Cardiff 1-2 Norwich (Match Report)
Cardiff City started reasonably well against one of the in-form sides but lost their way as the visitors put pressure on and restricted the Bluebirds passing game.
Peter Whittingham was involved early on as he whipped in a dangerous cross and later showed a tremendous piece of skill on the by-line to beat two defenders.
It was Norwich City who began to take control and former Cardiff target Gary Doherty headed over when left free at a corner. It was the visitors who took the lead when the best move of the match saw McNaughton isolated after some deft passing and the cross fell to Welshman Ched Evans who has intelligently dropped back and fired low past Oakes for a 1-0 lead.
Going behind spurred Cardiff City on and Roger Johnson saw a goalbound shot blocked after City forced a free-kick. The game remained stagnate until Hasselbaink livened up the crowd with two well struck, but narrowly wide shots. Peter Whittingham also fired over from 16 yards after turning inside the Norwich penalty area.
Cardiff were unlucky not to equalise when Roger Johnson won a header but the ball wouldn't fall for Joe Ledley and he was forced to chest the ball, Marshall gatehring in the process for Norwich.
However Cardiff City did equalise in the fourth minute of added time at the end of the first half. Ledley nipped in ahead of the hapless Doherty and found time to square, Hasselbaink dallied but found GAVIN RAE whose shot found the net courtesy of a deflection.
The second half was a dour affair and neither team showed any real quality in attack. Ledley's curling effort was easily caught by Marshall while at the other end Oakes nearly fumbled a weak Ched Evans effort.
The last 10 minutes saw the game open up a little and only a superb diving save prevented Parry converting a well placed header. The Welshman rose highest in the box and the only criticism of his header was that it fell at the right height for Marshall, nevertheless it looked a certain goal and it really was an excellent save.
Just as the game looked to be heading for a tame draw, the brilliant Ched Evans took possession on halfway and unleasehed an unstoppable drive from 35yards - it was simply an awesome strike.
Successive defeats for Cardiff City, they did deserve a point from this game but didn't play well and they must improve if play-off aspirations are to continue. There was no plan B, and little by the way of creativity. Norwich were organised but looked vulnerable on the floor and created very few chances, they must be delighted with the three points. A word on Ched Evans who was the best player on the pitch, he really looks an excellent prospect for the future - at least he's Welsh.
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