Date:Monday August 11 2008
Cardiff City started the game as expected with new boys Tom Heaton, Mark Kennedy and Ross McCormack all starting. Bothroyd and Comminges made the bench.
The first chance of the game fell to Saints when impressive centre-back Svensson found space to head over when well placed.
Throughout the game, Cardiff put debutant goalkeeper Tom Heaton under severe pressure with some poor backpasses - one of which was nearly capitalised upon until Heaton in-explicably caught the ball on the slide resulting in a dangerous indirect free-kick which hit the wall.
Cardiff found it difficult to get going, and looked sluggish and bereft of creativity. However, they lifted the game close to the half hour mark after McCormack flashed a 30 yard drive narrowly wide bringing the fans and players to life.
Ledley, Whittingham and McCormack all had chances to score but it was target man STEVE THOMPSON who scored the opener with the coolest of finishes from the edge of the box - calmly side-footing into the corner.
However, the lead was lost disappointingly on the stroke of halftime. Saints were allowed too much time on our right flank and Peter Whittingham lost his man as a low cross was bundled home by a sliding McGoldrick.
HT: Cardiff City 1-1 Southampton
The second half saw little activity or quality until the introduction of new signing Jay Bothroyd added something different for City. One mazy run showed signs that Boythrod can make things happen and he appeared up for the fight.
Roger Johnson hit the post, while Loovens headed over while well placed as Cardiff looked to take all three points but we looked too reliant on set-pieces and when we did find space in attack there were no bodies in the box and Kelvin Davis was assured in collecting. In defence, Cardiff looked reasonably safe although the diminutive Nathan Dyer mis-controlled when he should have scored.
However, just as the game seemed certain to end in a draw, City won a throw on our left flank. Ledley seemed to take the throw to Mark Kennedy - but the stand-in left back caught the ball and took the throw himself upsetting a few Saints players. A free kick resulted from which ROGER JOHNSON rose highest and got enough on his header to see it strike a defender but loop into the net - clearly a foot over the line for a dramatic winner.
Maybe a little harsh on Southampton, but the rarely threatened and were guilty of a lot of time-wasting. There are plenty of things which need to improve but the result was the important thing and a packed Ninian Park support went home happy and hoping for better to come.
FT: Cardiff City 2-1 Southampton
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Date:Monday August 11 2008
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