REPORT | LATE CITY WINNER DEFEATS WOLVES AT CCS
Matthew Connolly's header and Anthony Pilkington's late winner turned things around as Cardiff City beat Wolves 2-1 in a crunch clash at CCS.
WANDERERS TAKE THE LEAD
After winning an early free-kick, the visitors took the lead after only two minutes. The ball fell to defender Matt Doherty, who struck a fierce drive towards goal from distance, which proved too powerful to be stopped. City’s best opportunity to reply fell to skipper Sean Morrison, whose header from a free kick went just over the crossbar.
Appeals for a penalty were waved away five minutes before the break, with Aron Gunnarsson’s shot striking an opposing defender, with the Icelandic midfielder calling for a handball. Despite City’s best efforts, the Bluebirds went in behind at the break.
BLUEBIRDS BOSS SECOND PERIOD
The Bluebirds began the second half in determined fashion, following the introduction of Craig Noone and Kenneth Zohore. A curling effort from the winger forced a smart save from young Wolves keeper Harry Burgoyne, with Peter Whittingham’s resulting corner coming close. Minutes later, an acrobatic effort from Zohore was inches away from the top corner, with the Cardiff crowd sensing that an equaliser could be on the way. The energised Noone, who looked menacing from his introduction, came close once more with a low effort that zipped past the far post.
City’s deserved leveller came in the sixty-eighth minute, thanks to Matthew Connolly. A trademark Whittingham corner found it’s intended target on the penalty spot, with Connolly doing the honours to bag his first of the season. Wolves almost regained the lead instantly, but a wonderful reflex save from Ben Amos denied midfielder George Saville from close range.
A succession of Cardiff corners saw the home side almost take the lead, with a Gunnarsson flick-on proving the best chance. Wolves’ Saville had another attempt on goal with five minutes remaining, although it was well held by Amos.
In the dying stages, City grabbed the valuable three points with an excellent flowing move, finished off by Pilkington. The influential Zohore held up a long pass, before striding forward with the ball, avoiding the Wolves defenders. He passed left to the unmarked Pilkington, who fired into the bottom corner, before being mobbed by his teammates.
A professional final few minutes saw the Bluebirds see out the Wolves pressure, calmly controlling play in the Wanderers half. Despite a final flourish from the visitors, City held on for a vital win, moving up to nineteenth place, ahead of the visit of Barnsley on Saturday.
FULL TIME: CARDIFF CITY 2-1 WOLVES
Cardiff City: Amos, Peltier, Manga, Morrison, Connolly, Whittingham (Ralls ’88), Gunnarsson, Richardson (Noone ’46), Hoilett, Immers (Zohore ’46), Pilkington.
Subs not used: Wilson, Bennett, Harris, Lambert.
Wolverhampton Wanderers: Burgoyne, Doherty, Stearman, Batth, Iorfa, Saville, Saiss, Costa (Teixeira ’46), Edwards, Cavaleiro (Enobakhare ’66), Dicko (Bodvarsson.’76).
Subs not used: Flatt, Hause, Coady, Price.