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Match Report

 

Posted Thu 21 Jun 12 at 22:40 PM

Town held League leaders Cardiff City to a goalless draw in an entertaining game in south Wales.


Both sides had chances to grab a winner but in the end both had to settle for a share of the spoils.


Mick McCarthy handed league debuts to strike duo Aaron Mclean and David McGoldrick, as well as recalling quartet Bradley Orr, Luke Chambers, Guirane N’Daw and skipper Carlos Edwards to the starting line-up.


The opening exchanges of the game saw both sides fighting for possession, with the first real opportunity not arriving until the 15th minute.


It fell to Guirane N’Daw, who let fly from all of 30 yards, but the Town midfielder’s effort came crashing off the bar with ‘keeper Marshall well beaten.


The Senegalese international was running things in midfield and after seeing his free-kick deflected away by the Cardiff wall after 25 minutes, Orr crossed to the back-post for McGoldrick, who’s hooked effort fell just the wrong side of the post.


However the hosts did respond to the latest Town effort well, with good work down the left from Bellamy allowing him to cut the ball back for Peter Whittingham who was denied by a superb sliding block from both Chambers and N’Daw, before Craog Conway smashed the loose ball over the top of Scott Loach’s goal.


Town were taking the game to the Bluebirds and Lee Martin was close to breaking the deadlock ten minutes before the break. A neat free-kick routine saw Aaron Cresswell lay the ball off for the midfielder to hit, with his effort flying just wide of the target.


Malky Mackay’s side did threaten five minutes before the break though, as Whittingham’s centre across the face of goal looked to have picked out Craig Noone at the back-post but the midfielder failed to make any connection.


Whittingham then tested Loach with a long range free-kick, however the Town stopper comfortably saw the ball sail wide.


Town almost grabbed a goal just before the break, as a neat flowing move involving Orr, McGoldrick and N’Daw saw the ball switched to Cresswell’s, who delivered a delicious ball into the area that Mclean was just unable to apply a touch to.


However the hosts themselves were close to a goal themselves in first-half injury time, as Bellamy’s cross was headed just wide of his own goal by Blues striker McGoldrick, before the referee called time on an entertaining first 45 minutes.


The hosts made a fast start to the second-half and it took a fantastic last-ditch tackle to stop Bellamy, after he was sent through by Joe Mason.


On the hour mark, Town went close to scoring themselves. Martin's corner was headed on by Smith, with Mclean just unable to apply a touch at the back-post.


The hosts came close to breaking the deadlock after 77 minutes, with Conway picking out Aron Gunnarsson but the midfielder headed over from six yards out when he should have done a lot better.


Meanwhile Blues were still looking for a winner and went close twice in quick succession. First Tommy Smith saw an effort blocked from close range, before Edwards saw his effort defect just over the bar with five minutes remaining.


Town almost snatched in injury time, as a quick counter saw Murphy play in Frank Nouble but the striker fired just wide of the target and the game ended in a draw.

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