Cardiff City secured a 3-2 victory against Blackpool in their final home match of 2014/15.
Russell Slade made two changes from the side that started against Millwall a week ago with Fabio and Matthew Kennedy coming in for Scott Malone and Peter Whittingham, who missed out on this occasion through injury.
Before the game a minute’s silence was impeccably observed in memory of the 56 Bradford and Lincoln fans that lost their lives in the fire disaster of 30 years ago.
Bright opening half
The first chance fell to Cardiff when Kennedy’s testing cross was turned behind by Tangerines captain Peter Clarke after good build-up play. Blackpool responded with a chance of their own 10 minutes in when Henry Cameron headed Charles Dunne’s floated cross over.
Joe Mason then opened the scoring for the home side with his first Bluebirds goal of the campaign. Strike partner Eoin Doyle did well in the centre of the park and his one-two with Noone set him free down the right side. The Irishman squared it to Mason who was able to turn it home at the second attempt much to the delight of the home fans.
Shortly afterwards Joe Ralls was replaced, due to injury, with Stuart O’Keefe coming on against his former loan side. Excellent City build-up play saw Fabio open on the left and his cross-come-shot beat former Cardiff City stopper Elliot Parish but not the crossbar.
On the half-hour mark Russell Slade’s side were awarded a spot-kick for Henry Cameron’s trip on Aron Gunnarsson. Eoin Doyle stepped up, in place of regular penalty taker Peter Whittingham, to slot home his 3rd goal of the season in Cardiff City colours.
Blackpool hit back
Half-time substitute Andrea Orlandi made an immediate impact early in the second period, cutting in from the right and firing low past David Marshall to pull a goal back for the bottom-side.
Craig Noone’s surging run caused problems for the Tangerines but his cross was just behind Mason who couldn’t get it out of his feet to strike at goal cleanly after an hour. The home side were on top and had the majority of possession and chances throughout. Sean Morrison had a perfect opportunity to restore Cardiff’s two-goal lead but he headed wide from Noone’s free-kick.
Chances were few and far between for a Blackpool side who hadn’t won away from Bloomfield Road all season. Jamie O’Hara tried his luck from long-range but it wasn’t to be. Second-half sub Anthony Pilkington came closer from similar range but his swerving shot was held by Parish.
Fifteen minutes from time the Bluebirds were awarded another penalty. This time for Miles Addison’s push on Mason. Doyle stepped up once more and sent Parish the wrong way for the second time to make it three on the afternoon for home team.
Peter Clarke, playing upfront for the second-half, had a chance as the clock approached 90 minutes but his volley at the far post fell kindly for David Marshall in the Cardiff goal.
Blackpool grabbed a second in injury time thanks to defender-turned-striker Peter Clarke. Good link up from O’Hara and Orlandi following a throw lead to the ball being put into a good area and the Blackpool skipper was on hand to turn it home.
Cardiff City now travel to Nottingham Forest in their final league game on Saturday, 2nd May – with a top half finish still in sight.
FULL-TIME: CARDIFF CITY 3-2 BLACKPOOL (Mason, 19, Doyle, 31 & 75; Orlandi 48, Clarke, 90)
Cardiff City: Marshall ©, Peltier, Fabio, Ecuele Manga, Noone (Pilkington, 70), Doyle, Gunnarsson, Ralls (O’Keefe, 22), Mason (Maynard, 85), Kennedy, Morrison. Subs not used: Moore, Turner, Gabbidon, Harris.
Blackpool: Parish, Maher, Perkins, Clarke ©, Addison, Dunne, Cubero (Orlandi, 45), Madine (O’Dea, 48), O’Hara, Cameron, Osayi-Samuel (Telford, 45). Subs not used: Boney, Oliver, Ferguson, Higham.
Attendance: 26,357 (282 Away)
Referee: Stephen Martin