FIXTURE RELEASE BUILD-UP | OPENING DAY MEMORIES
Ahead of the release of Cardiff City’s 2016/17 Sky Bet Championship fixtures tomorrow - Wednesday 22nd June at 9am - we’ve taken a look back over some memorable opening day results from the Bluebirds' recent campaigns.
NOONE’S LATE WONDER-STRIKE
Last season, the fixture list handed City a home tie against Fulham at CCS to kick-start 2015/16.
It was an entertaining game between two sides keen to impress in the South Wales sun, but it was the Cottagers who struck first through Matt Smith’s header. City then looked to the bench in search of a response, bringing on Craig Noone in the 77th minute.
That change paid dividends within ten minutes, as Noone cut in from the right to bend home a sensational equaliser, securing an opening-day point.
Watch Craig Noone’s goal free with Cardiff City Player HD here.
START AS YOU MEAN TO GO ON…
Victory on opening day often provides an important platform from which to build momentum in the early stages of a campaign. Indeed, that has proved to be the case in all three of City’s promotion seasons since the turn of the millennium…
Back in 2002/03, the Bluebirds were dealt a trip to Oldham Athletic – whom they had beaten 7-1 away from home at the end of the previous season. Of course, '02/03 saw Robert Earnshaw score a record thirty-five goals in all competitions, while Andy Campbell netted the crucial winner in the Play-Off Final at the Millennium Stadium.
There was certainly a sign of things to come on opening day, as both Earnshaw and Campbell scored in a 2-1 victory at Boundary Park.
A decade later, the Bluebirds would taste promotion again as they secured their passage to the Premier League in 2012/13...
That year, City had to wait until the 91st minute to take the three points on opening day, courtesy of Mark Hudson’s injury time goal against Huddersfield Town.
The win triggered an incredible run of form in which the Bluebirds won their first ten home League matches in a row, setting them on their way to the top flight for the first time in over half a century.
FROM NINIAN TO CCS…
Finally, the summer of 2009 saw the Bluebirds move from Ninian Park to their new home, Cardiff City Stadium – and City experienced opening day success both before and after the move.
The Bluebirds hosted Southampton as they commenced their ‘End of an Era’ celebrations at Ninian Park in 2008/09. City’s Steven Thompson and the Saints’ David McGoldrick traded strikes to make it 1-1 at the break, before more late drama settled the match in the Bluebirds' favour – with Roger Johnson’s bullet header securing a memorable win in front of 19,749 fans.
The following year, the Bluebirds began the season in new surroundings, but put in one of their most complete opening day performances in recent memory, cruising to a 4-0 win over Scunthorpe United.
Ross McCormack was in exceptional form and had a hand in the opening three goals, which were converted by Michael Chopra (2) and Jay Bothroyd. Peter Whittingham then added a late penalty to make the victory all the more emphatic.
and website, to find out City’s ‘16/17 schedule first! Facebook, TwitterCardiff City’s 2016/17 fixtures will be announced at 9am on Wednesday 22nd June! Stay tuned to our