Cardiff City Survive Frenetic Iron Fightback
Cardiff City leave Glanford Park with all three points after beating Scunthorpe United 4-2 - though we were made to work hard after a spirited fightback from the hosts that will have reminded City fans of Peterborough last season.
The Bluebirds stormed to a 3-0 lead, courtesy of a brilliant start and tempo that Scunthorpe just couldn't handle. We took the lead through Jay Bothroyd after less than a minute when he cooly slotted home after Chopra's shot was blocked. He returned the favour just minutes later, when the new England squad member set-up Chopra for an easy second.
Burke went off injured, to be replaced by Koumas - necessitating a change in style but with Bellamy, Whittingham and Bothroyd in particular causing problems, we looked likely to score in any attack. Indeed, Bothroyd got his second and City's third after turning home a dangerous Bellamy cross. McNaughton had earlier gone sop close after a superb run and chipped effort that dropped just wide.
The hosts also caused problems, but were unable to capitalise until moments before the break when McDonald lashed home to give the Iron hope for the second half. They really took the game to us after the restart and played without constraint to cause numerous problems for our defence.
Forte went close after bamboozling Blake before Joe Murphy made a world class save to deny Bothroyd a classy hat-trick. The big striker showed sublime poise to jump and volley, only for Murphy to produce a wonder save reminiscent of Kasper Schmeichel's save against Leicester City while on loan in 2007.
As we dropped deeper, Scunthorpe gre in confidence and when N'Guessen pulled another back on his debut - the Bluebirds were in trouble. Heaton produced two brilliant saves, while Cliff Byrne also hit the post when he should have scored.
Bellamy's shot on the turn nearly produced a goal, before the we killed off the encounter courtesy of a Seyi Olofinjana goal - though the big Nigerian knew nothing about it as Jason Koumas' poweful 20 yard effort hit Olofinjana's thigh, and flew past a stranded Murphy.
A Gyepes error nearly allowed N'Guessan in to set up a nervy finale, but Hudson and co. stood firm, with Michal Chopra typifying our desire to win after tracking back 60 metres to cover with Naylor and McNaughton out of position.
An important win, and one that sees Cardiff City retur to the top of the table after QPR drew with Nottingham Forest. Full credit to Scunthorpe, they were outclassed in the first half hour, but threw everything at us and will be in no danger of relegation if they keep this level of determination and endeavor up over the rest of the campaign.
Scunthorpe Utd 2-4 Cardiff City