Cardiff City returned to winning ways in their first home match of the new season, as goals from Peter Whittingham and a Kenwyne Jones double consigned manager-less Huddersfield Town to a 3-1 defeat. Murray Wallace had the visitor’s reply just before half-time, but the Bluebirds’ lead was rarely troubled.
Cardiff City manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær handed a first start to midfielder Tom Adeyemi as the Bluebirds made eleven changes to their mid-week line-up for the Capital One Cup win at Coventry City. New signing Sean Morrison, the defender who arrived from Reading on Friday, was named on the bench.
Huddersfield, who had parted company with manager Mark Robins after a crushing 4-0 defeat at home to AFC Bournemouth, were led by caretaker Mark Lillis, handed a debut to Jake Butterfield, who joined them from Middlesbrough this week. The Bluebirds had gone undefeated in their previous three matches against the Terriers, having won the last three home clashes against Huddersfield in all competitions.
Chronological Report: Guido Burgstaller, the Austrian midfielder making his league debut for the Bluebirds at Cardiff City Stadium, had the game’s first effort on goal after eleven minutes, but Terriers goalkeeper Alex Smithies made a comfortable stop. Burgstaller was involved again in City’s next move of intent as he burst along City’s right wing, but his low cross eluded Mats Dæhli and Kenwyne Jones. Jones then had a glorious chance to provide the opener minutes later when he was unable to connect with a dangerous Dæhli pass – any contact and Smithies would have been left stranded.
Cardiff, however, did take the lead with their next effort. Peter Whittingham, who collected the ball just beyond the centre-circle, turned on the spot and unleashed an unstoppable long-range drive that flew part Smithies and rippled the net. The goal had come out of nowhere.
GOAL: CARDIFF CITY 1-0 HUDDERSFIELD TOWN (Peter Whittingham 28’)
Huddersfield rallied, and Cardiff were slightly fortunate not to concede an equaliser when Nakhi Wells’ cross just after the half-hour went just beyond the reach of two Terriers attackers. But almost straight away Solskjær’s men were scoring again. After Smithies had saved Kenwyne Jones’ initial effort, the striker bundled the rebound across the line for his second Championship goal in as many games in 2014/15.
GOAL: CARDIFF CITY 2-0 HUDDERSFIELD TOWN (Kenwyne Jones 35’)
Huddersfield’s Polish striker Radoslaw Majewski came close to pulling one back just before half-time when the ball rolled to his feet on the edge of the penalty area, but he curled it wide with his left foot. Nonetheless, the away side did score in first-half injury-time, Murray Wallace finishing after David Marshall made a save.
GOAL: CARDIFF CITY 2-1 HUDDERSFIELD TOWN (Murray Wallace 45’)
HALF-TIME: CARDIFF CITY 2-1 HUDDERSFIELD TOWN
Adam le Fondre’s low drive was the first effort of note in the second half - Alex Smithies making a comfortable save, before David Marshall made a strong stop of his own from Majewski at the other end. Aron Gunnarsson replaced Guido Burgstaller in the game’s first substitution on fifty-five minutes, just before Kenwyne Jones was set up by Mats Dæhli to score his second of the game and make it 3-1. Dæhli had pounced on the loose ball after Tom Adeyemi’s shot was blocked, and the Norwegian teed up Jones, who beat the offside trap before clearing Smithies.
GOAL: CARDIFF CITY 3-1 HUDDERSFIELD TOWN (Kenwyne Jones 56’)
Huddersfield caretaker Mark Lillis replaced Radoslaw Majewski and Jonathan Hogg with Adam Hammill and Danny Ward on the hour.
Kenwyne then headed agonisingly wide in an opportunity for his hat-trick in the first passage of play after the substitutions, with the fans in the Canton Stand singing his name to the tune of Spandau Ballet’s Gold.
He almost scored again when Mats Dæhli's shot hit his back before being caught by Smithies. That was to be the last involvement for him, as he left the field for Javi Guerra to make his Cardiff City debut on sixty-eight minutes.
Nakhi Wells shot wide as the game entered its final twenty minutes, with Adam Hammill’s shot causing Marshall’s no problems a minute later. Harry Bunn came on for Jon Stead not long after Wells had hit the post in Huddersfield’s best chance since their first-half goal.
Magnus Eikrem replaced compatriot Dæhli in the game’s final substitution with ten minutes to go. An overhit backpass from Matt Connolly forced David Marshall to head clear in a brief moment of panic, before the defender opted wisely not to attempt a tackle on Harry Bunn as he bore down on Marshall, who tipped over.
The Bluebirds held on comfortably to collect their first win of the 2014/15 Sky Bet Championship season, much to the satisfaction of the Cardiff City Stadium faithful.
FULL-TIME: CARDIFF CITY 3-1 HUDDERSFIELD TOWN
Match Sponsor: MR HOMES
Cardiff City: Marshall, Brayford, Fabio, Hudson (capt), Whittingham, Jones (Javi Guerra), le Fondre, Connolly, Adeyemi, Dæhli (Eikrem), Burgstaller (Gunnarsson). Subs not used: Moore, Kim, Maynard, Morrison.
Goals: Whittingham 28, Jones 35, 55
Huddersfield Town: Smithies, Dixon, Hogg (Ward), Butterfield, Coady, Stead (Bunn), Wallace, Wells, Smith, Lynch (capt), Majewski (Hammill). Subs not used: Murphy, Scannell, Crooks, Sinnott.
Goals: Wallace 45
Referee: Mr. K. Hill