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CITY v STOKE: THE HISTORY

18 April 2014

Club historian Richard Shepherd looks back at ties between both clubs

Once upon a time Stoke (they became “City” in 1925) were a geographical oddity in the Southern League after resigning from the Football League for financial reasons in 1908. It was in Cardiff's very first professional season of 1910/11 that the Bluebirds first met them.

It was in the Second Division of the Southern League, and on December 27th 1910 Cardiff lost 5-0 at The Victoria Ground. They did the double over the Bluebirds that season, winning 2-1 at Ninian Park in mid-April 1911.

City's first Football League encounter came in 1920/21 in the old Second Division. The two games came in February 1921 – a rare home defeat for Cardiff (0-1 in a promotion-winning campaign) seen by 27,000 and a return 0-0 draw at the Victoria Ground. Cardiff's first-ever win against Stoke came in Division One on December 2nd 1922 when the Bluebirds won 2-1 at Ninian Park with goals from Jimmy Gill and Joe Clennell. Stoke went down that season Cardiff did not play them again until 1930/31 in Division Two.

That year, Cardiff lost 0-1 away but would go on to beat the Potters 3-2 at home with Irish International forward Jimmy McCambridge scoring a hat-trick. The club's respective paths did not then cross again until 1952/53 when both at top level (the old Division One). Big crowds were regular at Ninian Park that season, and 39,223 saw the Bluebirds beat Stoke 2-0 at home on September 27th 1952.

In the old Second Division from 1957/58 to 1959/60 City played Stoke six times, winning four, drawing one and losing just once. The draw was a remarkable 4-4 affair at Ninian Park during the promotion season of ‘59/60 and was notable for a brilliant diving header by Derek Tapscott (Pictured top).

When City played Stoke in Division Two at Ninian Park on November 24th 1962, they included the legendary former England winger Stanley Matthews who had returned to them from Blackpool a year earlier – he was then aged 47. The 1-1 draw was the last time that Cardiff would play them at home for fifteen years until the 1977/78 season when Phil Dwyer and Peter Sayer scored in a 2-0 win on November 9th 1977 in Division Two.

The 2001/02 season saw the two sides meet in the Second Division Play-Off semi-final, Cardiff winning the first leg 2-1 away with goals from Robert Earnshaw and Leo Fortune-West. But Stoke won the second leg 2-0 at Ninian Park after extra-time. Following The Bluebirds' return to the second tier (now The Championship) in 2003, the two sides met ten times over the next five seasons. The match at The Britannia Stadium on December 6th 2003 saw former Stoke forward Peter Thorne score a hat-trick in a 3-2 win for the Bluebirds.

The most recent league visit from Stoke before Saturday's encounter came on August 11th 2007 when they were 1-0 winners at Ninian Park in front of 18,240. City's  line-up that day was:-
Ross Turnbull, Kevin McNaughton, Tony Capaldi, Gavin Rae, Roger Johnson, Glen Loovens, Trevor Sinclair, Warren Feeney (sub. Paul Parry), Steve McLean, Steve McPhail (sub. Peter Whittingham), Joe Ledley. Subs not used – Michael Oakes, Darren Purse, Chris Gunter.


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