Date:Thursday August 18 2011
Cardiff City were well beaten by a hard-working and efficient Brighton & Hove Albion as the Bluebirds conceded sloppy goals and looked jaded and short of ideas.
Both teams tried to play with a high tempo and after a scrappy start, it was Cardiff City who were well on top. The Seagulls continued to find their frontmen, but all too often they were offside of mishit their efforts. The Bluebirds looked to take advantage and began playing with more control. However, immediately after this spell of dominance - Brighton took the lead.
It was an uncharacteristic sloppy pass from Peter Whittingham that gifted possession to Ashley Barnes, who strode forwards under no pressure before hitting a 30-yard low effort past Marshall. The shot was not brilliantly hit, but accurate though Marshall will surely feel he should have done better as the ball slipped under his diving hand.
During the second half, Brighton were far more comfortable and restricted space to good effect. Only Kevin McNaughton was given any space on the ball, he advanced willingly but never had any option for the pass with cowie pushing inside, and the strike duo of Earnshaw and Miller largely ineffective.
The lead was doubled when Mark Hudson badly misjudged Mackail-Smith's turn, overrunning the ball before bundling over the 'Gulls striker as he advanced on goal. Contact was minimal, but Hudson was behind the striker, never alongside and should have known better. The penalty was duly converted by Barnes but in truth, City could have been punished earlier when Gerrard dallied too long and was robbed only for Mackail-Smith to hit the post.
Rudy Gestede came on for Cardiff and immediately made an impact. He won our first headers in opposition territory and we began to find some direction. However, a killer third goal came from Will Hoskins, fired from the edgfe of the area and across Marshall when there appeared little danger.
Cardiff City did notch a consolation goal through Peter Whittingham in the 90th minute when Miller was pushed in the box. Last night's referree liked to be in the spotlight, but I'm sure no penalty would have been given if the result hadn't already been decided.
Cardiff City 1-3 Brighton & Hove Albion
Date:Thursday August 18 2011
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