Positives On Show As Cardiff & Sheff Utd Draw
Cardiff City came from a goal down to draw 1-1 with Sheffield United, but the Bluebirds will be ruing missed chances after the Blades were reduced to 10 men. City had much the better chances after Matthew Lowton was dismissed for a reckless 2-footed tackle on McNaughton, whereupon the Blades shut up shop and packed the midfield.
Neither team looked match sharp but City created the first clear opening when Chopra collected Whittingham`s reverse pass and slotted home - however, the effort was ruled out for a foul on Chris Morgan earlier in the move.
Kevin McNaughton was in fine form and got forward to great effect. However, the impressive Scotsman was lucky not to put through his own net after we failed to clear a corner - McNaughton`s header clipped the crossbar. Shortly afterwards, the Blades capitalised on some poor Bluebirds marking as Ched Evans found space in the area, I thought it was odds on for a penalty when Gyepes came from behind and appeared to get the man rather than the ball but it wasn`t to matter as former Swans man Leon Britton collected the loose ball and crossed for Evans to tap home. Jamie Ward was then denied by a smart stop from Marshall following a crisp 18 yard volley.
At this point, Sheffield United were ahead and causing problems from set-pieces while City were lacking a final ball and unable to set Chopra free. However the game changed just after the half hour when McNaughton reached a loose ball first only for Sheff Utd`s Matthew Lowton to carry through his lunge and send Super Kev flying. The referee had no hesitation is showing a straight red card. On first impression, I felt a yellow was fair, however, on reflection I saw two pairs of studs showing and the challenge was very late.
After that point, there was only one team in it. Fortunately for Cardiff, Sheff Utd decided to sit on their lead and defend deep - I think Hudson and co. would have struggled against the counter attack but the Blades barely had another effort on goal in the match.
The second half saw McCormack replace Gavin Rae to the displeasure of the Scotsman - who sent his water bottle and training top flying. Slowly, City began to dominate and forge chances with Peter Whittingham switched infield and driving forward to good effect. Bothroyd saw an effort saved before the equaliser came courtesy of good play from Chopra - he latched onto a through ball and managed to round Simonson before centring for JAY BOTHROYD to fire low p[ast the three defenders on the line - he did well to find the power needed, and keep the ball on target.
City pushed hard for the winner, and Chopra, McCormack and Burke all forced good saves from Simonsen and Whittingham and Darcy Blake saw long range efforts go wide. There were some good positives for Cardiff City, a point against Sheff Utd is never a poor result while Danny Drinkwater was busy in midfield, McNaughton showed his class on the left and Darcy Blake linked up well with Burke on the right flank.
Cardiff City 1-1 Sheffield United