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This is a selection of ad-hoc comments, drunken ramblings and recollections about the City. Some of you might find it interesting. But probably not.
Reading 0 Cardiff 1 25.03.00
At last - a win!
After a dismal run of performances that has seen Cardiff slipping deeper into the murky depths of the relegation zone, the mighty Bluebirds turned in an astonishingly confident performance against in-form Reading at the swanky Madejski Stadium.
A superb turnout of 'impressive travelling Cardiff fans' (sports.com) helped swell the crowd to over 10,000, and they weren't to be disappointed. Cardiff dominated the match throughout, making a mockery of Reading's unbeaten home record - it could have easily been a far higher deficit for the home team.
New boy Kurt Nogan inspired the Bluebirds throughout, and it seemed a formality when Bowen finally slotted home from the box to give Cardiff a well deserved - and unexpected - victory, which now puts them clear of the relegation zone.
Cardiff City 1 Reading 0 26.12.99
"feck! it's freezing"
You know that point that arrives, usually around Christmas when you know that short of a miracle, City aren't going anywhere particularly exciting this season? Well, after witnessing a run of miserable games where my frustration had manifested itself into personal injuries (severely bruised toe after kicking a wall in anger at the ref's decision at Wimbledon, knackered throat after Millwall etc), it only took a few minutes on the icy Bob Bank to get that same feeling.
Sure, Cardiff looked like they had the potential for some tidy football, but their lack of stability at the back and general cluelessness in midfield meant that this was not going to be a game to be fondly remembered. Reading looked every bit as crap as us, and despite City salvaging a draw, this was the game where I finally gave up my 'it's still technically possible for us to go up!' fantasies.
Miserable stuff, but at least the piss up in the pub was fun afterwards. Happy bleedin' Christmas!
Cardiff City 0 Wigan Athletic 0 25.09.99 "Bring on the Earnster..."
A disappointing crowd for such an important fixture saw the Bluebirds fail to capitalise upon a suicidal sending off which saw Wigan's ten men batten down the hatches for the last half hour in a Ninian Park re-enactment of the Alamo. Cardiff started slowly but then began to swing the ball about and totally dominated the game for a twenty minute spell in the first half. Wigan were compact, organised and fleet of foot on the break, but barely stretched the magnificent central defensive triumvirate of Eckhardt, Scott Young and newbie Tony Vaughan, who collectively did not allow the out-of-sorts Haworth a touch.
Andrew Legg was outstanding on the left hand side, torturing his opponent throughout the game with his speed and skill. Across the park Winston Faerber did some damage, but lacks the confidence which would enable him to tear into defenders, he's also far too one-footed. City's midfield played some neat and pretty stuff, but using John Cornforth as a central fulcrum inevitably slows things down too much - they need more zing and pacey runs from deep into the opposition box.
The real problem City have though is up front - time after time long arcing balls aimed at Super Nuge's head were gobbled up by a tough and towering Wigan rearguard, who were completely untroubled by the same old tactic. Bowen ferreted about e nthusiastically but to little effect. The attack lacks imagination - if Nugent's knockdowns for Bowen are not working, they seem unable to try anything different. There were only two decent chances in the second half, Faerber's powerful close range shot was well saved by Wigan's keeper and Nugent's hooked volley from the edge of the box sailed tantalisingly over the bar.
The late introduction of Nice but Dim Dai Thomas was the last tactical throw of a desperate Frank Burrows and changed things not a jot. Danny Hill showed some good penetrating mazy runs when he came on, but it was too late to influence the game. City are in desperate need of a striker, and until they get someone in, the time would appear to be right to unwrap the cotton wool from Robert Earnshaw and get him on - his superb performances for youth, reserve and Wales teams suggest that he is ready for the challenge and is gagging for a chance to prove himself at this level. Four points from two of the best sides in the division is a good-ish harvest, but after the early season euphoria, City's season is starting to sag a little, they are beginning to get left behind, and with three difficult awaydays on the bounce they are facing a tricky couple of weeks.
© Paul Davies 1999
Wimbledon 3 Cardiff 1 21.09.99
Well, I shouldn't complain really - after all we were playing a Premiership team, but if only we could have kept up the fighting spirit shown in the first half we could have winged this one. The stadium was almost totally bereft of Wimbledon fans, but the 1,500+ City fans belted out tremendous support throughout the game and were a credit to the team. Quite why a large line of police dressed in bullet proof vests was seen as appropriate is another matter....
QPR 1 Cardiff 2 25.08.99
Sadly, yours truly was bed bound for this game, recovering from a painful hernia operation (yowch!), but what the heck: I wasn't going to let that stop me enjoying the game! So I was reduced to the truly sad spectacle of spending two hours lying in bed, nervously flicking through the teletext results, and issuing hernia-threatening yelps of joy as the mighty Blues triumphed over QPR. Great results lads: this season's looking like a good 'un!