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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
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
» 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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