Jacks Beat Disappointing Cardiff City
Cardiff City went down to a disappointing 1-0 defeat to local rivals Swansea City in a game that delivered much of the committment, but little of the footballing quality promised before the game.
Cardiff settled much the better in the tense atmosphere and enjoyed the better of the opening exchanges, Stephen McPhail heading a Parry cross onto the roof of the net before Joe Ledley was rightly booked for a sliding lunge.
Darren Purse headed a corner over before Swansea had their first chance, a long ball reached Gomez but the Spaniard was offside and Enckelman had already dealt with his effort.
On 24 minutes, Cardiff City had an excellent chance to take the lead when no-one tracked Roger Johnson's late run at a free-kick but he missed the target with his free header. City forged another great chance soon after when good build up play saw Gavin Rae release Bothroyd behing the Swans defence, but from a tight angle De Vries managed to divert the shot away.
Swansea had grown into the game by now and were enjoyed more possession, Jason Scotland nearly gave them the lead on the stroke of half time as he turned Johnson but Enckelman saved with his legs.
HT: Swansea City 0-0 Cardiff City
After the break the standard of football deteriorated dramatically. Cardiff brought on McCormack for the ineffective Eddie Johnson but failed to supply the Scotsman with any decent ball. Unable to keep possession, Cardiff were under pressure from the Swans but the home side failed to cause serious problems to our defence.
On 56 minutes, the game changed when McPhail needlessly made contact with a Swans player just outside the box - it wasnt a definate foul but the stupidity cost as Gomez fired a low free-kick onto Gavin Rae's boot, and Garry Monk's back but still had enough power to beat Enckelman and give the delirious Swans a lead.
From then on, it was going to be tricky but the quality was not there. Bothroyd played so deep he caused little problem, but the only service to the frontline was simply terrible.
McCormack and Bothroyd both got the ball in the Swans net, both ruled out for offside though Bothroyd was unlucky as he remained onside until the cross flicked off an also onside McCormack.
It's impossible not to mention the discipline of the Bluebirds. Six yellow cards were shown, most undeserved but as professional players you play to the referee and whilst McPhail, Ledley and McCormack deserved a caution each - Whittingham and Comminges barely made contact while McPhail received a red card for a superb slide tackle in which he cleanly won the ball before any contact with the player.
However, the referee had just warned McPhail, and despite him being unlucky and undeserving of the dismissal - you have to question the rationale of such a tackle within a minute of being warned.
Swansea had two late chances to wrap up the victory through Gorka Pintado but the score remained 1-0. A deserved victory for Swansea City though the match officials were poor. I'm glad this wasnt a league performance, but Enckelman and the disappointing Eddie Johnson wont expect much league action for the forseeable future.