Warnock at Rhiw Ddar.
Captain Sean Morrison, Sol Bamba, Neil Etheridge and Kenneth Zohore were also among those who turned out, posing for photographs and signing autographs.
The only player I noticed was missing on the evening was Aron Gunnarsson, who links up with his City mates in Cornwall on Monday.
Cardiff City ran out 3-0 winners thanks to goals from Rhys Healey (2) and substitute Jack McLean, while in-form Healey also missed from a penalty.
Welsh League Taffs Well fought hard on a pitch baked hard in the hot weather and Aaron Garrett did fire home from Cortez Belle’s pass, but the effort was ruled out for offside.
Warnock erred on the side of caution in terms of selection because of pitch conditions – the Wellmen have been unable to water their pitch – and fielded a young team comprising mainly under-23 players and trialists.
Goalkeeper Lee Camp started for City, while Matthew Hall, a 20-year-old goalkeeper signed from Bangor City, made his debut when he replaced the experienced Camp during the second half.
Both impressed with Camp looking calm and assured, as you would expect, and Hall impressing with his distribution.
Blackburn-born Brayden Shaw, a 21-year-old former Bury and Accrington midfield player who was with Bangor City last season, was in Cardiff’s starting line-up along with Glasgow-born Jack McKay, a young striker who joined Cardiff from Leeds United.
Healey, who scored six goals in eight league appearances for Torquay United last season, impressed from the start against Taffs Well and scored his first goal after 20 minutes when he tapped in from close range.
A capacity attendance of almost 3,000 watched Cardiff’s young team play with composure on a hot evening and they had the chance to go 2-0 ahead, but Stephen Hall, in goal for the Wellmen, saved Healey’s 34th minute penalty.
It was Healey again within a minute of the restart, sliding his shot under goalkeeper Hall, and McLean made it 3-0 in the 88th minute.
Ryan Pryce set up the chance and McLean fired home.
Full-back Cameron Coxe plus midfield battlers Jamie Veale and James Waite were other Cardiff players to catch the eye on a night when Warnock was looking for his young guns to shine.
When the final whistle blew, Warnock was just setting out on the long journey to Cornwall where his Bluebirds start their week-long pre-season tour against Truro City on Sunday (2pm).
Warnock, concerned about how hard pitches will be during this sweltering spell of weather, will call in at Truro and Tavistock on Sunday to check out the playing surfaces.
The match against Vanarama National League Truro is an under-23 fixture, although Lee Tomln, Anthony Pilkington, Omar Bogle and goalkeeper Camp may well feature.
Warnock’s A team are then due to face Tavistock on Monday, but he won’t want to risk injuries if the surface is difficult.
Taffs Well: Stephen Hall, Jamal Roberts, Max Cullen, Aaron Garrett, Matty James, Lloyd Toghill, Chris Davies, Warren Jones, Laurent Mondo, Abdi Noor, Lewis Ellis. Subs: Ryan Fleming, Amine Benkorichi, Cortez Belle, Kallum Hajgato, Ellis Bellamy, Dylan Amin.
Cardiff City: Lee Camp, Cameron Coxe, Jamie Veale, Ciaron Brown, Jack McKay, Matt Taylor, James Waite, Jake Evans, Rhys Healey, Braydon Shaw, Mark Harris. Subs: Ryan Price, Matt Hall (gk), Dan Martin, Jack Bodenham, Nathan Baxter, Elvis, Dylan Sumner, Burrows, Wootton, Jack McLean, McLean.
Cardiff pre-season fixtures
Friday 13: Taffs Well 0, Cardiff City 3