Cardiff City returned to winning ways on Wednesday night, defeating Huddersfield Town under the floodlights at CCS.
Neil Warnock made four changes to the side that started against Reading over the weekend, featuring returns for Lee Peltier, Josh Murphy, Gavin Whyte and Lee Tomlin.
Murphy nearly marked his return to the starting XI with a goal inside the first minute, as his curled effort from the edge of the box was tipped over the bar by Kamil Grabara.
The Bluebirds looked comfortable on the ball as they passed well in the midfield during the opening plays of the match. Joe Ralls and Tomlin working to keep control in the centre of the pitch.
Gavin Whyte won a free-kick shortly after the 20-minute mark, having been fouled following a slick run down the right wing. The ball flew into the box and was met by Robert Glatzel, who sent the ball agonisingly close, over the crossbar.
Glatzel made a nuisance of himself at the top end of the pitch throughout the first half, winning aerial duels against Huddersfield’s back line and looking to intercept any stray balls that came his way. On the half hour mark the striker laid the ball back to Tomlin just inside the area, who struck the ball powerfully but wide of his target.
Alex Smithies made a fine stop at the other end minutes later, denying a close range shot by Jonathan Hogg, diving low and to his right. The ‘keeper controlled City’s box well, getting on the end of many high balls that flew into the area.
Joe Ralls put the Bluebirds ahead with less than five minutes remaining before the interval, netting his second goal of the season. The midfielder took advantage of a loose ball at the edge of the six yard box, and curled home an effort that flew into the top right corner. City nearly doubled their lead twice before the half was out, as Glatzel’s header crept just wide of the post and Joe Bennett’s shot from six yards out flew over the bar.
Despite a dominant first half for the home side, they were pegged back quickly after the restart. Trevoh Chalobah equalising for the visitors with less than five minutes played following half-time, with a low driven shot into the corner of the net. City almost responded immediately, but Glatzel’s shot drifted wide from the edge of the area. The German striker once again threatened before the hour mark, but his shot from a tight angle was tipped wide by Grabora, keeping both sides level.
Chances were few and far between for the majority of the second half, as City looked to regain their lead against the Terriers, but faced stiff opposition. It felt like that third goal of the match was never going to come, with even the woodwork making an impact. Substitute Omar Bogle struck the crossbar with ten minutes of normal time remaining, and Leandro Bacuna’s ranged effort flew high and wide.
The breakthrough for City finally came in the form of substitute Junior Hoilett. The Canadian winger – who had been brought on to replace Tomlin – received a terrific through ball from Murphy and took his shot well, deflecting off a defender and past Grabara with just two minutes of the 90 remaining.
Neil Warnock's side had once again secured three points at CCS, and now look ahead towards Saturday's away fixture against Blackburn Rovers.
FINAL SCORE: CARDIFF CITY 2-1 HUDDERSFIELD TOWN
Cardiff City: Smithies, Peltier, Bennett, Morrison, Flint, Bacuna, Ralls, Glatzel (Bogle 75’), Murphy, Tomlin (Hoilett 75’), Whyte (Vaulks 90’). Subs not used: Day, Vassell, Nelson, Brown.
Huddersfield Town: Grabara, Elphick, Kongolo, Hogg, Chalobah (Bacuna 75’), Grant, Van La Parra (Campbell 84’), Mbenza (Diakhaby 73’), Pritchard, Schindler, Hadergjonaj. Subs not used: Schofield, Kachunga, Brown, O’Brien.
Report: Tomos Hopkins