Cardiff City & Ipswich Draw In Strange Game
Cardiff City and Ipswich shared the spoils in a bizarre game, full of twists and turns, but a point apiece was probably a fair result.
Cardiff started better, and Whittingham should have done better when both Earnshaw and Conway provided options but his pass was intercepted. The Tractor Boys responded through a fantastic low cross by Carlos Edwards, but no striker had gambled.
The first goal came from a long throw, well headed by Frenchman Rudy Gestede to give the Bluebirds the lead. At this stage, City looked dangerous going forward but over-run in midfield and conceding territory far too easily.
Ipswich Town drew level out of nothing, when former Swansea City striker Jason Scotland found too much space and unleashed a powerful low drive into the corner from 25 yards. After the equaliser, Ipswich took total control and were well on top as Cardiff struggled to cope with the movement and class of Bullard and Bowyer.
The theme continued after the break, and City could have conceded on a number of occasions, seeming completely uneasy with the formation and leaving gaps in dangerous areas.It was no surprise when the deserved goal came, though confusion reigned after ex-striker Michael Chopra nodded home a looping cross. The linesman had appeared to signal offside, City even took the free-kick but a goal was awarded.
The goal spurred City into a much needed substitution, and we quickly re-established a foothold in the game. From a disorganised and flat outfit, we once again looked bright and caused problems. Ben Turner and Whittingham both went close, before a decent shout for handball at the far post was turned down by the referee. The next shout wasn't however, as Earnshaw's effort saw him turn the ball back from the by-line into Cresswell's raised hand. A penalty was awarded, before the ref consulted his assistant - who claimed not to have seen anything - the decision stood, and Whitts smacked home an unstoppable effort.
Rudy Gestede missed a great chance late on when clean through, while a blatant foul on the marauding Kevin McNaughton went un-punished with the referee opting to avoid any further controversy. Ipswich chose to work a free-kick move rather than allow Bullard to shoot - and their chance was missed.
All in all a fair result, but strange game. City started the game better and finished by far the stronger. However, the middle period was undoubtedly won by the visitors, and they could have been out of sight. The chance in formation was crucial for City, and Macaky will have learnt a great deal to aid his plans for the numerous upcoming games.