Tag Archive | Cardiff City

Cardiff City 1 Leeds 1

Played on: Saturday 21st April 2012

Today I won the least satisfying £10.50 ever. If Cardiff had beaten Leeds in the early kick-off then we would have been guaranteed playoffs. Sadly we drew one-all after again surrendering a goal lead in a match. We’re the club that has dropped the most points from leading positions this season which is very annoying.

Anyway, despite drawing we could still have been confirmed a playoff spot if Middlesbrough failed to beat second placed Southampton. With this is mind I thought I’d stick a fiver on Boro to win. Happy if they lose or draw as we would be guaranteed playoffs, happy if they won as I’d be over a tener up. It turned out that Middlesbrough did win to keep us on edge going into the final game next week and to be honest, I’d have much preferred to have lost my fiver in that sense but hey ho.

Applause for former Cardiff manager Eddie May who sadly passed away last week

Before kick-off there was a minute’s applause in memory of former Cardiff manager Eddie May who sadly passed away last week. Liam Lawrence had the first effort for the Bluebirds but his shot was easily saved by the impressive Andy Lonergan in the Leeds goal. Ex-City forward Ross McCormack then missed a great chance to give the Yorkshire side the lead with his header going just wide of the post.

But the Bluebirds were dominant in the first-half and took the lead on 41 minutes through Joe Mason. The youngster, who signed a new four-year deal this week, raced onto Peter Whittingham’s long pass and lobbed the ball over the advancing Lonergan from inside the box. Miller then had an 18-yard strike saved by the Leeds keeper in first-half stoppage time.

For some reason Cardiff seemed lethargic after the break and couldn’t get a foothold in the game. Leeds, with renewed purpose, went close through Thompson, Becchio and Pugh before Cardiff finally had a second-half chance of their own 70 minutes in. Andrew Taylor’s goal-bound volley was well saved by Lonergan who was to thank for his side leaving with a point. The away side dealt City’s playoffs hopes a blow when Becchio headed in from a corner 15 minutes from time.

The draw denied City from confirming a place in the playoffs

Leeds deserved their point and Cardiff are now unbeaten in nine games; however six of those have been draws. It’s a shame that we couldn’t secure a playoff spot today as it would have taken the pressure off us going into the final game against Crystal Palace on Saturday. Fingers crossed we can get the job done there.

The manager and owners thanked fans after the final home game of the season. TG still remembers that Liverpool score then!

The manager and owners thanked fans after the final home game of the season. TG still remembers that Liverpool score then!

Cardiff City

  • 01 Marshall
  • 02 McNaughton (Blake – 90′ )
  • 03 Taylor
  • 05 Hudson
  • 25 Turner
  • 07 Whittingham
  • 13 Lawrence
  • 17 Gunnarsson Booked
  • 37 McPhail (Kiss – 64′ )
  • 09 Miller (Earnshaw – 90′ )
  • 20 Mason

Substitutes

  • 22 Heaton
  • 04 Kiss
  • 23 Blake
  • 52 Ralls
  • 10 Earnshaw

Leeds United

  • 01 Lonergan
  • 04 Bruce
  • 22 Lees
  • 26 Bromby (Connolly – 32′ )
  • 33 Robinson
  • 15 Clayton Booked (Nunez – 60′ )
  • 16 Pugh
  • 29 Thompson
  • 10 Becchio
  • 23 Snodgrass
  • 44 McCormack (Webber – 59′ )

Substitutes

  • 02 Connolly
  • 31 Taylor
  • 20 Nunez
  • 18 Forssell
  • 25 Webber
Ref: Halsey
Att: 25,109
Permission for pictures given by Jon Candy
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My Best Cardiff City XI in Recent Years

As I’m only 20 years old I can’t say I’ve had the honour of seeing legendary City players such as Phil Dwyer, John Toshack and Fred Keenor play as they were well before my time. So I’ve decided to do my ‘modern’ greatest Cardiff 11, from when I went to my first game at Ninian Park, aged six.

Goalkeeper – Neil Alexander 

Appearances: 234

Goals: 0

Period at club: 28/05/2001 – 16/07/2007

We signed the original “Scotland’s number one” for £200,000 in 2001 and he spent six years at the club. He was a brilliant shot-stopper and I was always a big fan. Alexander was our keeper when we won the Division Two playoff final against QPR in 2003. Credit to both of our current goalies in Marshall and Heaton who I feel are two of the best we’ve had.

Left Back – Andy Legg 

Appearances: 209

Goals: 12

Period at club: 16/12/1998 – 21/07/2003

Leggy initially got stick from City fans when he joined us in 1998 as he previously played for Swansea. However, many solid and consistent performances (and an unbelievably long throw!) soon won over the Cardiff faithful as he became a fans favourite. Since his time at City, Legg has been diagnosed with cancer and has battled through it tremendously. I went to his testimonial match in 2006 which was a real treat as players from all generations were present.

Centre Back – Roger Johnson 

Appearances: 136

Goals: 14

Period at club: 04/07/2006 – 01/07/2009

Johnson was my favourite player during his time at the club, partly because I used to play in the centre of defence, and also because he was just awesome. Not only a rock at the back but he also contributed with a lot of goals going forward. Another shrewd Dave Jones signing as we got him for £275,000 and sold him for £5,000,000 three years later. For a Championship defender to be sold for that much just shows how good he really was. Ever present in our FA Cup Final campaign and scored a memorable diving header against then Premier League Middlesbrough.

Centre Back – Danny Gabbidon 

Appearances: 219

Goals: 10

Period at club: 10/08/2000 – 05/07/2005

Gabbidon’s excellent performances in a Cardiff shirt mean he has to be on my list. Another prominent member of the 2003 playoff winning side and I was gutted to see him leave alongside James Collins when the club was strapped for cash.

Right Back – Kevin McNaughton 

Appearances: 248 (At time of writing)

Goals: 2

Period at club: 26/05/2006 – Present

Super Kev is easily the best right back we’ve had in the last 15 years and has been a superb servant to Cardiff City. He covers so much ground in a game, up and down that right wing nonstop and was last season’s player of the year. He also has the best chant I think we’ve ever had for a player!

Left Midfield – Joe Ledley 

Appearances: 256

Goals: 30

Period at club: 01/09/2004 – 12/07/2010

I still have a shirt from quite a few years ago which had LEDLEY 16 on the back, and best of all I got it signed by the man himself! Chris Gunter egged him on to sign it ‘Deadly Ledley’ and to be honest I wish he had. Cardiff born and bred, Ledley scored some very important goals for the Bluebirds including the one against Barnsley to take us to the FA Cup final. Joe was also somewhat a utility player for City, playing all over midfield and also at left back. One of my favourite players and how I wish he was still on our wing!

Centre Midfield – Graham Kavanagh 

Appearances: 165

Goals: 31

Period at club: 29/06/2001 – 04/03/2005

An absolute legend as far as I’m concerned and my favourite ever Cardiff player. Kavanagh was the captain who led us to promotion in 2003 and always led by example. He set up god knows how many goals and also scored a few crackers in his time here too. Kav was City’s first £1 million man when he signed from Stoke in 2001, money that was unheard of before at Ninian Park. His most famous goal will be that free-kick when we beat the mighty Leeds in the FA Cup back in 2002. To say I was gutted when he was sold is an understatement, but I will always remember the magical moment when he scored the first ever goal at the CCS when he played in a one off ‘legends’ match.

Centre Midfield – Jason Koumas 

Appearances: 74

Goals: 15

Period at club: 27/07/2005 – 01/05/2006 and 04/08/2010 – 31/05/2011

With his first stint with us, Koumas was at the time the most skilful player I have ever seen don the blue shirt. I know he was only a loan signing but he was very influential in his time with us. He always looked dangerous on the ball and almost everything good we did that season came through him. A free-kick maestro, Koumas returned to us in 2010 but unfortunately was a shadow of his former self. However I remember the player that gave us many magic moments and that is why he’s on my list.

Right Midfield – Peter Whittingham 

Appearances: 257 (At time of writing)

Goals: 67

Period at club: 11/01/2007 – Present

Of course he’s on the list, “he does what he wants” after all! Easily our best player so far this season and always contributes with a lot of goals from midfield. Whitts always seems to have his own ‘goal of the season’ battle with himself and he truly has scored some screamers. The curling effort against Middlesbrough, the bullet free-kick versus Leicester, the keepy uppy and volley against Barnsley and the first time lob against Reading. All these are memorable goals and hopefully Whittingham will still be with us in years to come.

Striker – Robert Earnshaw 

Appearances: 220 (At time of writing)

Goals: 109

Period at club: 01/08/1997 – 30/08/2004 and 13/07/2011 – Present

Earnie is Cardiff’s second all time leading goal scorer and played a pivotal role in propelling us from Division 3 to Division 1, (now the Championship). He signed for us again this season but has barely featured so we haven’t seen that trademark summersault celebration as much as expected. Earnshaw holds the record for the most ever goals scored in a single season for us with 35 in the 2002/03 campaign. He was sold in 2004 for £3 million to West Brom and has always been a fans favourite at Cardiff.

Striker – Michael Chopra 

Appearances: 162

Goals: 65

Period at club: 16/06/2006 – 13/07/2007 and 06/11/2008 – 02/01/2009 and 02/02/2009 – 01/06/2009 and 04/07/2009 – 10/06/2011

One of the most prolific strikers in the Championship in recent years and has played for the Bluebirds on four occasions, twice on loan. We signed Chops for a mere £250,000 and he went on to be named player of the year in his first season with us. Chopra was sold for a club record £5 million to Premier League Sunderland in 2007 but we bought him back for another record fee of £4 million in 2009.

Total Caps of my Team: 2,180

Media from: http://www.cardiffcity-mad.co.uk, http://www.cardiffcityfc.co.uk, http://www.walesonline.co.uk

Cardiff City 2 Liverpool 2 (2-3 on penalties)

Played on: Sunday 26th February 2012

Then the seemingly impossible happened. Whittingham curled in a corner that Gunnarson headed towards Turner. And then everything just stopped. At no point during this game did I allow myself to believe that we could beat Liverpool, until now. . . .

Never have I been so proud to be a Cardiff fan than after those epic 120 minutes of football. It’s a really weird feeling as I’m absolutely gutted that we lost the game, especially as it was only the lottery of penalties that sealed our fate, but yet I’m so proud of the players who gave their absolute all. It may well be a very bitter pill to swallow, but we gave them one hell of a game and one that I’m sure every City fan will never forget.

Within the first two minutes I thought it was going to be a long day when Glen Johnson’s shot struck the underside of the bar. And to be brutally honest I really didn’t think we stood much of a chance before kickoff, so I was as surprised as anyone when we actually took the lead!

Kenny Miller’s precision pass fed Joe Mason who was the Bluebird to give hope to City fans when he calmly slotted the ball under Pepe Reina’s legs. The goal came completely against the run of play, but it was early in the game and I still didn’t believe that we could triumph over a Liverpool team with the quality of Steven Gerrard, Luis Suarez and Stuart Downing. But young Mason’s goal gave us a chance, a player who, when signed at the start of the season from lowly League Two Plymouth believed he was being signed for the future. Yet here he was, scoring a goal against Premier League Liverpool, in the cup final, at Wembley.

The home side (well, we have been there four times now!) had to put up with wave upon wave of Liverpool attack. But the centre back pairing of Mark Hudson and Ben Turner was truly fantastic, throwing themselves at every shot to keep the Bluebirds ahead.

My view of the Wembley pitch

Craig Bellamy came on to rapturous applause from both sets of fans. For a player who gets booed at virtually every game he plays, this was a reception that he will certainly savour. Bellamy’s arrival however seemed to spur Liverpool on and they equalised on the hour mark through the goal machine that is…Martin Skrtel. Suarez headed Downing’s corner against the post and Skrtel was first to the rebound, taking a touch before driving the ball between Tom Heaton’s legs to draw Liverpool level.

Lets face it, the equaliser had been coming but Kenny Miller could have so easily won it for Cardiff with just two minutes to go, a team that had no right to put themselves in a position to win such a game. The ball bounced up perfectly for the experienced Scot who fired his shot over the bar, despite having the goal at his mercy.

The game almost inevitably went to extra time and City’s players were starting to tire. Mark Hudson was forced off with cramp and Liverpool had chances aplenty through Suarez, Gerrard, Bellamy and Johnson, but a mixture of poor finishing and fine saves kept them at bay. Cardiff were finally undone in the 108th minute. Dirk Kuyt’s shot was blocked by Anthony Gerrard, only for the ball to come back to the Dutchman who drilled the ball past Heaton’s near post.

This was surely it for the Bluebirds. The team had given their absolute everything. Gunnarson could barely walk, yet his spirit to battle on epitomised a gutsy Cardiff performance. The fans were screaming their team on and when Filip Kiss saw his shot blocked on the line by Kuyt, it didn’t look like it was going to be our day.

City fans at Wembley

Then the seemingly impossible happened.

Whittingham curled in a corner that Gunnarson headed towards Turner. And then everything just stopped. At no point during this game did I allow myself to believe that we could beat Liverpool, until now. Ben Turner bundling the ball into the net is a goal that will live with me forever. Madness erupted in the stands as complete strangers embraced each other. My friend managed to cut his lip open after clashing heads with another city fan while we all celebrated, but he didn’t care. This was a historic moment for Cardiff City; to take Liverpool to penalties was an amazing achievement, even if we couldn’t go on to win it.

Although when Heaton pulled out arguably the best penalty save I’ve ever seen from Stevie G, I thought it could be our day, even more so when Adam sent his out of the stadium. This is where it landed by the way…

But it wasn’t to be, Miller and Gestede both struck their spot-kicks against the post, before our own Gerrard sent his wide to seal our fate. I am not at all ashamed by our defeat, in fact I’m massively proud of the performance the boys gave, but I will admit it is rather annoying to lose on penalties when the opposition goalkeeper didn’t even make a single save.

This game was a true “I was there” moment. One that will join the Leeds FA Cup game in 2002, Leicester and Blackpool in the playoff semi and final in 2010, and also the last game at Ninian Park against Ipswich in my books.

We’ve lost the game, but this is honestly the proudest I have ever been of Cardiff City Football Club. Our fantastic football club.

In Malky we trust!

Cardiff City

  • 22 Heaton
  • 02 McNaughton (Blake – 106′)
  • 03 Taylor
  • 05 Hudson (Gerrard – 99′)
  • 25 Turner Booked
  • 07 Whittingham
  • 08 Cowie
  • 17 Gunnarsson
  • 09 Miller
  • 15 Gestede
  • 20 Mason (Kiss – 91′ Booked)

Substitutes

  • 01 Marshall
  • 06 Gerrard
  • 18 Naylor
  • 04 Kiss
  • 11 Conway
  • 23 Blake
  • 10 Earnshaw

Liverpool

  • 25 Reina
  • 02 Johnson
  • 03 Jose Enrique
  • 05 Agger (Carragher – 86′ )
  • 37 Skrtel
  • 08 Gerrard
  • 14 Henderson Booked (Bellamy – 58′)
  • 19 Downing
  • 26 Adam
  • 07 Suarez
  • 09 Carroll (Kuyt – 103′)

Substitutes

  • 32 Doni
  • 23 Carragher
  • 34 Kelly
  • 11 Maxi
  • 20 Spearing
  • 18 Kuyt
  • 39 Bellamy
Media from Youtube user: PearsAndStairs. All photographs taken by myself.