REPORT - CHELTENHAM 1-1 CITY
City held to a 1-1 draw as Brayford makes bow as substituteCITY ‘s second pre-season game ended in a 1-1 draw with Cheltenham Town as new signing John Brayford made his Cardiff City bow as a second half substitute.
Having made the early running at their Whaddon Road home, Robins defender Troy Brown headed the home side infront in less than ten minutes, capitalising on some lapse marking to nod Steve Elliott’s flick-on into the back of the net.
The pressure quickly turned however as the Bluebirds quickly pushed for an equaliser, Kim Bo Kyung delivering it in the 26th minute as he fired hard and low into the bottom right hand corner of the net. The finish making the most of some lovely build-up play from Craig Bellamy on the right.
Boss Malky Mackay made a number of changes in the second-half, including the introduction of defender John Brayford as a 60th minute substitute as the sides battled out to an eventual 1-1 draw.
A different formation for Mackay’s side from their 4-3 win over Forest Green Rovers in the week started at Cheltenham’s Whaddon Road, a 4-5-1 for the Bluebirds offering a different look at City’s possible line-up for their Premier League opener v West Ham United on the 17th August.
But it was the home side who made the early running, perhaps benefitting from being further ahead in their pre-season schedule with their opening league fixture against Burton Albion just one-week away. Those preparations looked to be in full swing as Brown tapped home at the far post following a Steve Elliott flick-on from the corner.
The pressure quickly turned however; the Bluebirds quickly penned the home side back as they looked for the equaliser, but initial efforts saw them struggle to carve out a clear cut opening to make an instant response.
That equaliser finally came in the 26th minute, Kim Bo-Kyung firing an excellent strike into the bottom right hand corner of the net to convert a wonderful bit of guile and graft from Craig Bellamy who had momentarily switched to the right. Fraizer Campbell quickly had the ball back in the net just two minutes later only for the assistant referee to flag him offside.
City continued with their dominant possession play until the break; Matt Connolly picking up a lovely through ball from Campbell before shooting wide the closest City came to taking the lead. The home side continued to look neat and incisive as an attacking force themselves however; Terry Gornell’s late strike stinging the fingertips of David Marshall almost regained the hosts the lead.
Half time: Cheltenham Town 1-1 Cardiff City
Four changes for City at the interval saw Craig Conway, Tommy Smith, Nicky Marnard and Andreas Cornelius enter the fray replacing Kim Bo Kyung, Fraizer Campbell, Craig Noone, and Craig Bellamy.
With the changes came the arrival of your typical pre-season affair, with very few chances being created by either side in the early stages; Cornelius coming the closest early on as his first-touch of the ball landed just over the bar as he nodded on Taylor’s cross.
In fact it was the home side who had the ball in the net next. Troy Brown headed home before wheeling away to celebrate a second of the match, only to see the assistant referee stop him in his tracks as he ruled the goal out for offside.
Ashley Vincent was next to come close for the hosts, driving an effort over the bar before City made another host of substitutions. This time Brayford came on for his Cardiff City bow alongside Kevin McNaughton and Don Cowie, Connolly, Hudson and Mutch made way with 60 minutes on the clock.
Half-time replacement Maynard showed his first glimpse of involvement as he linked up well with strike partner Cornelius before sending his effort just over the bar soon after. Simon Lappin, Ben Nugent and Joe Ralls soon came on in the 66th minute, replacing Peter Whittingham, Ben Turner and Taylor.
Cornelius was the next to test the Robins’ stopper Brown from a free-kick with just ten minutes to go in the game, an acrobatic stop from the Cheltenham man keeping the scores level going into full-time.
FULL-TIME: Cheltenham Town 1-1 Cardiff City
Cheltenham Town: S Brown, T Brown, Elliott, Deering, Cureton (Harrison 69), Gornell (kotwica 86), Richards, Penn (C), Jombati, Vincent (McGlashan 69), Braham-Barrett (Lowe 78). Subs not used: Jones, Taylor, Roberts (GK), Hanks.
Cardiff City: Marshall, Connolly (Brayford 60), Taylor (Lappin 66), Kim (Maynard 45), Hudson (C) (McNaughton 60), Turner (Nugent 66), Whittingham (Ralls 66), Mutch (Cowie 60), Campbell (Cornelius 45), Bellamy (Conway 45), Noone (Smith 45). Subs not used: Lewis (GK), O’Sullivan.
FOR EXCLUSIVE MATCH HIGHLIGHTS SEE BELOW
Attendance: 2,561 (1,524 away) Whaddon Road, Cheltenham.