Cardiff City seal a 3-2 away victory over Premier League AFC Bournemouth in their final pre-season match.
Cherries Strike First
The Bluebirds emerged from the tunnel on a beautiful summer’s evening in Dorset, and had the first snap-shot of the match within the opening five minutes courtesy of Peter Whittingham. City’s number seven had plenty of time and space to set his sights from thirty yards, but his bouncing effort was comfortably dealt with by Cherries new recruit Adam Federici.
City had started on the front foot and really should have scored before the fifteen minute mark as Joe Mason found himself clean through. Matt Connolly’s lobbed pass was misjudged by the home defence and, based on this pre-season, you wouldn’t have wanted the ball to fall to anyone else in a blue shirt. However, after committing Federici, Mason fired his shot over the bar.
While Russell Slade’s side continued to put in a bright performance, forward Tokelo Rantie was proving to be a thorn in their side as he persistently hung to the last defender. Indeed, he put the Cherries ahead on 28 minutes when, after Kermorgant’s clever ball beat the offside trap, the South African front man rounded Moore to slot the ball into an empty net.
City Cut Loose
The Bluebirds weren’t deterred after conceding the opener though, and soon managed to hit back. After a neat passing move, Whittingham again found himself in space, this time opting to square the ball to Joe Ralls. City’s young midfielder didn’t think twice, thundering the ball into the top corner and past the despairing clutches of Federici.
The goal spurred Cardiff on, and they nearly took the lead when Sean Morrison’s header from a Whittingham corner was cleared off the line by teenage striker Josh Quigley. Nevertheless, City were ahead moments later. After keeping up the pressure in the Bournemouth box, another Morrison header found its way to Alex Revell, who hit his left-footed effort under Federici to snatch the half-time lead.
Unbeaten Pre-Season Completed
After the interval, the Cherries began to rack up more possession and pin the Bluebirds back. After building pressure in the final third, it was Rantie again who went close as he rifled a powerful shot narrowly past Moore’s right-hand post.
However, Mason and Revell were continuing to stretch the Bournemouth defensive line at the other end. Then, when neat work from Ralls had fed Scott Malone, the left-back’s long ball freed Revell between the Cherries’ two centre-halves. The forward, brimming with confidence after his earlier strike, made no mistake once more as he fired home for 3-1.
Bournemouth did make things edgy for the final period of the game when Marc Pugh, who combined terrifically with Charlie Daniels throughout the second half, turned his marker to fire the ball from the left into the far corner. However, City hung on to claim their second win against Premier League opposition in a week, providing the perfect preparation for the start of another Championship season on August 8th.
FINAL SCORE: AFC BOURNEMOUTH 2-3 CARDIFF CITY (Rantie 27’, Pugh 70’; Ralls 39’, Revell 44’ 65’)
AFC BOURNEMOUTH: Federici, Francis, Distin, Cargill, Daniels, Cornick, O'Kane, Surman, Pugh, Kermorgant (Quigley 34 (Butcher 46)), Rantie. Subs Not Used: Allsop, Costa, Matthews, Whitfield, Walsh.
CARDIFF CITY: Moore; Peltier (Fábio 77), Morrison, Connolly, Malone; Pilkington (Noone 70), Whittingham, Dikgacoi (O’Keefe 77), Ralls; Ameobi; Revell (Ameobi 74), Mason (Doyle 74). Subs Not Used: Wilson, Ajayi, Kennedy, Harris.