REPORT: CARDIFF CITY 2-2 SHEFF WED
Club News12th December
The Bluebirds and the Owls shared the spoils at Cardiff City Stadium on Saturday afternoon following a hard fought battle.
Russell Slade named an unchanged side from the team who beat Bolton Wanderers 3-2 last weekend. Before the game a minute’s applause was held in memory of Stuart and Fraser Bates who sadly lost their lives in a road traffic accident last week.
City take the initiative
It was City who had the first chance of the game in the 16th minute when Aron Gunnarsson played a through ball to Tony Watt. The former Celtic man then returned the favour by laying the ball off the Iceland captain, but he could only find Kieren Westwood in the visitors’ goal with a low shot.
A moment later, front man Watt was at it again, bursting in to the area with a superb run where he drew a foul from ‘keeper Westwood, earning City a penalty. Craig Noone stepped up, in the absence of regular penalty taker Peter Whittingham, and smashed the ball into the bottom corner to make it 1-0 to the Bluebirds.
In a scary moment for the City defence, a low cross from the right inadvertently hit striker Lucas Joao and the ball bounced across the line and hit the post; luckily for the home side, David Marshall was there to prevent an Owls equaliser.
11 minutes before half-time, the Bluebirds doubled their lead when Joe Ralls played a raking pass, which set Anthony Pilkington clean through. He rounded Kieren Westwood in the Owls goal to make it two goals in two matches for the Irish international, after he scored the winner against Bolton.
Minutes later the ball was in Wednesday’s net again but the linesman ruled it out for offside after Pilkington had come back from an offside position to cross for Kenwyne Jones who headed in to the net, in what proved to be the last major action of the first half.
Straight after the restart City had a chance with goal-scorer Noone’s shot being saved by Westwood after striker Jones pulled the ball back to the lively Watt.
Two chances then came Cardiff's way in quick succession. Firstly, the Bluebirds' strike duo of Jones and Watt combined culminating in the Trinidadian’s shot being deflected in to the path of Westwood. Then Gunnarsson went close, volleying over from the edge of the area.
The Owls did eventually find a way past Scotland’s number one when Forestieri fired home from 20 yards after patient build-up play.
Twenty minutes from time a melee broke out over a seemingly perfect tackle by Ralls who was booked, for the challenge, as well as Sean Morrison. Bannan then went close from the resulting free-kick.
The Scottish midfielder found a way past Marshall, equalising for the Owls as he poked home from inside the area, scoring in off the post.
City were inches away from retaking the lead five minutes from time when Watt’s shot flashed across the face of goal after good work from Sammy Ameobi. Noone was then denied by a flying Westwood who tipped his shot, which looked destined for the top corner, wide.
FINAL SCORE: CARDIFF CITY 2-2 SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY (Noone ’21, Pilkington ’34. Forestieri ’61, Bannan ’76)
Cardiff City: Marshall, Peltier, Malone, Connolly, Morrison, Ralls, Gunnarsson, Noone, Pilkington (Fabio ’89), Jones (Ameobi ’67), Watt. Subs not used: Moore, Ecuele Manga, Whittingham, Macheda, O’Keefe.
Sheffield Wednesday: Westwood, Palmer, Turner, Hitchinson (Lopez ’20), Loovens, Joao (Nuhiu ’90), Lee (Hooper ’45), Wallace, Pudil, Bannan, Forestieri. Subs not used: Wildsmith, McGugan, Helan.