REPORT | THE BLUEBIRDS DEFEAT PLAY-OFF RIVALS IPSWICH
Match Reports12th March
Cardiff City dug deep to earn a huge three points at home to fellow play-off chasers Ipswich Town.
Lee Peltier passed a fitness test to come into the starting eleven whilst Simon Moore and Craig Noone replaced David Marshall and Tom Lawrence respectively as Russell Slade made three changes.
Former Brentford ‘keeper Moore was alive early on to prevent an Ipswich long shot as the visitors started brightly. It was the Bluebirds who took control and the lead on 18 minutes when Bruno Ecuele Manga powered a header past Bartosz Bialkowski from Peter Whittingham’s corner kick.
The game settled into a rhythm after the opening goal with the home side enjoying the majority of possession and pressure. But the Tractor Boys looked dangerous from set-pieces with the City defence having to be alert on several occasions to prevent an equaliser.
City Dig Deep
Ipswich signalled their intentions by making an attacking change at the interval, bringing striker Brett Pitman on for Kevin Bru and they had the first chance after the restart. Ben Pringle, on loan from Fulham, sliced his shot wide form a tight angle inside the area. Scott Malone then had to be on his toes to clear as a Town long ball caused confusion in the City area, as the side from Suffolk built momentum.
With Ipswich pushing forward, they left themselves open to the counter attack and it proved the case as neat interchange between Malone and Lex Immers set the full back free. The City No. 28 tried his luck with a powerful effort, his shot drifting just over the bar.
Iconic City No. 7 Whttingham then went close from a free-kick just outside the area but Bialkowkski held his low effort. Republic of Ireland international Anthony Pilkington went close from a corner 15 minutes from time but his header was tipped over by Bialkowski.
The away side tried everything they could to fight back into the match, but Russell Slade's Bluebirds held strong to secure a massive three points in the race for the top three.
FINAL SCORE: CARDIFF CITY 1-0 IPSWICH TOWN (Ecuele Manga 18')
Cardiff City: Moore, Peltier, Manga, Whittingham (Gunnarsson ’73), Ralls, Noone, Pilkington © (Dikagcoi ’83), Connolly, O’Keefe, Immers, Malone. Subs not used: Wilson, Morrison, Zohore, Lawrence, Ameobi.
Ipswich Town: Bialkowski, Knudsen, Chambers ©, Smith (Maitland-Niles ’88), Berra, Skuse, Murphy, Pringle (Varney ’71), Bru (Pitman ’45), Hyam, Sears. Subs not used: Crowe, Tabb, Douglas, Digby.