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MATCH REPORTS

PUBLISHED
21:31 30th June 2015

RECORD CCS CROWD AS CITY BEAT DERBY


Bruno Manga and Stuart O'Keefe were on target as City defeated Play-Off rivals Derby County 2-1 in front of a record CCS crowd of 28,680. 

BRILLIANT BLUEBIRDS BEGINNING

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The Bluebirds were welcomed by a Cardiff City record crowd at CCS – a whopping 28,680 fans. Inspired by the rapturous applause, City burst into life, winning a corner almost instantly. The resulting cross was narrowly missed by Sean Morrison, as Cardiff launched onto the front foot. 

Stuart O’Keefe went on a bursting run into the box soon after, but couldn’t get his shot away. His midfield partner Joe Ralls also had a good opportunity to put City ahead. After a period of Cardiff pressure, the playmaker received the ball on the edge of the area, and flashed a powerful shot just wide of the goal. 

With thirty-seven minutes gone, the Bluebirds got the lead they thoroughly deserved. A superb Peter Whittingham corner was aimed towards Morrison in the box, but it was Bruno Ecuele Manga who made contact – powerfully heading into the top corner of the net, for his second consecutive CCS goal.


THE RAMS FIGHT BACK

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With plenty at stake, the game heated up, with the amount of passion on display reflected in some stern tackles. And with the half-time break enabling Derby to regain some energy, the Rams took full advantage - equalizing four minutes after the re-start. A dangerous Marcus Olsson cross was converted by County’s top scorer Chris Martin, despite the best efforts of the covering Manga.  

However, City almost hit back immediately, with Craig Noone denied by keeper Scott Carson. The winger raced through on goal, only to see his effort well saved by the ex-England stopper. As play developed, Lex Immers also came close. He couldn’t quite get on the end of another excellent Whittingham cross though. 

Carson was called into action once more near the hour mark, getting down well to prevent Scott Malone from finding the back of the net. With intense spells of possession in the Derby half, the Bluebirds were coming ever-closer to the crucial second goal.


O’KEEFE SECURES THE POINTS

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As the Bluebirds began to intensify their pressure, they soon cracked the Derby defence once more. From another brilliant Whittingham corner, the ball fell invitingly into the box. Morrison was unable to control it properly, as the ball bounced off him, but luckily fell into the path of Stuart O’Keefe. The Man-Of-The-Match turned and smashed home – to the delight of the City fans! 

As the game entered the final stages, Cardiff nearly added a third. The lively Noone raced towards the box, but saw his shot blocked. A succession of City crosses were well defended, as the Bluebirds added a final attacking flourish. 

In a desperate search for an equaliser, the Rams threw everything at the Cardiff back four. But despite the barrage of Derby pressure, the Bluebirds held out for a massive win, propelling them to within two points of County in 6th place.


FULL TIME: CARDIFF CITY 2 – 1 DERBY COUNTY

Scorers: Manga 37’, O’Keefe 68’ |
Martin 49’

Cardiff City: Marshall, Peltier, Ecuele Manga, Morrison, Malone, Noone (Lawrence 90’), O'Keefe (Dikgacoi 88’), Ralls, Whittingham, Pilkington (Gunnarsson 78’), Immers. 
Subs not used: Moore, Fabio, Gunnarsson, Ameobi, Zohore. 

Derby County: Carson, Bryson, Keogh, Martin, Shackell, Johnson, Butterfield (Blackman 82’), Ince, Hanson, Olsson, Thorne (Russell 76’). 
Subs not used: Grant, Christie, Buxton, Bent, Weimann.