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Cardiff 1 Bristol City 3
29th December 2001
Is it because we is CRAP?
Indubitably, with a double underlined emboldened flourish, YES. It's getting tedious to report, but once again, a 16.000+ crowd responded to the clarion call and the team capitulated like the disgraceful overpaid part-time powder puff dilettantes they are starting to resemble.
The biggest and most crucial game of the season and they blew it in time-honoured big occasion City-style. As the Bristol fans eloquently put it, "One-nil, and you f***ed it up.".
What Leeds United are going to do to us next week is starting to make me feel ill already.
City dominated the first half with a salvo of attacks and possession, all to no avail.
After the Boxing Day debacle, it was pleasing to note the vim and vigour with which the Bluebirds poured forward in the first 45, withstanding an ominous 5 minute spell from the cider-drinking reds, and peppering the visitors' goal with a life-affirming selection of shots and headers.
The nagging doubts started to cause unease as the half time interval approached and we still hadn't popped one into the onion bag.
Never fear - within minutes of the interval ginger leprechaun and over-acting ham Paul Durkin was pointing to the centre circle and signalling the official start of the Cardiff goal rush, workhorse Kavanagh having nodded home.
Euphoric rushes swept around the ground and were savoured for all of nine minutes until the Bristolian fightback rammed not one, not two, but three goals right back into our faces.
In keeping with the pantomime season Dame Dean Gordon stole the second half show with a defensive performance of stupefying ineptitude. The man is simply a disgrace to the blue jersey.
Once again he was tied up into shiny Christmas knots by a fleet-footed right winger, all three goals emanating from glaring mistakes on the left hand side of defence, where Gordon had erected a "Christmas Goals" sign.
A packed Ninian Park saw City fail to deliver ...again
If he ever plays for Cardiff again, there will be mutinous and rancorous defections from the terraces. He was booed off with such venom that one would be surprised if he is not already back home in Middlesborough plotting next year's Christmas calamity.
Only the superb creative maestro Jason Bowen and the tigerish Kavanagh can walk the streets of Cardiff with pride tonight.
Defensively, we need open heart surgery to heal the cavernous rifts ripping a hole in this team. Gabbidon is playing like a petrified timorous beastie and Prior looks like a creaking anxious wreck.
If anyone's got Don Murray's phone number can they please give him a bell before the Brentford game. The midfield worked hard with Bonner and Boland ferreting away aggressively, but there is a frustrating lack of imagination if Plans A B and C fail to take off.
Earnshaw was OK, but should have made more of the half-chances he was presented with. Gavin Gordon is just hopeless, and despite being an amiable worker, Leo Fortune-West is a lame duck at this level.
The folly of not bringing in a striker to cover Peter Thorne's absence through injury is starting to look as if it might sabotage our season. If we don't beat Brentford, then the game is effectively up.
by Paul Davies