|Ipswich Town 1 v 2 Cardiff City|
Saturday, 6th October 2012 Kick-off 17:20
Town 1-2 Cardiff City
Saturday, 6th Oct 2012 19:37
Cardiff City came from behind to beat the Blues 2-1 at Portman Road to reclaim top spot in the Championship. Debutant DJ Campbell put Town in front just before half-time, although having clearly used his hand, but two second-half goals from Heidar Helguson won the points for the Welsh club.
New loan signings Richie Wellens and DJ Campbell made their debuts for the Blues, but there was no place in the 18 for either striker Michael Chopra or midfielder Guirane N’Daw.
The former Cardiff frontman looked likely to have been rested after this week’s off-field issues, while N’Daw was spotted outside the ground carrying his boots an hour before kick-off but later returned and was with the squad after the game. Town’s third new loan signing Bilel Mohsni was amongst the subs.
The Blues lined up in their usual 4-3-2-1 formation with Wellens alongside Andy Drury in the centre of the midfield and Campbell the lone striker.
On six, Blues keeper Scott Loach did well to punch away a Peter Whittingham corner from the right from under the bar then. After the ball had been returned to the flagkick-taker, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, a one-time Bluebirds loanee, blocked a low cross-shot.
Campbell scuffed Town’s first shot of the game through to Cardiff keeper David Marshall on nine, shortly after being forced off the ball on the edge of the area, referee Eddie Ilderton waving away the QPR man’s hopeful penalty claim.
Cardiff skipper Mark Hudson nodded a Whittingham freekick from deep over the bar in the 12th minute, the Blues’ backline having already given the long ball up for dead. The centre-half, who was facing away from goal, got too much on the ball to test Loach when he might have done better given the space he had been afforded.
The Blues were close to going in front in the 17th minute when Daryl Murphy and Aaron Cresswell combined down the left, the full-back sending in a cross which Campbell diverted just wide from six yards. At the other end, Hudson headed weakly to Loach after a long throw in from the right.
Town had been the better side in the first 20 minutes, but without seriously testing former Canary Marshall. On 22, Lee Martin failed to make the most of space inside the area after good work from Murphy, the ball cannoning off a defender.
The Blues again went close to going in front in the 27th minute when Emmanuel-Thomas hit one of his trademark powerful distance efforts, Marshall doing exceptionally well to get down to his left and force it round the post.
Town felt they ought to have been awarded a freekick on the edge of the area in the 28th minute when Campbell was clattered from behind but referee Ilderton seemed disinclined to award decisions to the Blues’ number five.
Paul Jewell’s men continued to push for the game’s first goal and came near to breaking the deadlock again in the 31st minute when Martin’s corner from the left reached Danny Higginbotham beyond the far post. The centre-half chipped the ball back towards the far post, Murphy headed down and off the post.
It was almost all Town and in the 32nd minute Martin forced another corner with a shot from the edge of the box which deflected wide. Cardiff’s recent opportunities had been limited to crosses into the area which Loach had claimed with little trouble.
Emmanuel-Thomas lashed over on 35, then Higginbotham shot over from 30 yards with the Blues in control of the game. On 41 Drury got his name into referee Ilderton’s book, although it appeared Cardiff midfield Craig Noone had run into him with the Town man had known little about it.
The goal Town’s first half performance full deserved came as the game moved into injury time and in a somewhat fortuitous manner.
Martin got away from Kevin McNaughton down the left, cut inside as he got into the area and sent across a ball which Campbell diverted past Marshall at the far post fairly evidently with his hand. The on-loan QPR man appeared to expect the goal to be disallowed before referee Ilderton pointed to the centre circle.
The whistle went shortly afterwards to applause from the home fans after probably the best Town home first half of the season.
Cardiff had largely sat back and absorbed Town pressure with the Blues moving the ball around slickly and having created one or two opportunities before DJ Campbell’s goal, which Town fully deserved on the balance of play, even if it ought to have been disallowed. At the other end, Cardiff’s only significant chance had been Hudson’s header.
Whittingham, who had had a quiet first half, fired over three minutes after the break with the Sir Bobby Robson Stand singing ‘he scores with his hand’ in tribute to the Blues’ scorer.
On 55 Emmanuel-Thomas and Martin combined superbly to create a chance for the ex-Arsenal man but his strike from the edge of the box was perhaps hit too hard and flew over Marshall’s crossbar.
Goalscorer DJ Campbell – or perhaps DJ Handball - was replaced by Jason Scotland on 60, the new signing not having played any first team football previously this season.
Cardiff were gradually starting to get on top and in the 62nd minute Heidar Helguson put the Welsh side on terms. Town keeper Loach appeared to be unsighted as sub Craig Conway sent in a cross-shot from the left and got down to the ball late, failing to hold on. Helguson gratefully tapped home from a few feet.
The visitors took control after the goal with the Blues on the back foot for the first time in the game, although Scotland might have done better when getting away from his defender on the edge of the area but shot well wide.
Massimo Luongo took over from Wellens, who was given a warm reception after an impressive debut, as the game moved into its final 15 minutes with Cardiff putting Town under almost constant pressure.
Loach blocked from Conway, then Luke Chambers got in the way of a Whittingham strike with the Town defending desperate at times.
Despite the visitors having most of the ball, the Blues were still getting forward on occasion and in the 85th minute Murphy headed a corner from the left over.
With three minutes of normal to go, Cardiff went in front. Left-back Andrew Taylor crossed from the left and, with Higginbotham and Cresswell clearly expecting the line-bound Loach to come for the ball, Helguson nipped in to head home from a similar distance to his first goal. A lengthy exchange of views between Higginbotham and Loach followed.
Town went looking for an equaliser in the remaining minutes and it almost came deep in injury time when Helguson headed an Edwards cross against his own bar and fortunately for Cardiff over the bar. Soon after, the whistle went to a chorus of boos.
In many ways it was a similar story to the last two matches. Town were on top in the first half and thoroughly deserved to be in the lead at the break, even if the goal was somewhat fortunate.
They ought to have been two-up with Emmanuel-Thomas wasting the opportunity he had carved out with Martin.
Cardiff were finally beginning to look like a side which had topped the division at the start of the day when they were gifted the opening goal. Despite having seen the ball late, Loach ought to have held on once he had got down to it.
After the first had gone in, Town looked like a side which is now without a win in nine games – and without a victory at home in the league since March - and the visitors one flying high at the top of the table.
The Blues defended gamely until the second goal, which again was very preventable. The ball travelled a very significant distance from Taylor on the left and once it got into the six-yard box it really should have been claimed by Loach before it got to Helguson.
Having again been deservedly ahead and having played well – for the third match in a row – the defeat will be a huge blow to manager Paul Jewell, whose new signings Wellens and Campbell both impressed, ahead of yet another break for international fixtures with the pressure on him continuing to grow.
Town: Loach, Edwards, Chambers, Higginbotham, Cresswell, Emmanuel-Thomas, Wellens (Luongo 74), Drury, Martin, Campbell (Scotland 59), Murphy (Mohsni 90). Unused: Lee-Barrett, Ainsley, Smith, Carson.
Cardiff: Marshall, McNaughton (Turner, 90), Taylor, Hudson, Connolly, Whittingham, Gunnarsson, Cowie, Noone (Conway 56), Helguson, Mason (Gestede 64). Unused: Lewis, Kiss,Velikoja, Kim. Referee: Eddie Ilderton (Tyne and Wear). Att: 16,434 (Cardiff: 264)
Get a free £25 bet by opening a new account at William Hill. Place an initial bet of a minimum of £5 and William Hill will match that with a free bet of up to £25. You must enter the promotional code 'F25' when signing up as a new customer.
Please report offensive, libellous or inappropriate posts by using the links provided.
You need to login in order to post your comments
Comment on Facebook
Ipswich Town Polls
[ Vote here ]