REPORT: HTAFC 0-3 CARDIFF CITY
Neil Warnock's Cardiff City finish the 2016/17 Sky Bet Championship season in the top half following a dominant 3-0 win over play-off contenders, Huddersfield Town.
The Bluebirds started this match confidently and almost took the lead inside the first minute, Junior Hoilett curling just over. Neil Warnock set his side out to attack, and they got their rewards for this positivity inside the opening ten minutes as top goalscorer Kenneth Zohore latched onto a delightful through ball from Anthony Pilkington to slot past Danny Ward in the Huddersfield goal.
Canadian international Hoilett & Cardiff City’s Player of the Season Aron Gunnarsson both went close to adding to this effort inside the opening twenty minutes with Ward needed to stop both Hoilett's header & Gunnarsson's low strike.
Huddersfield’s job of fighting back into this match got even harder on 20 minutes when referee Jeremy Simpson sent off Welsh international goalkeeper Danny Ward, who had rushed out to try and stop Zohore from netting a second, only to handle outside the penalty box.
The Bluebirds doubled their advantage after 29 minutes - Zohore again hugely influential for Neil Warnock’s men. The Danish U21 international finding Joe Bennett free inside the Huddersfield Town penalty box, with Bennett firing the ball into the roof of the net for his second of the campaign. City continued their control of this match going into the break with Pilkington, Zohore & Hoilett all going close to adding to the tally.
With a man advantage and full of confidence after a brilliant opening period, it wasn’t surprising to see City return full of vigour and hoping to increase their lead after the restart. Pilkington and Bennett were denied by sub goalkeeper Joel Coleman just moments into the second half before Hoilett curled over from a good position on 50 minutes.
The chances kept coming for the away side, and a third goal always looked likely. This finally came after a wonderful team move on 71 minutes. Substitutes combined when Peter Whittingham found space in the middle of the park before playing the ball wide to Mark Harris. The Academy graduate beat his man, passing forward to Zohore on the left side of the box. City’s top marksman took his time, showing strength and good footwork to hold off his marker before assisting Bennett for a second time - the former Aston Villa man stroking the ball into the far corner with his left foot.
With the clock striking 90', captain Sean Morrison ensured Brian Murphy’s clean sheet would remain intact with a remarkable block from Rajiv van La Parra’s shot from wide on the right.
This deserved three goal win saw Cardiff City move into the top half of the Sky Bet Championship table, finishing the campaign off in style.
FINAL SCORE: HUDDERSFIELD TOWN 0-3 CARDIFF CITY (Zohore 7’, Bennett 29’ 71')
Huddersfield Town: Ward, Chris Lowe, Schindler, Hefele, Smith, Hogg (Whitehead, 79’), Mooy, van La Parra, Brown (Wells, 67’), Scannell (Coleman, 21’), Quaner. Subs Not Used: Holmes-Dennis, Cranie, Payne, Lolley.
Cardiff City: Murphy, Richards, Bennett, Peltier, Morrison, Connolly, Ralls, Gunnarsson, Pilkington (Whittingham, 64’), Zohore (Lambert, 78’), Hoilett (M. Harris, 67’). Subs Not Used: Amos, Halford, Noone.