Cardiff City shared the spoils at Craven Cottage on Saturday, drawing 1-1 against Fulham.
The hosts dominated the first 45 minutes and were deservedly ahead at the break when Tim Hoogland glanced home Ross McCormack’s dangerous cross.
City levelled after 55 minutes as Kenwyne Jones slotted in his fourth of the season following some good work from Mats Møller Dæhli. Neither side were able to find a winner in an end-to-end final half hour though, as Cardiff returned to South Wales with a hard earned point.
Ole Gunnar Solskjær made ten changes from the side that safely secured City’s passage into the third round of the Capital One Cup on Tuesday with midfielder Kagisho Dikgacoi maintaining his position and starting his first Sky Bet Championship match for Cardiff City. Federico Macheda took up a spot on the bench for this match following his debut double in midweek. The hosts picked up their first win of the season at Brentford in the League Cup on Tuesday.
Home captain Scott Parker had the first real shot at goal in this match after three minutes. The swashbuckling midfielder drove forward with the ball before trying his luck with a right footed strike from twenty-yards that drifted just wide of David Marshall’s right hand post. Former Bluebirds striker Ross McCormack was next to attempt to test his fellow Scotland International Marshall but the forward failed to hit the target with a curling effort from just inside the penalty area.
A lively start to the match saw both teams threaten in the opening 15 minutes. Fulham fullback Konstantinos Stafylidis showed a calm head when threatened by Anthony Pilkington’s through ball, clearing under pressure from imposing City forward Kenwyne Jones.
Felix Magath’s side continued to look dangerous and they took the lead in this match after 22 minutes. The City defence initially charged Ross McCormack’s corner down with Scott Parker immediately finding the former City forward again. McCormack’s second cross found defender Tim Hoogland who glanced his header past Marshall to give the home team a one goal advantage.
GOAL: FULHAM 1-0 CARDIFF CITY (Hoogland, 22 minutes)
The Cottagers continued to threat, and almost scored an incredible second goal after 27 minutes. Ross McCormack’s set pieces were continuing to cause problems, with the forward almost hitting the back of the net with a corner kick, Cardiff keeper Marshall pushing the ball to safety much to the relief of the watching 3,000 Bluebirds fans.
Cardiff top-scorer Kenwyne Jones had his first sight of goal after 45 minutes, but the Trinidad and Tobago forward dragged his shot just wide of goal as Ole’s team went in a goal behind at the break against a rejuvenated Fulham side.
HALF TIME: FULHAM 1-0 CARDIFF CITY
Ole’s side could easily have been two goals behind after 52 minutes as Fulham captain Parker ran through on goal. The midfielder’s left footed strike was well saved by Marshall, with young forward Cauley Woodrow striking the rebound well over the crossbar. This good opportunity was punished three minutes later as Cardiff equalised, a little against the run of play.
Trinidad & Tobago striker Kenwyne Jones scored three goals in the first two games of the season and added a fourth goal of the campaign after 59 minutes. Creative midfielder MatsDæhli found the target-man in space in the opposition penalty box with a delicate pass, with Jones slotting the ball under Bettenelli to level the match before the hour mark.
GOAL: FULHAM 1-1 CARDIFF CITY (Kenwyne Jones, 55 mins)
Substitution, Cardiff City: Kagisho Dikgacoi replaced by Joe Ralls (59 minutes)
Substitutions, Fulham: Cauley Woodrow replaced by Adil Chihi (59 minutes)
City shot stopper Marshall continued to be a thorn in the side of lively Cottagers forward McCormack. The former Cardiff forward alongside Parker controlled the flow of possession for his team but despite his best efforts couldn’t find a way past Marshall. Ole Gunnar Solskjær introduced forward Federico Macheda for the final twenty minutes at Craven Cottage hoping the former Manchester United man could recreate the impressive goal-scoring touch he has shown in midweek against Port Vale.
Substitution, Cardiff City: Adam Le Fondre replaced by Federico Macheda (70 minutes)
Substitutions, Fulham: Chris David replaced by Moussa Dembélé (75 minutes)
The Fulham players were incensed with ten minutes to play as referee James Adcock pulled the game back as they looked to break with Peter Whittingham taking the impact of the ball to the face from McCormack.
Substitution, Cardiff City:Mats Møller Dæhli replaced by Magnus Wolff Wikrem (82 minutes)
Substitutions, Fulham: Scott Parker replaced by Thomas Eisfeld (82 minutes)
Marshall frustrated the home attack throughout the day and even got involved in the defensive aspect, dispossessing Moussa Dembélé near the corner flag as the forward tried to break clear.
Joe Ralls impressed once more when captaining the young Welsh Capital side to victory at Port Vale on Tuesday, scoring a superb goal in the process. The young midfielder’s thirty-yard shot was well held by Marcus Bettinelli with three minutes left to play at Craven Cottage.
Jordon Mutch’s last minute wonder goal sealed victory for Cardiff in this fixture last season but it was almost the hosts who won all three points when Hoogland’s shot from distance deflected off Anthony Pilkington with the lopping effort falling just wide of goal. Sean Morrison had the last chance to seal a victory, but he couldn’t get a clean connection on Whittingham’s corner as this competitive match ended level.
FULL TIME: FULHAM 1-1 CARDIFF CITY
Fulham: Bettinelli, Hoogland, Stafylidis, Bodurov, Parker (Eisfeld, 82), Voser, Woodrow, (Chihi, 59) Hyndman, David (Dembélé, 75), Burn, McCormack. Subs not used: Király, Hutchinson, Roberts, Williams.
Cardiff City: Marshall, Brayford, Fábio, Connolly, Morrison, Whittingham, Dikgacoi (Ralls, 59), Pilkington, Dæhli (Eikrem, 82), Le Fondre (Macheda, 70), Jones. Subs not used: Moore, Cala, Adeyemi, Guerra.
Referee: James Adcock