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MATCH REPORTS

PUBLISHED
06:30 17th July 2013
By  Steve Garland

STOKE 0-0 CARDIFF

Cardiff City claimed another vital Barclays Premier League point with a hard fought 0-0 draw at the Britannia Stadium.

On a brisk evening in the Potteries, goalkeepers proved vital for both sides as Asmir Begovic and David Marshall kept the scorers at bay in a tie where chances came few and far between.

Jordon Mutch was denied a near post header by the Bosnian International in first-half before Declan John, back in the side for his second Premier League appearance of his career, saw his effort denied by Begovic in stoppage time.

City boss Malky Mackay made two changes to the side that faced Arsenal at Cardiff City Stadium on Saturday. Full-back John comes in for Andrew Taylor while Aron Gunnarsson replaced Kim Bo Kyung in midfield.

And there was early promise for the Bluebirds as Mutch, fresh from celebrating his 22nd birthday, drove through the midfield before seeing his effort deflect wide for the corner; Ben Turner rose highest from it, sending his header just wide of the far post.

With a quarter of an hour gone it was a keenly contested affair, Cardiff enjoying a good spell that ended in Kevin Theophile-Catherine picking out Campbell in the area, only for the frontman to be denied by Potters defender Marc Wilson.

The Potters were threatening most when going direct; on-loan Liverpool midfielder Oussama Assaidi put through on goal after the half hour mark only for Marshall to do enough to block and Steven Caulker to clear.

With five first-half minutes to go, Mutch provided a first stern test to Begovic's goal with a near post header from a Cowie corner, only for the outstretched Stoke stopper to deny him and Cardiff the lead.

Just seconds from time Stoke had the ball in the net, only to see it ruled out for offside; Geoff Cameron providing the finish to a Crouch head down only to look up and see the linesman's flag aloft. It saw both teams go in to the break on level terms.

Half Time: Stoke City 0-0 Cardiff City

The break saw the Potters make one change as the injured Erik Pieters was replaced by Marc Muniesa at left-back.

There was early efforts from both sides as Campbell sent a header wide before Marko Arnautovic sent his volley over the bar for the home side. The Bluebirds were soon appealing for a penalty as Campbell fell to the ground after a clash with Wilson on the edge of the penalty area - Michael Oliver waved away appeals.

Campbell was on the floor again on the hour mark after an altercation with the Potters' defensive wall as the Bluebirds' prepared for a Whittingham free-kick. After much discussion Referee Michael Oliver booked both Crouch and the Cardiff frontman.

Whittingham was proving instrumental in every Cardiff attack, his free-kick twenty minutes from time flicked on before Campbell and then Cowie tried but failed to turn their shots goalwards.

Malky introduced Peter Odemwingie into proceedings in place of Campbell with just over ten minutes to go, but it was time for the Bluebirds to dig in as the home side pushed for the winner.

Potters substitute Stephen Ireland brought fresh impetus for Mark Hughes' side, Theophile-Catherine doing well to clear his low cross ten minutes from time before Adam sent his shot wide twenty minutes from time before being denied by Marshall two minutes from time.

Declan John almost stole it for the Bluebirds in stoppage time with his late strike, but a Begovic save ensured that both sides would take a share of the spoils.

Full Time: Stoke City 0-0 Cardiff City

Teams - Cardiff City: Marshall, Caulker (C), Turner, Whittingham, Medel, Campbell (Odemwingie 77), Gunnarsson, Mutch, Cowie, Theophile-Catherine, John. Subs not used: Lewis; Connolly, Hudson, Cornelius, Kim, Noone.

Stoke City: Begovic; Cameron, Shawcross (c), Wilson, Pieters (Muniesa 45); Arnautovic, Nzonzi, Whelan (ireland 65), Adam, Assaidi; Crouch. Subs not used: Sorensen, Pennant, Palacios, Jones, Walters.

Attendance: 25,014 (Britannia Stadium)