City came from behind with a strong second half display to beat Bournemouth.
The Bluebirds came from behind with a strong second half performance to secure a win in their pre-season friendly against AFC Bournemouth on drizzley Tuesday night in Dorset.
An end to end first saw the home side take the lead after 37 minutes when Josh Wakefield slotted home from a neat pass from Lewis Grabban. Cardiff piled on the pressure and were rewarded when Whittingham scored another goal from the top draw from outside the penalty area, calmly curling the ball, left foot in to the top right hand corner of the net.
The second half saw a much more dominant performance from the Championship outfit and new signing Heider Helguson gained the ball from a deflection for Cardiff's second goal and what proved to be the winner on the night.
Both sides entered this game on the back of decent pre-season results. The Cherries' drew 2-2 with Premier League outfit Reading last Saturday, while the Bluebirds had gained a 2-1 away win against Oxford United.
With the season openers drawing ever closer for both clubs, good performances here could prove to be very valuable. With this in mind the first chance of the game fell to Bournemouth after five minutes. A run from midfield by the cherries' number seven McDermott resulted in a shot on target from Harry Arter, though it caused little trouble for Joe Lewis in the Cardiff goal.
The next ten minutes were pretty even with the football being end to end. Both sides got forward but with neither side really creating any clear-cut chances. The strong City side started applying the pressure as the mid-point of the first half approached though; Conway drew a foul on the wide of the penalty area, but a quickly taken free kick by Taylor came to nothing. Only a minute later, Etien Velikonja had the ball stabbed away from him, as he was about to pull the trigger from five yards out. This was after the Slovakian international had produced a lovely turn in the build up.
City failed to build on this increased pressure with Bournemouth producing the next few chances. The first came from midfielder Harry Arter, his shot from 20 yards crept agonisingly wide of Lewis' left hand post. Bournemouth then worked the ball from the back, patiently playing the ball slowly up the field. The ball eventually made its way to McDermott on the edge of the City penalty area. The final product was lacking with a tame shot directly to the Cardiff stopper.
Cardiff did venture into the Bournemouth half and had a free kick in a central position, thirty yards from the Bournemouth goal. This was in Whittingham territory, but he could only muster a ball into the box that eluded Turner at the back post. However, it was still Bournemouth creating the more threatening chances and on thirty-four minutes it took a last ditched tackle from Turner to deflect the ball off Grabban for a goal kick. Without the intervention it would more than likely have been 1-0 to the Cherries, with Grabban having only the Cardiff goalkeeper to beat.
The Bournemouth pressure finally paid off in the thirty-seventh minute with a goal from the Bournemouth number four Josh Wakefield. Again, Grabban was involved in play this time in a central position. He slotted a ball through the middle of the City defence and was met by the run of Wakefield, who calmly struck the ball into the corner of the Cardiff net.
Goal: AFC Bournemouth 1-0 Cardiff City (Wakefield, 37)
Cardiff immediately went looking for a reply and seemed to find an extra couple of gears. Only a couple of minutes later Whittingham had seen his shot take a slight deflection and go wide of Flahavan's left post, though nothing came of the resulting corner.
It's often said that a side is at its most vulnerable after scoring a goal and this could not have been truer at the Goldsands Stadium. After receiving the ball out wide right, McNaughton held the ball up and squared it to the waiting Whittingham. With his left foot he hit a sweet curling strike into the top right corner. The Bournemouth keeper Flahavan could only admire the effort as it sailed into the back of the net.
Goal: AFC Bournemouth 1-1 Cardiff City (Whittingham, 40)
The half ended lively with both teams trying to get a second goal before the half time break. The best chance of the final five minutes of the first half fell to the Cherries with a bouncing ball being delicately hit over Joe Lewis by Wakefield, however he could only manage to direct it past the far post. A draw was a fair reflection on a pretty even first half between the two teams.
Half Time: AFC Bournemouth 1-1 Cardiff City
The second half saw the visitors starting much brighter and substitute Filip Kiss was immediately in the action being penalised for one of his now trademark hard challenges. The first exchanges saw the Bluebirds strike a few balls into the opposition penalty area but with no reward. City then had claims for a penalty turned down by referee Davies after a ball struck across the area was deflected off a defender and by what City players and fans thought was the defender's arm. The referee did not agree and play carried on.
The failed penalty claim was soon forgotten, as only a few minutes later a strong shot fired by Filip Kiss was deflected away from target only for it to drop for Heider Helguson to fire home Cardiff's second goal of the night - and his first in Cardiff colours.
The pressure didn't stop there with Cardiff really gaining a foothold in the second half. With the Bluebirds still searching to go forward, Velikonja won a free kick in a promising position on the edge of the penalty area. Joe Ralls' resulting free kick brought a corner, though ultimately it ended with nothing. The hour mark saw the introduction of Robert Earnshaw. He looked sharp from the outset and caused problems for the Bournemouth back four and in the sixty-third minute, Earnie fired a shot goal bound only for it to be tipped over the bar by Flahavan.
The latter stages of the half saw little in the terms of great chances, but saw the strong City line-up dominate play against their lower league opposition. A header wide from Jarvis and another shot from Earnshaw were as close as we came to a Cardiff goal down on the Dorset coast. The last ten minutes inevitably did see the Bournemouth intensity rise as they searched for an equaliser, but it was to be with no reward as the City defence dealt with all threats with relative comfort. One point blank save late on from substitute keeper Parish ensured a Cardiff City win in their penultimate pre-season friendly.
Full Time: AFC Bournemouth 1-2 Cardiff City
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