Cardiff City Lucky, But Still Beat Millwall
Cardiff City played well under par but snatched all three points against dogged Millwall courtesy of Andy Keogh's first goal for the Blubirds - in the 89th minute.
Cardiff opted for Tom Heaton in goal, while injury kept Bellamy and Olofinjana on the sidelines. In a turgid start, it took time for Cardiff to get going but some crisp passing did bring the game to life even though Whittingham's cross was cut out.
It was slightly against the run of play when Millwall took the lead, with Lisbie given far too much space by Naylor and crossing for Scott Barron to finish from close range. Poor defending from Cardiff City.
From that point, Millwall looked the better side and were on top in the midfield. Howeverm Cardiff then scored somewhat against the run of play, JAY BOTHROYD finishing after poor defending by the Lions.
The key moment then arrived when Liam Trotter, up to this point having a good game and bossing midfield, went straight through Darcy Blake and earned a red card. I dont think the referree had any other option and saw the incident at close hand. A straight red, and the biggest surprise was that Blake returned to the field - and immediately got stuck back in with a fine sliding tackle.
The Bluebirds pushed on, but were lacking a cutting edge and were caught offside on a number of occasions. Lee Naylor continued to struggle against Lisbie and Morison and Mark Hudson had to be alert to clear off the line. On the stroke of half-time, Naylor found a good pass through to Whittingham who was clearly impeded after turning inside Ward. However, Whittingham's barren streak in front of goal continued as his penalty was saved by former Bluebird David Forde.
After the break, Cardiff continued to labour and were forced to play from the back far too often. In truth, Millwall were rarely troubled and despite a series of corners, Forde was not forced into many saves - though his handling is still far from perfect !
A lack of cutting edge saw long range efforts for Keogh and Burke drift well wide before a corner was flapped at by Forde, allowing Burke to drive low from 20 yards. Forde saved amidst a crowd of players, while Koumas' follow-up effort from the left was brilliantly stopped by Alan Dunne on the line. Whittingham then fired over and you sensed it mightn't be City's day.
Cardiff were fortunate that Millwall were reluctant to push forward as they caused problems every time they did. Danny Schofield shot wide while Lee Naylor was needed to prevent Morison shooting after a rapid Lions break.
With time almost up, the Bluebirds got the winning goal we craved and just about deserved when Bothroyd dropped deep and crossed from the right for ANDY KEOGH to flick a delightful header across Forde and in at the far post. He was clearly delighted, as were the Bluebirds faithful.
It was the three points that was welcome, the performance remained poor. The likes of McPhail and Naylor struggled badly, while Burke and Whittingham were starved of possession and lack confidence when shooting. Mark Hudson and Gabor Gyepes deserve a mention after strong and comitted performances as they mopped up a number of half-chances. Both had good games, as did the ever dependable McNaughton - but that's a given.
Cardiff City 2-1 Millwall.
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