Match Report | Stoke City 2-2 Cardiff City
Cardiff City fought to earn a well-deserved point at the Bet365 Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Having gone ahead early on through Ryan Wintle, two quick-fire goals put Stoke City on the front foot and ahead with only 20 minutes played.
Callum Robinson’s second-half equaliser after the interval saw City then in the ascendancy for the remainder, before eventually being held to a draw by the Potters.
City had the first chance of the encounter in the third minute of play, as the visitors looked to take the advantage quickly. Mahlon Romeo was able to cross into the Stoke area, though the ball was punched away by ‘keeper Jack Bonham before a waiting Callum O’Dowda was able to head in at the back post.
A moment of brilliance from Niels Nkounkou created the chance from which City opened in the seventh minute of play, as the left-back fired a long pass across the pitch to Gavin Whyte. He found Wintle at the edge of the area, and the midfielder shot low with his first touch to put the Bluebirds ahead early on.
Responding quickly, the hosts had a chance to equalise moments later, with skipper Joe Ralls pulling off a terrific tackle inside the City area to deny the Potters under pressure.
Finding their leveller, Stoke’s Tyrese Campbell netted from the edge of the area in the 11th minute, having been left with enough space to turn and fire goalwards past Ryan Allsop’s diving effort to save.
Following up with Stoke’s second of the afternoon was Liam Delap, who was on hand at the far post to tap in from a deflected cross, putting the hosts ahead ten minutes after Wintle’s opener.
Cédric Kipré was involved in a series of skirmishes with Delap as the first half wore on, as the two clashed inside the City area. Despite calls for two penalty kicks from the home crowd, neither were deemed enough as City went into the interval behind by a single goal.
Following three changes before the hour mark, City found a leveller through Callum Robinson. Recently introduced subs Mark Harris and Kion Etete linked up beautifully on the counter for the Bluebirds, before a cross found the Republic of Ireland international inside the area. Not wasting his chance, Robinson fired home emphatically to equalise with half an hour remaining.
Finding luck down the right flank through Mahlon Romeo, City looked to capitalise on their momentum in the minutes following the equaliser. Etete nearly found Robinson with a low ball across the face of goal, and later was himself denied by Bonham’s diving save from a well-placed header.
Harris was presented with another good chance with ten minutes remaining. Following a period of late pressure from City, the forward latched onto a cross to head on goal, though once again Bonham was equal to the challenge.
With neither side able to add a match-winning third goal to their tally, despite some good late chances on both ends, the Bluebirds took home a point from Stoke-on-Trent.
FINAL SCORE: STOKE CITY 2-2 CARDIFF CITY
Stoke City: Bonham, Clarke, Suttar, Wilmot, Tymon, Baker (Powell 69'), Thompson, Campbell, Smallbone, Fosu, Delap (Brown 69'). Subs not used: Bursik, Jagielka, Kilkenny, Taylor, Tezgel.
Cardiff City: Allsop, Romeo, Ng, Kipré, Nkounkou (Harris 55’), Wintle, Ralls (C) (Sawyers 55’), Rinomhota (Etete 55’), O'Dowda, Robinson, Whyte (R. Colwill 86’). Subs not used: Alnwick, Simpson, Ojo.