Cardiff City Set-Pieces: The Good, Bad & Ugly
Cardiff City's victory over Bristol City was a strange affair, from the indignity of going 2-0 down within minutes of kick-off, to a stirring fight-back and positive performance.
Despite the Bluebirds having a glut of shots, it was the set-piece that ruled the day and directly led to 4 of the 5 goals.
Firstly, a free-kick on the byline was floated to the back post where Caulker was waiting to head home his first ever goal. The marking was suspect, but the cross stood up invitingly for Heaton if he had gone to claim it but the former Man Utd man seemed to misjudge the flight and was left stranded.
The very next set-piece saw Jon Stead fire home from 5 yards out after we failed to deal with a corner and the bouncing ball was hooked in. The general havoc in our penalty area at the set-piece has been a persistent problem, and though we tightened up - we could easily have been out of the game if facing better opposition than Bristol City.
Bothroyd pulled a goal back - importantly since we then went into the break just one behind and it took just moments before Peter Whittingham duly equalised. This was an ugly goal, but no City fan minded and Whitts notched his first goal of the season after an 11 game wait. It was akin to Chris Burke's effort away at Middlesbrough last year, the ball evading all players, bouncing across the keeper and nestling in at the far post.
The winner was an alltogether different situation as Whittingham grabbed his second courtesy of yet another free-kick. With Koumas, Chopra and Whittingham all on the pitch - you'd have thought the Robins would be very wary of giving away daft free-kicks but captain Louis Carey did just that, invitingly on the edge of the area.
Whittingham produced a fine curled effort past the wall and into the corner, securing the three points and prompting a heated argument as David James berated his defenders, only fpor them to have a good go back at the 'world class' 'keeper who had let in a dodgy free-kick, and been beaten again when he got caught flat-footed.
Cardiff City wont mind the manner of the win having been 2 goals down early on. However, the unease under the high ball is a real cause for concern and begs for a leader to organise, inspire and dominate. At the moment, Heaton, Gyepes, Hudson and co do not look comfortable and having Naylor mark Stead at corners was never a clever idea!