Date:Wednesday October 22 2008
Cardiff City picked up auseful away point last night following a draw with promotion hopefuls Watford at Vicarage Road. It could so easily have been more for the Bluebirds in a dramatic game.
In a highly charged opening, City won an early corner only to lose possession and concede a devastating early goal. John-Joe O'Toole nodding home after we failed to deal with a long throw.
Cardiff were stunned but regained their composure and began to find some rhythm. Unfortunately, Watford managed to score the crucial second after McNaughton lost the flight of the ball allowing Will Hoskins to get an effort on goal - the ball deflecting off Purse past a stranded Heaton for 2-0.
Despite not playing badly, I admit to fearing Watford would be too strong and disciplined to let a 2 goal lead slip. How wrong I was as Tamas Priskin clearly elbowed Purse in the face prior to a Hornets free-kick, spotted the linesman and the striker was dismissed. The third against City in two games.
The sending off gave us renewed confidence and we began knocking the ball round with ease enjoying plenty of possession. However, the final ball was lacking quality and we still looked short of ideas. Credit to Watford who battled hard but you felt sure if we could score 1, the second would come. We created numerous opportunities, but most were half chances until Whittingham was fouled by Tommy Smith in the area - inexplicable and surely the chance to change the game. Unfortunately Richard Lee is in no mood to concede penalties and duely saved his 3rd in 2 matches from McCormack before Whittingham shot wide from the rebound.
You felt in might not be our night, Whittingham had another glorious chance but blazed over from 8 yards - only to be replaced by Eddie Johnson - surely a last resort from Dave Jones?!
On 72 minutes, the pressure finally told and it was City's turn to enjoy a slice of luck as Jay Bothroyd's shot was cruelly deflected past Lee for 2-1 and Bothroyd's second for the Bluebirds. Two became three after just a couple of minutes and there was no luck this time as the former Wolves man controlled following a corner and lashed a fine effort home to level the scores.
With 15 minutes to go, Cardiff were rocking and continued to press for the winner. There were a bucket-load of chances, far too many to catalogue here but no winner came. Watford had one good chance on the break to steal it but a breathless finish failed to break the deadlock and both sides finished with a point. More importantly, it was a gutsy fighback (albeit aided by a crazy dismissal) and maintains Cardiff's unbeaten run.
Date:Wednesday October 22 2008
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