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Cardiff City 3 v 1 Ipswich Town
SkyBet Championship
Saturday, 18th March 2017 Kick-off 15:00
Cardiff City 3-1 Ipswich Town - Match Report
Saturday, 18th Mar 2017 17:10

Town dropped to 17th, only five points from the relegation zone after Cardiff City came from behind to beat them 3-1 at the Cardiff City Stadium. Skipper Luke Chambers headed the Blues into a 23rd minute lead but Kenneth Zohore equalised for Cardiff on 36, then put the home side in front five minutes after the break before Joe Bennett added the third in the 63rd minute with Town never looking like they would get back in it.

Grant Ward and Tommy Smith returned to the Town starting line-up with Myles Kenlock dropping to the bench and Emyr Huws unavailable against his parent club and also having a hamstring injury.

Smith came in on the left of the central defensive three with Jonas Knudsen moving out to left wing-back. Ward joined Cole Skuse and Toumani Diagouraga in central midfield.

For Cardiff, Peter Whittingham returned in midfield with Joe Ralls missing out through injury. Former England striker Rickie Lambert was back on the bench after a long-term back injury, while ex-Town keeper Brian Murphy was also among the subs.

In breezy conditions and swirling fine rain, the Bluebirds were first to threaten in the fourth minute after Skuse had fouled Junior Hoilett not far outside area. Whittingham curled the freekick towards the bottom corner but Bartosz Bialkowski did well to save down to his left.

The home side continued to have the better of the opening spell and a minute later Zohore hit a shot on the turn from the edge of the box just over.

Town, wearing all white, should have taken the lead in the ninth minute after a swift counter-attack following a Cardiff freekick.

David McGoldrick picked up a half-cleared ball just outside the area and brought it forward before feeding Tom Lawrence to his right.

The on-loan Leicester man, back in his native Wales, took it on into the area before cutting across to the far post to the unmarked Ward, who shot against Bluebirds keeper Allan McGregor from not far outside the six-yard box. Either side of the Scotland international and Town would have been in front.

After a slow start the Blues had got on top and as the game approached the 20-minute mark they were beginning to dominate possession with Lawrence and McGoldrick involved more than they were at Barnsley last week. On 21 the Irish international shot over from distance.

And in the 23rd minute the Blues went in front. Skuse played the ball down the right for Spence, who did well to reach it before being fouled by Sol Bamba, who was memorably red-carded in this season’s Portman Road fixture between the clubs.

Lawrence sent in the freekick from the right and Chambers headed back across goal and into the net for his fourth goal of the season.

In the 29th minute Christophe Berra clipped Kadeem Harris’s heels just before he broke into the area and Bialkowski sharply diverted Bennett’s freekick over from under his bar, then from the corner Bamba looped a header well over.

The home side were starting to get on top, however, and on 31 Zohore broke into the area on the right and shot straight at Bialkowski while under pressure from Chambers.

Two minutes later at the other end, Lawrence whipped in a wind-assisted freekick from the right and Diagouraga stooped and headed over.

But in the 36th minute the Bluebirds got back on terms. After Knudsen had fouled Craig Noone on the right, Whittingham played the freekick wide to Jazz Richards, who crossed into the box where it was nodded down by home skipper Sean Morrison and Zohore volleyed home his eighth goal in 10 games from close range giving Bialkowski no chance.

Zohore, who has now scored nine goals this season, will feel he should have netted another two minutes later but lashed wildly into the stand after Chambers’s poor defensive header had landed at his feet in the area.

Cardiff went closer to going in front in the 42nd minute when Aron Gunnarsson cut the ball back from the right and it reached Hoilett, who worked himself space and then hit a shot on the turn which struck the angle of post and bar.

After Whittingham had sent a freekick well over from distance, Icelandic midfielder Gunnarsson, who had a trial with the Blues as a schoolboy, hit an injury-time shot wide.

Having started slowly Town had got themselves on top during an entertaining half and deserved their goal when it came with Ward having gone close to opening the scoring earlier.

However, the Bluebirds then began to take charge and once they’d levelled - via a set-piece goal Mick McCarthy will no doubt have been disappointed to have conceded - looked the more likely scorers of the game’s third goal with Hoilett unlucky with his shot off the woodwork.

Lawrence had looked more like his January self and he and McGoldrick had both shown that they were capable of troubling the Cardiff defence without either having had a clear-cut opportunity.

Town switched Smith for Brett Pitman ahead of the second half and moved to 4-4-2 with Lawrence on the left and Ward on the right of midfield.

Cardiff started the second half the brighter, Zohore hooking a cross from the right wide off a Town defender and wide.

Town’s first opportunity came from another Lawrence freekick on the right. Berra nodded back across the face of goal but McGoldrick was unable to control at a tight angle as he looked to cut across.

And following the resultant 50th minute goalkick the Bluebirds took the lead. Zohore flicked a long ball from Morrison on to Hoilett, who backheeled into his path and with Chambers not having tracked his run and appealing for offside, the Cardiff top scorer hit his 10th goal of the season and ninth in 10 games into the net off Bialkowski.

Three minutes later Berra was booked for a foul on Hoilett as Cardiff continued to put the pressure on.

Town didn’t threaten until the 58th minute when McGoldrick twisted and turned inside the area before trying a chip which failed to test McGregor. A minute later, Hoilett hit a shot across the face of goal from the Cardiff right.

But a third Bluebirds goal wasn’t too long in coming. In the 63rd minute Harris brought the ball in from the left past Skuse along the byline and cut it back to Bennett, who picked his spot to claim his first goal for the Welsh side.

Town, who had failed to settle into their 4-4-2 system after the break, looked to have no way back. On 68 Pitman was yellow-carded for a foul on Gunnarsson.

Noone curled over from distance in the 75th minute, then for the Blues McGoldrick burst into the area on the left and cut back to Pitman, who looked to turn goalwards but found Bamba, who had been outstanding at the back for the Bluebirds, in his way.

With 11 minutes remaining Town made a double change with McGoldrick and Diagouraga making way for Freddie Sears and debutant Danny Rowe.

Zohore shot tamely through to Bialkowski in the 82nd minute with the Bluebirds looking more likely to add a fourth than Town were to pull a goal back. A minute later the Dane was subbed to a standing ovation by home supporters, Anthony Pilkington taking over.

Cardiff should have made it 4-1 in the 85th minute when sub Pilkington found Hoilett in space in the Town area but the ex-QPR man shot weakly straight at Bialkowski.

Town had what looked a not unreasonable shout for a penalty in the 88th minute when Spence crossed from the right and Pitman turned the ball against Morrison’s arm. If he saw it referee James Linington may have deemed it ball to hand.

The Blues continued to press for a goal in four minutes of injury time, Pitman having added more of a penalty are threat, but were unable to force McGregor into further action before the final whistle.

Town never got going after the half-time change of system - with Lawrence notably quieter having moved wide - and then Cardiff’s second goal which was a shocker from a Blues perspective.

Cardiff prodded and probed and deserved the third goal when it came and might even have won more convincingly had Hoilett taken his chance.

The result ends Town’s streak of consecutive draws at six as well as their eight-match unbeaten run.

The Blues have now won just once in their last 13 in all competitions and only twice 2017 and have taken only 13 points from their last 42.

With only five points separating them from the bottom three they face a nervous last eight games of the season. The Blues look to be one of seven sides battling to avoid the final relegation spot with Rotherham and Wigan already looking to be down.

After the two-week international break, Town face Birmingham, who are one place behind the Blues on goal difference alone, and then the Latics in what now appear to be crucial back-to-back home games.

Cardiff City: McGregor, Bennett, Morrison (c), Richards, Whittingham, Noone (Halford 79), Bamba, Gunnarsson, Harris (John 90), Zohore (Pilkington 83), Hoilett. Unused: Murphy, Ecuele Manga, Lambert, Meite.

Town: Bialkowski, Chambers (c), Berra, T Smith (Pitman 46), Spence, Skuse, Diagouraga (Rowe 79), Ward, Knudsen, Lawrence, McGoldrick (Sears 79). Unused: Gerken, Digby, Kenlock, Bru. Referee: James Linington (Newport, Isle of Wight). Att: 15,182.

Danny Baker Live! Good Time Charlie's Back. Ipswich Regent Theatre, Ipswich, Thursday 10th May 2018 at 19:30. Get your tickets before they sell out.

Photo: TWTD

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JimmyP45 added 17:11 - Mar 18
What the hell is happening to the club I love???

JackSted added 17:11 - Mar 18
We're in a serious relegation battle now. We NEED to sack McCarthy before this gets worse than it already is. I don't even remember the last time we scored more than 1 goal in a game!!!!

Here's some facts for you. We are one of the lowest scorers in the league and we also have the lowest recorded shots on goal and pass completion per game. We have won just TWO games in 2017, that's relegation form right there.

I know there are a couple of teams below us in a worse situation but this doesn't look good. We need to get rid of him NOW or I feel we could be playing Shrewsbury away next season.

Cloddyseedbed added 17:14 - Mar 18
Evans your club and policy towards it's loyal fans is diabolical. Please sell the club as you just don't care about the supporters and it's the supporters that make the club. Your treatment of them is a disgrace. MM don't even get me started on him.

planetblue_2011 added 17:14 - Mar 18
We've lost it!!
He we go then a relegation dog fight is on!!
Next two home games are must win games, if we loose them then we really are in the 💩

bressinghamblue added 17:15 - Mar 18
Just go Mick .... please, please, please.

The players aren't playing for you. The fans don't want your turgid brand of football. It's boring, ineffective and at this rate will bring us third tier football. You ruin the youngsters, keep playing your favourites, and are just too stubborn to admit you're wrong for this once great club.


leahcar88 added 17:16 - Mar 18
Can see the morning headline already.....

Mick offered lifetime contract.......

I would jump off the Orwell bridge if this was to happen.

Cloddyseedbed added 17:17 - Mar 18
I don't even listen to the commentary on the radio anymore, just look for the result. I've been a season ticket holder since the 70's and been going to Portman Road since the 60's.

DurhamTownFan added 17:17 - Mar 18
Changing formation in the middle of games, not scoring enough goals, inconsistent selection. Does MM actually have a plan or is he just throwing sht at a wall and hoping it sticks?

Such drudgery right now. MM has to go or it's only going to get worse!. Doesn't matter than nobody else stands out as a candidate to replace him. (Look at Leicester) is not appoint TC as we've seen that fail, but maybe someone else from inside til may?

ITFC_Cotton added 17:17 - Mar 18
What a shambles our club has become, top to bottom it truly is laughable.

Karlosfandangal added 17:17 - Mar 18
Have to say relegation might be the best thing for the club as it will force the issue and we will get a new manager who will start to re build the club....... let's hope we lose the rest of the games left

iaintaylorx added 17:20 - Mar 18
5 points off relegation, is it? Embarrassing and we are falling more and more!!

TimmyH added 17:20 - Mar 18
Today's match aside - 1 win 13 is poor by Jewells, Keanes or any managers standards. What the hell is McCarthy still doing here?, bet he's gutted he hasn't got another away draw under his belt.

This season has been a disaster and it's fast becoming worse, if Leicester can get rid of Ranieri why can't this club get rid of a passed it manager with out dated tactics, ohh! I forgot we have an owner with no ambition.

IpswichT62OldBoy added 17:22 - Mar 18
So, now we have 3, 6 pointer games to avoid relegation.
I don't think we are going to do it.

surgery added 17:23 - Mar 18
ITFC...Agree with first part of your post, but I would use the word disgraceful. What they are being allowed to get away with is beyond comprehension.

jas0999 added 17:24 - Mar 18
A complete shambles. The club is in a sorry mess. A manager who should have been sacked months ago, who has no respect for the fans. Below average players. An owner who is unambitious and frankly looking to fleece the fans at every opportunity, whilst selling key assets for good money before spouting so mch spin it makes you dizzy as to why it hasn't been reinvested in the playing squad.

What a dark state of affairs. This was a once proud club. It's gone.

IpswichT62OldBoy added 17:25 - Mar 18
I don't think relegation will help, I hope we stay up so a couple of wins would be great, M McM is going any way

OwainG1992 added 17:25 - Mar 18
Seriously worried that relegation could actually happen this season!

martin587 added 17:25 - Mar 18
Tale of two halves.Why the hell did he change the system in the second half.MM is totally clueless and should be sacked tonight.I travel all this way with hope,but what do we get a dire second half.D Mc terrible Pitman should start.Defence in second half was terrible.We are now in the sh@@. This club is is in dire straights.The players should also take a long hard look at themselves to.
I'm totally p@@@@d off.😡😡

EssexTractor added 17:26 - Mar 18
An extreme dilemma for truly loyal supporters.we want to support the club,it's in the blood , but have we now reached the worse crossroads ever?
It has been the most miserable season since I started visiting in 1958
Most miserable all the way through the club
Ownership, management, coaching all in disarray
Players now must themselves be so discouraged by the training, the game plan ( if there is one)
But now is there any reason , any true reason to want to go to Portman Road again?
MM has had his day here, there can be no argument against that, despite his 25,years of experience
But can Evans with his " advisors" choose the right successor,past record suggests not .
But if Evans not the owner, then who would be, that's the crux, the serious crux.
Who will rescue this (once) fabulous football club??
So so sad

blueblood_soldier added 17:27 - Mar 18
Time to whip him away from Poyet and give Mr Tarrico his first oppertunity as head coach!!!

Michael11 added 17:27 - Mar 18
Change is needed now before it's too late. Two week international break now before our next game. Plenty of time to get someone in to motivate this overly comfortable/lazy squad until the end of the season. If we hire the right manager now, they can evaluate the squad and sort things out properly in the summer. Doing that will somewhat get the fans back on board for next season. Time to look to the future as it's painfully obvious that McCarthy's time is up.

positivity added 17:27 - Mar 18
25-1 to go down at bet365

cat added 17:29 - Mar 18
The glorious run had to come to an end at some point!! I am still confident we will avoid the drop, and relegation is certainly not at the forefront of my mind. A 5 point margin is ok, especially due to the fact there are many clubs below us with a poorer goal difference. Rotherham and Wigan are down, END OF, psychological advantage gained though with Burton and Blackburn throwing away good and late leads respectively.


ps Happy anniversary!

bluemike1969 added 17:30 - Mar 18
Wait for the usual McCarthy rubbish. We lost to a better team, we were second best..etc etc

But Ipswich are lucky to have me, I'm a good manager, none better than me!
You have lost it and if you haven't gone come Monday then it proves that Evans doesn't give a toss about our once great club.
Patience has run out now. You are not the great manager you think you are. You are so up your own arse and it's time to sod off now. Interim manager till the End of the season and then the Cowleys in ready for next season.
You are a waste of space and can no longer harp on about saving us in your first season. GO!!!

Pencilpete added 17:31 - Mar 18
Playing 7 defenders every week isn't exactly the recipe for the entertaining brand of football on Evans magical 5 point plan. But then ever since this was announced by captain invisible we've seen none of it implemented by the manager anyway. Our club is in serious trouble guys.

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