Peter Whittingham's fine free-kick was cancelled out by Daniel Pudil's second half strike as City recorded a 1-1 home draw with Sheffield Wednesday.
The match was preceded by a touching tribute upon the fiftieth anniversary of the Aberfan disaster. A minute's silence was impeccably observed by all at Cardiff City Stadium, while City and Owls players wore black armbands for the game.
The result saw the Bluebirds remain unbeaten under Neil Warnock, following Friday's Severnside Derby victory.
HE DOES WHAT HE WANTS
City began at a blistering pace and Rickie Lambert intelligently forced a save from Sheffield Wednesday’s Keiren Westwood from the kick off. The Bluebirds striker then connected with the resulting corner but could not direct his effort goalwards.
With the clock approaching ten minutes, Aron Gunnarsson controlled Lambert’s flick well before driving purposefully towards the Owls goal only to be brought down just outside the penalty area. Peter Whittingham stepped up and majestically curled the ball past Westwood to give City the lead in trademark style.
Neil Warnock’s men were playing some excellent football around the edge of the Owls penalty area. Just before the half-hour mark, Lambert controlled a trademark Gunnarsson long throw before firing a powerful volley just over the bar. Seconds later, Junior Hoilett showed a great turn of pace to skip past Wednesday’s Liam Palmer but he saw his shot well blocked by the Owls defence. Within a minute, Wednesday suffered a big blow when they lost Westwood to an injury and he was replaced by Cameron Dawson between the posts.
END TO END
With the minutes ticking down until half time, Wednesday had their best chance of the game so far. A well worked corner freed Gary Hooper in the City area, but his effort was expertly saved by Ben Amos in the City goal. Minutes later, Wednesday’s Kieran Lee was brought down by City captain Sean Morrison on the edge of the box. Fortunately for the Bluebirds, midfielder Almen Abdi could not replicate Whittingham’s earlier strike and his effort sailed harmlessly over.
City had the last word in the half however and very nearly doubled their advantage in stoppage time. A Whittingham corner was swung in and and met by Sol Bamba. The Wednesday defence failed to clear and Morrison’s goal-bound follow up was cleared off the line.
The impressive Hoilett had the first significant chance of the second period when he once more outpaced his marker before firing a shot that was well held by substitute ‘keeper Dawson. With ten minutes of the half played, the Owls wrestled their way back into the contest. Reach fed Hooper who, in turn, fired a low delivery across the box that the City defence failed to deal with. It was met at the back post by Daniel Pudil who drilled the ball past Amos - the keeper got a hand to it but was unable to stop the ball nestling in the back of the net.
THE SPOILS SHARED
Shortly after the goal, the Owls had a chance to take the lead, Ross Wallace received the ball from Forestieri and smashed his shot just over the cross bar. Wednesday were growing in confidence now and penning the Bluebirds back in their own half.
City were working hard to get back on top and with twenty minutes remaining, Whittingham sent in another tantalising corner. Morrison challenged for the ball but appeared to be held back. The referee wasn’t convinced, however, and waved away the vociferous appeals for a penalty.
Back came Wednesday and Amos had to be on his toes to clear the ball with substitute Will Buckley bearing down on him. Shortly after, the City ‘keeper was in action again, keeping out Forestieri’s effort from the edge of area.
With the game entering injury time, the Bluebirds thought they had found the winner when Hoilett turned in Morrison’s knock down, but the effort was disallowed for offside. City were definitely the team going for the win and a Pilkington strike from outside the box was headed out for a corner. Pilks then headed over from the resulting delivery and that proved to be the last act of an entertaining contest at CCS.
FINAL SCORE: CARDIFF CITY 1-1 SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY
Scorers: Whittingham 9’, Pudil 55’.
Cardiff City: Amos, Peltier, Morrison, Bamba, Bennett, Whittingham (O’Keefe 85’), Gunnarsson, Ralls, Noone (Pilkington 61’), Hoilett Lambert (Chamakh 62’).
Subs not used: Wilson, Connolly, Richardson, Harris.
Sheffield Wednesday: Westwood (Dawson 32’), Palmer, Lee, Lees, Pudil, Hutchinson, Jones, Reach, Wallace (Buckley 75’), Abdi (Forestieri 45’), Hooper,
Subs not used: Loovens, Emanuelson, Hunt, Nuhui.