Days Gone By | Cardiff City vs. Huddersfield Town
As Cardiff City prepare to take on Huddersfield Town this weekend, we look back at three memorable meetings between the two teams.
The Bluebirds and the Terriers have met 82 times in the past, with the Yorkshire side coming out on top on 31 occasions, and City winning 28 of the contests.
A relegation six pointer
Sunday’s meeting is a crucial game for both teams as they aim to avoid relegation, and it was the same story towards the end of the 1972/73 season.
Heading into the final few games, Town had leapfrogged City in the Division Two table, leaving Jimmy Scoular and his team occupying the final relegation spot.
At Ninian Park in late April, the two teams met in a crucial fixture. The Bluebirds hadn’t won a league game since early March, while Huddersfield had lost two league games on the bounce.
Fortunately, Scoular’s side came out on top with an emphatic 4-1 victory. Braces for Bobby Woodruff (pictured above) and Gil Reece put the hosts in a strong position, and even though Alan Gowling pulled one back for the visitors, they were well beaten on the day.
The result lifted City above Huddersfield in the Division Two table, but the Terriers would jump back above them, as they won their final game of the season at home to Portsmouth.
Despite falling back into the danger zone, City drew two of their final three league games against Millwall and Sunderland to climb back above Town and survive on goal difference alone.
A Bowen brace
After losing out in the Play-Offs the season before, the 2002/03 campaign was a crucial one for the Bluebirds, as they looked to reach the second tier.
Huddersfield, managed by Mick Wadsworth, had also finished in the Play-Offs in 2001/02, so both were aiming to go one step further, and a meeting in December marked an important game in both teams’ seasons.
While City were once again fighting towards the top end of the table, Huddersfield had gone the other way, and a win was vital if they were to stage a fightback in the second half of the campaign. In the end, the Bluebirds inflicted more misery onto the Terriers as they won 4-0.
It only took 20 minutes for City to take the lead. Jason Bowen managed to run through the heart of the Town defence before taking aim and finding the bottom corner with a powerful effort. Robert Earnshaw then doubled the lead a minute before the half, as he raced onto Neil Alexander’s long goal kick to poke home.
The visitors’ job was made harder when Danny Schofield was sent off before the break for a late tackle on Bowen. Fortunately, the winger dusted himself off and bagged his brace just after the hour mark, a mesmeric backheeled finish. Earnshaw also secured his brace with another clever strike after running in behind the defence, but it was Bowen who would be declared man of the match.
Under the stewardship of Lennie Lawrence, the Bluebirds would win the Play-Offs and return to the Championship, while Huddersfield were relegated to the third tier.
The only Cup tie
The Bluebirds and the Terriers have only met once in Cup competition, and that was in the 2011/12 League Cup. After City defeated Oxford United in the First Round, they were drawn at home to Huddersfield in the second round, who had comfortably beaten Port Vale in their First Round tie.
It was a game full of twists and turns. Two goals in the space of a minute, one from Gábor Gyepes and one from Jon Parkin, had put the hosts in a strong position at half time. But the away team fought their way back into the game, and goals from Jordan Rhodes and Danny Ward had the Terriers level in the 70th minute.
Huddersfield thought they had completed their comeback two minutes before the end, as Rhodes beat the offside trap to claim his second. However, in the third minute of added time, Don Cowie equalised and sent the game into extra-time.
Peter Whittingham won the ball back expertly in the midfield and released Craig Conway, whose shot took a deflection to put City ahead once more.
Three minutes before the end, Cowie added his second and City’s fifth, as they finally booked their spot in the third round. The Bluebirds would reach the Final of the Carling Cup that year but would suffer penalty heartbreak against Liverpool.