MATCH REPORT | BRENTFORD 2-2 CARDIFF CITY
Cardiff City had to settle for a share of the spoils on Boxing Day in a frenetic clash at Griffin Park.
The home side edged the opening exchanges, but the Bluebirds strong back line were holding firm, with debutant Brian Murphy looking composed and confident between the sticks.
City had their first chance when Kenneth Zohore’s cross almost fell at the feet of Junior Hoilett, but they didn’t have to wait long for the opening goal.
It came on twenty-four minutes as Sean Morrison was dragged back in the box, with referee Simon Hooper showing no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Peter Whittingham made no mistake with his penalty, calmly striking City into the lead.
The Bluebirds looked most likely to score again after taking the lead – Morrison had an effort ruled out for offside before Zohore drove into the box but saw his shot saved.
City were forced to withdraw Whittingham at the break, with Stuart O’Keefe coming on in his place. Nevertheless, Neil Warnock’s men were keeping the home side at bay comfortably. Indeed, it took until substitute Sullay Kaikai’s seventy-first minute free-kick before Murphy was troubled in the Bluebirds goal.
After that, the Bees had a host of opportunities with Murphy doing exceptionally well to save one goal-bound effort with his fingertips.
He was to have no chance with Brentford’s equaliser; however, as Kaikai curled into the top corner from outside the box on eighty-four minutes – the ball hitting the crossbar on the way in.
City came within inches of responding immediately through Craig Noone’s whistling effort, before scoring what looked to be the winner one minute from time.
Zohore capped another fine showing in the City shirt, controlling the ball before sprinting into the area and smashing under Daniel Bentley in front of the travelling supporters.
However, City faced huge disappointment during four minutes of additional time, as the ball came into the Bluebirds’ box and Kaikai diverted home his second of the game to level things up.
FULL TIME: BRENTFORD 2-2 CARDIFF CITY