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Cardiff City FC - reports and rants   Cardiff City 1 QPR 1
  5th March 2002

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A massive night and a massive disappointment for Bluebirds fans in a game which was always marked down as a must-win 3 pointer as the remaining fixtures are cross-checked against opponents' run-ins and the state of the table by anxious would-be statisticians.

A great crowd of 13,425 was eager to watch Lennie's men extend the winning run and push upwards into the security blanket of the play-off zone.

It started in the worst possible way, QPR's quick-witted Paquette latching on to a through ball and firing home past a marooned Alexander whose lethargy in coming forward suggested his feet were being sucked into quick-drying cement.

After that the away side shut up shop, relying on breaking down City attacks and wellying it forward as they sought to run down the clock. Cardiff had three or four half-chances in the first 45, but struggled to find a way through.

Making his home debut, Campbell was energetic and eager to please, but without the pressing of Kavanagh and the twinkletoes lock-breaking of Bowen, goal opportunities were limited, to say the least.


Half time rollickings administered, the Blues' attitude and application intensified in the second half, Leo Fortune-West coming on for Brayson. The three-pronged attack failed to provide the necessary fireworks, yet another anonymous performance from Thorne adding to fans' frustration.

Equalising breakthrough came from a Scott Young header after Legg had launched a long throw into the box.

Despite all their possession, Cardiff never really looked like winning this game, and were lucky to escape with a point after a golden opportunity was wasted by Rangers in the dying moments. Paquette's dismissal on 78 minutes had no real impact on the outcome, as a bad-tempered second half petered out.

Once again, Cardiff's defensive frailties were exposed by an unambitious side. Josh Low had another night to forget and the team looked rudderless and bankrupt without Bonner, Kavanagh, Bowen and Earnshaw.

On a night when the quality of the midfield service starved the strike force of meaningful opportunities, it won't have gone unnoticed that two players who could have made a contribution to Cardiff's run-in scored for their play-off rivals, old boys Haworth and Burton ensuring vital victories for their new clubs, Tranmere and Stoke.

© Paul Davies 2002

Related links:
» CCFC Online match report
» QPR Manager, Ian Holloway says, "I wish we had a few thousand more fans like Cardiff's at QPR - they are passionate and that's what football is all about". Full comments here

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