| Cardiff City 6 Crewe Alex 1
Championship, Saturday 22nd October 2005
Crazier than a strung-out South London crack squirrel, Cardiff City's topsy-turvy season continues to tickle the innermost pleasure centres of the brain just at the moment when you are about to curse every man jack (if you'll pardon the language) of this infuriatingly inconsistent team for their failure to grab games by the scruff of the neck and finish them off.
The gnarled and rotting football cliché that nothing less than an emphatic victory was required today was rightfully rolling around the pubs and terraces prior to this afternoon's game.
Indeed, Rhys Shaggy Weston had prophetically declared to the useless local rag, the South Wales Eggo, that this team was on the verge of ripping some hapless opponent to shreds at any given moment.
The portents, then, were good, another home game, a beautifully warm Autumn afternoon and a shockingly, embarrassingly poor Crewe side playing their part as the clodhopping pantomime horse.
The game got off to an encouraging start, Cardiff applying the early pressure and being rewarded with a gift of a goal from Crewe's generous and foolish defence.
New boy Michael Ricketts was presented with the ball in the penalty box and needed no encouragement to bury it in the back of the net to continue his rehabilitation - not entirely convinced myself, as he looks slow and ungainly in possession - but his strike rate since arriving on loan cannot be sneezed at.
Cardiff were then seized by their customary bout of the vapours, sensing a victory in front of their home fans, they withdrew into their shells and invited Crewe to attack.
Two warning headers from the Crewe front men were trumped by a third from lanky defender Stephen Foster which sailed over Neil Alexander's head.
Same old same old… Excitement, elation, followed by frustration as maddeningly predictable as ever.
After a half-time Jones-blast, Cardiff responded with hwyl and chutzpah, sensing now that the balsa-wood spine of this turgid Alex team was ready to snap with the slightest exertion of extra muscle and firepower.
So the all-out assault began, masterminded by the godlike Jason Koumas and spearheaded by the not-long-for-these-parts wunderkind Cameron Jerome.
When they remembered to involve the midfield and not hoist long ball after long ball in the direction of the strikers, Cardiff sliced Crewe's defence apart with gusto and glee.
Jerome in particular was outstanding - his pace, movement, skill and sheer hunger for the goal were a delight to watch. If he does not get sold in the January transfer window, then this Cardiff City supporter will be shocked to the core.
If he does fly the nest, it will be a calamitous blow which could precipitate a fatal collapse in the fortunes of this football club.
Prior to today's goal-fest, they have been riding their luck and flying through games by the seat of their pants - despite the best efforts of Project Dave Jones, the foundations upon which the early season spell of good form is based are tentative to say the least, and will undergo a ferocious test in upcoming away games against the likes of Sheffield United, Leeds and Norwich City.
But enough of the doom and gloom already - today was a day to savour as the goals poured in - six of varying quality - Joe Ledley's fine arcing header made it two, Cooper's first goal for the club was a neat placed drive, Purse converted cockily from the penalty spot, Jerome capped a startlingly good performance with a strike past Crewe's befuddled keeper and genius Koumas rounded things off with a beauty of a shot into the corner.
Cardiff's indifferent and maddeningly intermittent form was put to one side today - this was total football of genuine pulsating excitement. Crewe were poor beyond belief, but to score six against any side is a goosebump-raising achievement.
The 10,800 responded in fierce vocal fashion, the ground was rocking as all four sides of the stadium saluted their have-a-go heroes.
We may have only moved up one place in the table, but this victory may kickstart a genuine push for the play-offs - provided, of course, that DJ is given the go-ahead to strengthen and not deplete this buzzing work in progress.
Perhaps when that happens the miserably fickle stay-away glory-hunters will return to Ninian Park - today's crowd was the lowest home Saturday attendance of the season, which, given the recent surge up the table, is both depressing and worrying.
We were getting bigger crowds in the old fourth division fer chrissake - in the glory glory Eddie May days. At least we now have conclusive proof that the sleeping giant tag can be safely and finally shredded.
We are a small-ish club with incredibly committed, passionate fans - there just aren't many of us…
© Paul Davies 2005
Cardiff manager Dave Jones:
After 20 minutes we should have put the game out of their reach but didn't and I had to let my players know how I felt.
"We took our foot off the gas midway through the first half which gave them hope but we lifted ourselves.
"I am really delighted for all the players
"Cardiff reaffirmed their Coca-Cola Championship play-off credentials with an emphatic 6-1 victory over struggling Crewe.
With the scores tied level at 1-1 at half-time, Cardiff came out after the break to destroy Crewe with a devastating masterclass in clinical finishing."
"Was at Ninian Park yesterday for what was apparently City's biggest goalfest in 34 years. Quite simply superb (in the second half, anyways). Koumas is a different class altogether, his goal was outstanding and his all round play left Crewe for dead. The presence and power of Ricketts and Jerome up front was another big factor.
I even started to feel sorry for the single busload of Crewe fans who had made the journey by the end. Still a miserable gate though. Lets hope that this result has been a wake up call to the stay away fans and we'll get a few more supporting the boys in weeks to come."
bendeus (u75 bulletin boards)
<Back to match reports index
<Back to homepage
u75 home - action - mag - photos - rave - drugs - punch - football - brixton - useless - boards - search - help/FAQs - copyright statement -design - contact