Archive | April 2012

Cardiff City 2 Derby County 0

Played on: Tuesday 17th April 2012

Mark Hudson take a bow! That is the best Cardiff goal I have probably ever seen. Most definitely from the furthest out! The BBC have said ‘Cardiff’s Hudson scores goal like Beckham’…I’m sorry but Golden Balls has got nothing on Hudson’s 68-yard strike.

Yesterday’s win over Derby coupled with Boro only managing a draw with relegated Doncaster means we’re within touching distance of the playoffs. The win was superb and in case you haven’t heard, Hudson scored from inside his own half! I’ve fallen in love with this goal if you hadn’t already noticed.

The win means the Bluebirds are a step closer to claiming a playoff spot

Malky Mackay told his team to win last night in memory of Eddie May and the former manager’s name was chanted out from the stands. Kenny Miller had the first good chance of the game but Frank Fielding in the Derby goal tipped his 18-yard shot past the post. The visitors thought they had opened the scoring 14 minutes in when Nathan Tyson put the ball in the net, but thankfully the striker was deemed to be in an offside position.

Aron Gunnarsson then tried his luck from distance and his brilliant half-volley was tipped over by Fielding. And the Bluebirds broke the deadlock on 24 minutes through Joe Mason. The youngster scored the rebound after Miller’s shot cannoned back off the post.

Derby refused to lie down and had shots of goal from Jeff Hendrick, Tom Naylor and Jake Buxton before City doubled their advantage in emphatic fashion 63 minutes in with THAT goal. Hudson brought down a poor Fielding kick and with the County keeper off his line and the crowd shouting shoot, the Cardiff skipper audaciously tried his luck. From 68-yards the central-defenders shot flew into the back of the net, evading the backtracking Derby keeper to send fans and players alike wild. This has to be the goal of the season as far as I’m concerned and here’s a link below to the goal which is a must see.

Hudson’s wonder goal

The players pile of goalscorer Hudson after he scores from inside his own half

David Marshall made two great saves late on to maintain Cardiff’s clean-sheet before Robert Earnshaw had a shot blocked at the other end as he looked for a goal against his former club.

Malky, "How the hell did you manage that?"

This was a massive win for the Bluebirds and Boro’s defeat means a place in the playoffs is all but ours. I think two points from a possible six will be enough for us, but all too often we’ve messed things up at the business end of the season.  Here’s hoping we can finish in the playoff places for the third consecutive year. Come on City…

Cardiff City

  • 01 Marshall
  • 02 McNaughton Booked
  • 03 Taylor
  • 05 Hudson
  • 25 Turner
  • 07 Whittingham
  • 13 Lawrence
  • 17 Gunnarsson
  • 37 McPhail (Ralls – 54′ )
  • 09 Miller (Earnshaw – 69′ )
  • 20 Mason (Blake – 79′ )

Substitutes

  • 22 Heaton
  • 23 Blake
  • 27 Harris
  • 52 Ralls
  • 10 Earnshaw

Derby County

  • 01 Fielding
  • 03 Roberts
  • 06 Shackell
  • 17 Buxton
  • 31 Naylor (Brayford – 46′ )
  • 04 Bryson
  • 23 Hendrick
  • 32 Green
  • 09 Tyson Booked
  • 10 Ward (S Davies – 49′ )
  • 21 Robinson (Bailey – 83′ )

Substitutes

  • 13 Legzdins
  • 02 Brayford
  • 16 Bailey
  • 19 Carroll
  • 07 S Davies
Ref: Probert
Att: 21,216
 Permission for pictures given by Jon Candy

My Favourite Ever Cardiff City Match

My favourite ever Cardiff City game has to be the 2-1 win against Leeds in the FA Cup at Ninian Park in 2002.

Leeds at the time were the kings of British football. Top of the Premiership and playing in Europe, while we were two leagues lower in the old Division Two (now League One). The atmosphere at a rammed Ninian Park was insane in what was a giant killing at the time.

Below is a video of highlights of the game.

Leeds took the lead in the first half through Mark Viduka before my favourite ever Bluebirds player, Graham Kavanagh, equalised. The skipper scored a curling 25-yard free-kick to draw us level and send me and everyone else in the stadium wild.

The Premier League leaders then had Alan Smith sent off for a foul on Andy Legg before things got even more crazy when Scott Young scored the winner three minutes from time, invoking a pitch invasion from the Cardiff fans at full-time.

Media from YouTube user: Bongo1987

Tribute to Eddie May

RIP Eddie May, the former Cardiff City manager who died in his sleep on Saturday, aged 68.

Eddie May

Eddie became a Bluebirds legend during a four-year stint as manager of the club between 1991 and 1995. During his time at Ninian Park he led the club to the Division Three title and Welsh Cup double in 1993.

The most famous win under May’s reign was the 1-0 FA Cup victory against Manchester City. Nathan Blake scored the winner that day and the former City striker has said that May was the best manager he ever played for and that the club should name a stand in his name.

“Eddie was a great manager, the best I ever played for,” said Blake. “I do hope the club do something to honour him and I believe naming a stand after him would be the perfect way to do that.

“Eddie was so popular among Cardiff supporters and everyone who worked with him at the club that it would be very fitting. Eddie was a diamond in my opinion and everyone has been left saddened by the news of his death.”

RIP Eddie May (1943-2012)

Media from Walesonline

Barnsley 0 Cardiff City 1

Played on: Saturday 14th April 2012

It wasn’t the prettiest of games, but Cardiff’s 1-0 win at Oakwell yesterday kept us in the playoff places. Annoyingly, Middlesbrough scored a late goal to win at Derby which leaves them hot on our heels. They are the only side that I feel can now knock us out of the top six after Brighton put themselves out of contention, losing 6-0 to West Ham.

The first half was a scrappy affair with few chances. Barnsley keeper David Button easily gathered Kenny Miller’s scuffed shot before Michael Tonge dragged his shot wide at the other end.

The Bluebirds knew a win at Barnsley would consolidate their place in the playoffs

The first good chance of the game came just before halftime when Peter Whittingham curled a free-kick just wide of the goal that many City fans thought had gone in. Whitts has scored so many goals just like that these last few seasons that we almost expect them to go in at times.

The second half saw a much improved Cardiff performance who created their first chance just 30 seconds after the restart. Don Cowie exchanged passes with Miller, but his left-footed effort was saved by Button.

But the Bluebirds eventually broke the deadlock on 69 minutes with on-loan Liam Lawrence scoring his first goal for the club. Andrew Taylor advanced down the left flank and swung in a peach of a cross to the back post for Lawrence to head into the bottom corner.

Taylor's cross put Lawrence's goal on a plate for him

Ben Turner somehow shot over from close range late on but Barnsley, despite bossing possession, never looked like equalising. The victory now means that Cardiff are unbeaten in seven. We are two points ahead of Middlesbrough with three games to go so hopefully we can finish in those playoff places.

Barnsley

  • 25 Button
  • 06 Foster
  • 14 Wiseman
  • 15 McNulty
  • 23 Collins
  • 05 Doyle
  • 08 O’Brien
  • 11 Perkins
  • 28 Tonge (Gray – 75′ )
  • 21 Nouble (Davies – 75′ )
  • 24 Noble-Lazarus (Cotterill – 59′ )

Substitutes

  • 07 Dawson
  • 17 Cotterill
  • 09 Davies
  • 18 Higginbotham
  • 27 Gray

Cardiff City

  • 01 Marshall
  • 02 McNaughton Booked
  • 03 Taylor
  • 05 Hudson
  • 25 Turner
  • 07 Whittingham
  • 08 Cowie (McPhail – 55′ )
  • 13 Lawrence Booked
  • 17 Gunnarsson (Blake – 82′ )
  • 09 Miller
  • 20 Mason (Earnshaw – 86′ )

Substitutes

  • 22 Heaton
  • 23 Blake
  • 27 Harris
  • 37 McPhail
  • 10 Earnshaw
Ref: Geoff Eltrigham
Att: 9,122

Permission for pictures given by Jon Candy

Pre Barnsley Press Conference

I went to another Cardiff press conference at the Vale this morning ahead of the trip to Barnsley tomorrow. David Marshall was the player we had this week and Malky Mackay made us wait as he usually does, over an hour in fact.

I think three points are a must tomorrow and looking at recent form I think we’ll get them. Here are the voice notes from the press conference if anyone wants to hear what the keeper and manager had to say.

Cardiff goalkeeper David Marshall:

Cardiff manager Malky Mackay:

Malky Mackay says playoffs are now in Cardiff's own hands

Permission for pictures given by Jon Candy.

Cardiff City 1 Watford 1

Played on: Monday 9th April 2012

It definitely feels like a case of two points dropped following Cardiff’s one all draw with Watford yesterday. It was a rubbish game and a horrid rainy day, but thankfully I was in the press box. Free ticket, programme, Clarks Pie, hot drinks and a very good view far enough back to avoid the rain made the game far more enjoyable for me than the majority of Cardiff fans in the stadium.

I was also sitting next to City legend Nathan Blake which was a good laugh to say the least. I asked Blakey how he didn’t have some kind of free season ticket from the club but his response was: “Complimentary season ticket? I’m lucky if I get a complimentary cup of tea around here anymore!” Good to know we look after our greats…

The teams come out on a rainy Cardiff afternoon. Thankfully I was under cover

The teams come out on a rainy Cardiff afternoon

There were a few surprises when I was handed the team sheet with recent bench warmer Craig Conway starting along with Kenny Miller, the Scottish international passing a fitness test prior to the game after going off injured against Middlesbrough last time out.

The home side started strongly with McPhail ticking things over and Watford barely touched the ball in the first 15 minutes. Ben Turner headed just wide of the goal from a Peter Whittingham corner and Conway’s low drive from 20 yards just went wide of the post.

Craig Conway was a surprise inclusion but started brightly against the Hornets

Craig Conway was a surprise inclusion but started brightly against the Hornets

Jonathan Hogg was fortunate to stay on the pitch following a foul on Conway just after the half hour mark. The winger was forced off and Mackay revealed in the post match press conference that Conway will have an x-ray to see if his ankle is broken.

However, Conway was forced off injured after a poor challenge from Watford's Jonathan Hogg

Apart from the opening 15 minutes, this was a poor game of football and the game was in desperate need of a goal. Thankfully this came in first half stoppage time and put the Bluebirds in front. A long ball up the right wing by Kevin McNaughton found Don Cowie. The former Watford man wriggled free of his defenders to cross for an unmarked Miller to score a great headed goal. Yes Kenny Miller. This was the strikers first goal in 16 appearances and hopefully now he’s ended his barren spell he can go on to score a few more.

Cardiff just about deserved their lead at halftime and Miller nearly doubled his tally soon after the break. Liam Lawrence, Conway’s replacement, whipped in an inviting cross that Miller headed goalwards but on-loan Manchester United keeper Thomasz Kuszczak tipped his effort onto the post.

The team celebrate with Miller after breaking his scoring drought

The team celebrate with Miller after breaking his scoring drought

This appeared to be the turning point in the game as Watford suddenly sprung to life. First Martin Taylor’s powerful header was pushed over his bar by David Marshall in the Cardiff goal. Sean Murray then had a shot blocked before John Eustace fired over during a strong spell for the visitors. The pressure eventually told when poor marking from a Murray free-kick let Nyron Nosworthy knock the ball in to draw the Hornets level on 82 minutes.

Watford deserved their equaliser after dominating most of the second half, but Cardiff will be frustrated that yet again they couldn’t hold onto all three points and were stung by the Hornets. And it could have been even worse for the Bluebirds had substitute Chris Iwelumo scored with the last kick of the match following a three on two Watford breakaway.

Watford celebrate their equaliser

Fortunately for Cardiff, most of the teams around us also dropped points so we remain in that final playoff place with four games of the season left. Maximum points from those remaining fixtures will guarantee us a playoff spot, however I’m pretty certain that we won’t get 12 out of a possible 12 points so hopefully those around us will slip up a bit too, I’ll be very grateful if they do.

Here are the quotes from the post match press conference.

Cardiff manager Malky Mackay:

Cardiff midfielder Don Cowie:

Watford manager Sean Dyche:

Cardiff City

  • 01 Marshall Booked
  • 02 McNaughton
  • 03 Taylor
  • 05 Hudson
  • 25 Turner Booked
  • 07 Whittingham
  • 08 Cowie
  • 11 Conway (Lawrence – 38′ )
  • 17 Gunnarsson
  • 37 McPhail (Kiss – 56′ Booked )
  • 09 Miller

Substitutes

  • 22 Heaton
  • 04 Kiss
  • 13 Lawrence (Earnshaw – 79′ )
  • 27 Harris
  • 10 Earnshaw

Watford

  • 35 Kuszczak
  • 03 Dickinson
  • 05 Taylor
  • 12 Doyley Booked
  • 33 Nosworthy Booked
  • 04 Eustace
  • 19 Buaben (Iwelumo – 78′ )
  • 22 Murray
  • 26 Assombalonga Booked (Garner – 46′ )
  • 32 Hogg Booked
  • 09 Deeney

Substitutes

  • 01 Loach
  • 17 Bennett
  • 24 Whichelow
  • 10 Iwelumo
  • 25 Garner
Ref: Deadman
Att: 21,259
Permission for pictures given by Jon Candy

Middlesbrough 0 Cardiff City 2

Played on : Saturday 7th April 2012

Cardiff climbed back into the playoff places after what could prove to be a crucial win at Middlesbrough. Two goals inside the opening 20 minutes meant City left the Riverside with all three points, but how we were holding on near the end! This was the first win in six matches for Malky Mackay’s side who leapfrogged their hosts and Brighton to move to sixth in the table.

Kenny Miller was forced off injured just six minutes in after Boro keeper Jason Steele clattered him just outside the box. Amazingly the referee didn’t even book Steele for a challenge that was easily a straight red and left Malky incensed on the touchline. Miller’s injury was in fact to be something of a blessing in disguise for the Bluebirds as young Joe Mason replaced him and came close to opening the scoring not long after.

Darcy Blake was called up to the starting XI in place of Kevin McNaughton

The youngster ran onto a through-ball by Stephen McPhail, cut inside onto his left foot and fired a 25-yard shot which deflected over Steele but hit the underside of the post to be cleared by Justin Hoyte.

Cardiff did however open the scoring from the resulting corner. Liam Lawrence’s in-swinger found Ben Turner and the big centre-half guided a free header downward and inside the far post.

Andrew Taylor came close to doubling Cardiff’s advantage against his former club but his low drive went wide of the goal. However, Mason extended City’s lead 19 minutes in with a great solo effort. He raced onto McPhail’s pass and cut inside the area, brilliantly turning his marker one way and then the other before slotting the ball under Steele and into the net. This was the Irishman’s 10th goal of the season and what a prospect he looks to be.

Mason looked lively after coming off the bench and could have scored a few

Middlesbrough started the second half brightly and Mark Hammill’s angled drive hit the post only three minutes after the restart before Scott McDonald fired a shot over the crossbar.

Cardiff were struggling to get a foothold in the second half but at least they were restricting the away side to only long-range efforts on goal.

Boro hit the woodwork again five minutes from time when David Marshall tipped Lukas Jutkiewicz’s goal bound header onto the bar. And the post came to Cardiff’s rescue for a third time when Martin’s free-kick evaded everyone in the box and bounced up onto the bar.

The Bluebirds pushed their luck in the second half with Boro coming close on many occasions. But the fact we held on could prove to be massively important in the push for a playoff place. There are only five games left and it’s going to be a very close run thing. Watford are next up and are the form team in the Championship. Three points against the Hornets would be fantastic but I can see it being a one-all draw. Hopefully I’m wrong and the win today can give us the extra impetus to win the game on Monday.

Middlesbrough

  • 01 Steele
  • 02 Hoyte
  • 03 Bennett Booked
  • 06 McManus
  • 15 Hines
  • 08 Thomson (Emnes – 62′ )
  • 10 Bailey (Ogbeche – 84′ )
  • 11 Hammill (Martin – 69′ )
  • 17 Robson
  • 07 McDonald
  • 30 Jutkiewicz

Substitutes

  • 29 McMahon
  • 22 Martin
  • 33 Smallwood
  • 09 Emnes
  • 16 Ogbeche

Cardiff City

  • 01 Marshall
  • 03 Taylor Booked
  • 05 Hudson
  • 25 Turner
  • 07 Whittingham Booked
  • 08 Cowie
  • 13 Lawrence
  • 17 Gunnarsson
  • 23 Blake
  • 37 McPhail Booked (Gestede – 54′ )
  • 09 Miller (Mason – 6′ )

Substitutes

  • 22 Heaton
  • 02 McNaughton
  • 10 Earnshaw
  • 15 Gestede (McNaughton – 86′ )
  • 20 Mason
Ref: Friend
Att: 17,564
Permission for pictures given by Jon Candy