McPhail

Famous Fixture: Cardiff City vs. Barnsley

History
3 days 5 hours ago
Ahead of Saturday's match against Barnsley, we look back at a famous fixture shared between the two clubs...

Michael Chopra

The Bluebirds have played in several noteworthy matches against the Tykes over the years, from high-scoring league matches (such as October 2011's eight-goal thriller as City won 5-3) to historic cup ties, with a historic FA Cup Semi-Final being remembered for a sensational goal by Joe Ledley.

However, one such meeting between the two sides earned its importance not just by the result, but the players that featured in it. On August 5th 2006, several future City favourites made their debut for the Bluebirds on a Saturday afternoon in Oakwell...

Stephen McPhail

The opening day to the 2006-07 season was to begin with a trip to face Barnsley at their home ground in South Yorkshire, and of the starting XI that lined up to face the Tykes, four of the City side had joined during the summer.

Kevin McNaughton had joined the Bluebirds from Scottish Premier League side Aberdeen, having previously made well over 150 appearances for the Dons since starting his professional career in 1999. His start for City came following his move to South Wales in May 2006.

Joining The Scotsman in defence was centre-back Glenn Loovens. The Dutchman had played for City extensively throughout a loan spell in the season prior, but signed a permanent contract to remain in the Welsh capital, leaving his native Feyenoord.

Perhaps the most high-profile player on the pitch that afternoon was recent City signing Stephen McPhail. The Republic of Ireland international had joined the Bluebirds following a successful promotion campaign to the Championship with the Tykes, playing for the full duration as the side defeated Swansea City in the League One Play-Off Final a few months prior.

Joe Ledley

The visitors' defence held fast for the opening encounters in the match, and eventually took the lead in the 19th minute through Joe Ledley. The midfielder side footed his effort into the back of the net from inside the area to put City in the lead.

This start to the match was only improved upon by Steven Thompson's terrific volley to double the lead at Oakwell.

Ledley once again was involved, this time crossing in beautifully to find the forward in the perfect spot 12 yards out, leaving 'keeper Nick Colgan with no chance and two goals down with less than 25 minutes played.

Barnsley struck back before the half was out, as Brian Howard found his goal with a dramatic scissor-kick from 18 yards.

The scoreline remained unchanged following the interval as the Bluebirds went about securing their first opening day victory since the 2002-03 season. 

The hosts couldn't break down the resolute City defence, while on the other end skipper Darren Purse was unfortunate not to convert a kick from the spot, with Nick Colgan doing well to guess the right way and deny his opponents a third.

Amongst the City side that had then began their journey with the Club by starting on that day was Michael Chopra, as the Newcastle-born striker had moved to South Wales from his boyhood club at Newcastle United. 

Across the years and several spells playing for City became known for his tremendous goalscoring ability, scoring a total of 63 goals in all competitions for the Bluebirds.

Scimeca Kevin Campbell - who made his debut for City against Barnsley - is seen here joining teammate Riccardo Scimeca's goal celebration at Ninian Park.

All three substitutes used in the fixture were also new signings for the Club. Roger Johnson, previously of Wycombe Wanderers, replaced Darren Purse late in the match, and would also later become a firm fan favourite during his time at Ninian Park, racking up 119 league appearances before moving to join Birmingham City.

Former Arsenal and Everton striker Kevin Campbell made his City debut as a substitute against the Tykes on that day, having signed for the Club only three days earlier. Following a season in South Wales, the then-37-year-old forward left the Club, retiring following a career spanning three decades.

Willo FloodWillo Flood celebrates scoring against Leeds United at Elland Road, alongside fellow 2006 Summer signing Michael Chopra.

A 21-year-old Willo Flood made his first appearance for City in the second half of the match against the Tykes, having previously played at Manchester City since 2002. The striker made 25 league appearances for City - scoring once against Leeds United at Elland Road - and left South Wales in 2009 following loan spells at Dundee United.

In the years since, Flood has primarily remained playing in Scotland, winning the Scottish League Cup and Scottish Challenge Cup with Aberdeen and Dundee United, respectively.