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Cardiff City FC - reports and rants   Cardiff City 0 Walsall 1
  26th December 2003

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View of Ninian Park, Cardiff City vs Walsall, December 26th 2003
» City vs Walsall panorama. Click on picture for larger image

Nationwide Division One, December 26th 2003

There wasn't much festive cheer on display during this dreadful display on a wet, dark and thoroughly miserable Boxing Day.

With the game inexplicably kicking off at the ridiculously early hour of 12 noon, a subdued atmosphere from the hungover crowd was hardly surprising, but we didn't expect City to play like a bunch of turkey-stuffed party poopers.

17,500 crowd for Cardiff vs Walsall Boxing Day 2003
Big crowd at Ninian. It wasn't that long ago that crowds of 4,000 were the norm at City, but our rise to Division One has seen gates - and ticket prices - soar upwards. Over 17,500 made it to Ninian Park for the game, with Walsall managing just a few hundred - a reasonable achievement considering the complete lack of public transport and early start.

City on the attack, Cardiff vs Walsall, Boxing Day 2003
City on the attack . Walsall started brightest, but City slowly started to exert some authority on the game. We rarely sparkled in the first half, with missed opportunities and a general lack of enthusiasm dampening spirits in the Bob Bank. Here, Kavangah floats a hopeful ball into the box from a free kick. His hopes were dashed.

Ground improvements at Ninian Park, Cardiff vs Walsall, Boxing Day 2003
Ground improvements. Recent investment has seen much needed improvements to the stadium, with new toilets, refreshment bars and large video screen. Sadly, this has been exploited as another means to bombard half-time crowds with adverts.

Welcoming Cardiff City
Grey day at Ninian. Despite the noon kick off, the darkening winter sky meant that the flood lights had to be turned on during the second half. With 20 minutes to go, Emblen bundled the ball over the line to give Walsall an undeserved 1-0 lead. This finally woke Cardiff up from their festive slumber, with a salvo of attacks and near-misses following. Alas, it was too little, too late and our lacklustre performance consigned us to yet another defeat. Cardiff have now failed to win at Ninian Park in five attempts, a sequence stretching from 8 November.

Tighter than a crab's arse
Wet and pissed off . We were unfortunate enough to be standing in the open area in front of the Bob Bank, which meant we got absolutely drenched as the Heavens opened for the last ten minutes of the game. After enduring one of those cold, wet and soul-destroying, "Why do I keep putting myself through this misery?" football moments, the final whistle put me out of my misery.

We headed to the pub to plan the next City trip.

Happy frigging Christmas.

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