The Bluebirds secured a 2-0 win over Reading to overtake their opponents at Cardiff City Stadium.
CITY DISPLAY CREATIVE SPARK
After a minute’s silence in remembrance at Cardiff City Stadium, the Bluebirds kicked off against the visiting Reading, with Kenwyne Jones regaining a starting berth following his injury lay-off.
While the Royals had some early territory, City soon began to carve out opportunities in the opening fifteen minutes. Former Reading man Sean Morrison went close with his header from a corner, before Craig Noone twice cut in from the right to take a shot at goal.
Noone was looking to be the Bluebirds’ main attacking outlet and, after Aron Gunnarsson’s tackle, broke forward to feed Joe Mason. The young striker’s touch took him too far wide of Al-Habsi’s goal though, as City began to up the ante.
BLUEBIRDS BREAK THE DEADLOCK
On the half hour mark, Noone once again showed a turn of pace to breeze into the box. The winger looked certain to score as he opened his body up, but Al-Habsi got down well to keep out his low effort.
Five minutes before the whistle, David Marshall pulled off an excellent save to keep the scores level. Reading broke after Gunnarsson had slipped to surrender possession in the attacking third and, once the Royals had spread the ball to Nick Blackman, his driven shot was expertly parried by the home ‘keeper.
City were to take full advantage before half-time, winning a free-kick outside the box. With Peter Whittingham absent through suspension, Joe Ralls curled the ball in, and Jones rose highest to head into the bottom corner. While Orlando Sá and Oliver Norwood both looked to equalise, Keith Stroud called an end to the half with the score 1-0.
SLADE'S MEN GO TWO AHEAD
City fans didn’t have to wait long to see another goal after the interval. On fifty-three minutes the Bluebirds swung in a corner-kick from the left, and Matthew Connolly was next to show his aerial threat, heading in against his former side to double City’s advantage.
Blackman and Norwood both fired in dangerous efforts from distance for the visitors, while Noone continued to impress at the other end, threatening to extend City’s lead.
With fifteen minutes to go, Jones was replaced by Idriss Saadi, who came on for his Cardiff City début. The French forward almost made an instant impact, hounding the visiting defence into an error before testing Al-Habsi with a fine effort.
Chants of ‘Scotland’s number one’ were soon heard at CCS, as Marshall made three superb stops in the space of a minute. Those saves helped to preserve yet another clean sheet in the Welsh capital, as City secured the 2-0 win.
FINAL SCORE: CARDIFF CITY 2-0 READING
Scorers: Jones 44’, Connolly 53’
Cardiff City: Marshall, Peltier, Morrison, Connolly, Malone, Ralls, Gunnarsson, Pilkington (O'Keefe 87), Noone, Jones (Saadi 76), Mason (Ameobi 63).
Subs not used: Moore, Tamaș, Dikgacoi, Kennedy.
Reading: Al-Habsi, Gunter, Hector, Ferdinand, Taylor, Norwood, Fernandez (Williams 63), Blackman, John (Liburd 63), Sá, Vydra (Hurtado 76).
Subs not used: Bond, Obita, McCleary, Cooper.