Match Report | West Bromwich Albion 0-0 Cardiff City
City fought out an entertaining stalemate at West Bromwich Albion under the floodlights on Wednesday evening.
A new look City backline was tested early on, as Albion peppered City’s right flank as they looked to get in between debutant Jack Simpson and Jamilu Collins. Darnell Furlong appeared to have got the better of the latter prior to delivering a dangerous cross that Ryan Allsop did well to disturb, only before seeing the Albion frontline flagged for offside.
Sadly, it would be Collins’ final involvement in the game as he was helped from the pitch by City’s medical staff and replaced by Callum O’Dowda in an unfamiliar left back role.
The first true opportunity of the first half came in the 16th minute. Veteran skipper Jake Livermore fired with venom at Allsop’s goal from inside the 18-yard box, only for the City stopper to get two firm hands behind the effort before Perry Ng arrowed the rebound behind for a corner from which nothing further came.
City’s first real attack came after 22 minutes. Good play from Ryan Wintle to free Mahlon Romeo down the right brought a corner from the Bluebirds; from Wintle’s subsequent delivery, Ng wasn’t quite able to connect as he would have wished at the far post.
But the move spurred City further up field and moments later, they had another good half chance at goal. Great work from O’Dowda down the left saw the stand-in left-back deliver a fine cross from which Romeo struck true enough, but over David Button’s crossbar. Albion had started on fire at the Hawthorns, but City had ridden out the early storm.
Sheyi Ojo was having significant involvement in City’s forward play as the visitors began dominating a game in which they looked unlikely too in the early knockings. City’s best chance of the half came in the 42nd minute when, after great bravery and commitment by Andy Rinomhota and then Jaden Philogene, Ojo fired just wide from the outside of the area with his left foot.
Wintle came close on the stroke of half time from a similar position and, when the referee blew after three minutes of stoppage time, the sense was that City could have done without hearing the whistle for a little longer.
The home side started the second half with a little more momentum than they’d had at the end of the first, but again it was City who were asking the tougher questions from around 10 minutes in. Good work once more from Ojo saw the forward curl a smart left-footed effort towards goal, only for his effort to again settle the wrong side of the upright in front of the travelling City fans.
Changes for both sides between the 60 and 70 minute marks changed the dynamic of the game somewhat, though chances at both ends remained limited. Former Bluebird Semi Ajayi saw his header from a corner comfortably saved by Allsop, though it seemed that City were sitting deeper as Albion asked tougher questions with the introduction of more attack-minded influences in the shape of Callum Robinson and Matty Phillips.
In the first minute of stoppage time at the end of the game, Ajayi had an even better chance, his header this time being saved superbly by Allsop, down to his left.
Albion were really threatening with the high ball in the dying embers of the match, but the Bluebirds were resilient and held on for a much-deserved point at the Hawthorns for the second campaign in succession.
FINAL SCORE: WEST BROMWICH ALBION 0-0 CARDIFF CITY
West Bromwich Albion: Button, Furlong, Townsend, O’Shea, Ajayi, Livermore © (Molumby, 46), Diangana, Wallace (Phillips, 68), Grant (Reach, 84), Swift (Robinson, 68), Yokuslu. Subs not used: Palmer, Bartley, Gardner-Hickman.
Cardiff City: Allsop, Romeo, Ng, Simpson, Collins (O’Dowda, 9), Wintle, Ralls © (Sawyers, 64), Rinomhota, Philogene (Harris, 75), Ojo (Colwill, 75), Watters (Etete, 64). Subs not used: Alnwick, Denham.