The Bluebirds played out a goalless draw with Severnside rivals Bristol City at Cardiff City Stadium.
Bristol City had the first chance of the match as a corner was cleared out to Marlon Pack, and the midfielder whipped the ball back in towards Aaron Wilbraham. The skipper’s header was comfortably saved by David Marshall though, while Sean Morrison was also on hand to clear another inviting cross away.
However, Aron Gunnarsson’s fiery determination in the centre of the pitch was helping to put the Bluebirds in the ascendency. While Craig Noone and Joe Mason both had chances to test Frank Fielding, City’s best opportunity came just before the half hour mark as Matthew Connolly saw his bullet header from a corner fly just past the post.
In a well-fought contest at Cardiff City Stadium, the visitors were next to threaten as the lively Jonathan Kodjia controlled Pack’s lofted pass superbly before firing wide of Marshall’s left post.
MARSHALL’S SAVE… AND A BIG ANNOUNCEMENT
City's number one was then the only thing stopping the visitors from taking the lead in controversial circumstances. With Gunnarsson down injured, Steve Cotterill's men counter-attacked with pace, but the Scotland international pulled off a sensational one-handed save to keep Kodjia's free header out.
Prior to the sides coming out for the second half, the Club were delighted to announce that a benefit match for former Bluebird Kevin McNaughton will take place in 2016. Superkev himself took to the pitch, before making his way to the Canton Stand to watch the second half.
DERBY DAY DRAW
After the interval, City twice came close to breaking the deadlock through Mason. The young striker was stretching the visitors' back line, but was unable to turn two low crosses goalwards. Meanwhile, Luke Freeman tested Marshall from distance at the other end before Joe Bryan’s header was deflected wide.
As the match entered the final third, chances continued to fall, with both sides exploiting space down the flanks. City brought on Sammy Ameobi in an attempt to take full advantage, and the winger added plenty of creativity to the mix, leading to another opportunity for Mason.
The Robins then carved out a flurry of openings late on, as Marshall tipped Bryan’s effort onto the post before Kodjia, who tapped the rebound home, was ruled offside. Elliott Bennett also crashed a half-volley against the woodwork, before Ameobi had the best opportunity to win it for City. When Joe Ralls hit a low cross into the box, the Newcastle loanee looked certain to score, but sent his side-footed effort wide, to leave an eventful encounter goalless.
FINAL SCORE: CARDIFF CITY 0-0 BRISTOL CITY
Cardiff City: Marshall; Peltier, Morrison, Connolly, Fábio; Noone (Ameobi 67), Dikgacoi (Ralls 51), Gunnarsson, Whittingham; Mason, Revell (Pilkington 82).
Subs not used: Moore, Tamas, Malone, O’Keefe.
Bristol City: Fielding; Bennett, Ayling, Flint, Baker (Bryan 25), Williams; Pack, Smith, Freeman; Wilbraham, Kodjia.
Subs not used: Hamer, Little, Moore, Reid, Cox, Agard.