Date:Saturday August 26 2006
Cardiff lined up as expected with Kerrea Gilbert making the game and Paul Parry playing in front of him on the right. Cardiff started much the brighter and used a pressing tactic allowing the Birmingham player little space and closing down David Dunn immediately whenever he got the ball. City were confident and passing crisply although some early passes were too relaxed and were cut out. Chopra hit a volley from 16 yards which was held by Doyle in the Birmingham goal.
After 11 minutes, Cardiff took the lead. Kevin McNaughton collected a clearance on the left and drove to the edge of the area shooting low at the near post. Doyle got down well to tip onto the post for a corner.
Parry took the corner short and got a lucky bounce to got free on the by-line before pulling back for JOE LEDLEY to cooly finish from 12 yards.
It took Birmingham 26 minutes to create their first real moment of danger when Campbell went clear but was denied by a great saving tackle by Loovens.
Cardiff were still enjot=ying the better of the possesion and on the stroke of half time Michael Chopra burst past two defenders into the box but Doyle just manages to smother his shot.
HT: Cardiff 1-0 Birmingham
City came out after the break in storming fashion. A Thompson cross to the back post just needed a touch from Parry but he just couldnt reach but collected the ball on the right and cut back for Loovens whole shot from 18 yards just flew left of the goal. Loovens again went close soon after hitting the bar following a Stephen McPhail free-kick.
On 53 minutes Chopra challenged Nafti and was booked by the referee, Chopra barely made contact and the booking was undeserved. The resulting free-kick from 45 yards nearly creted a goal. Alexander was standing 8 yards from his goal and McSheffrey chipped the ball goalwards. The shot was going in but Alexander just recovered to tip over ending up in a heap tangled in his own net.
Roger Johnson was on hand to dispossess DJ Campbell when clean through on goal, Johnson came from nowhere to pull off a remarkable challenge and save an almost certain goal.
Cameron Jerome entered the game to deafening boos and made little impact. Jerome did get clear once following a mix up between McNaughton and Loovens trying to play offside but Jerome's shot flew well over to chants of 'What a waste of money'.
Birmingham were having the majority of possession but Loovens and Johnson were dominant and kept on clearing their lines effectively when under Birminham pressure. City did create chances and Thompson and Chopra linked well on the edge of the area but Thompson's return pass was just too strong for Chopra.
On 74 minutes, City went two up as Steve Thompson crossed from the left and PAUL PARRY was free at the back post to steer a deflected shot home from 10 yards out. City deserved their lead and the crowd celebrated accordingly.
Birmingham pushed but never really threatened after going 2-0 down and City had the best chance remaining in the 90th minute after Kerrea Gilbert jinked through the area but his shot from 6 yards was brilliantly parried by Doyle.
FT: Cardiff 2-0 Birmingham
A fantastic win for the City sees us move clear at the top of the Championship with 4 wins and a draw form 5 games conceding just 2 goals so far. A near sell out crowd of 20109 saw the win and will have been mightily impressed with a determined and professional beating of a very strong side. Cardiff dominated and deserved their win.
There was some unnecessary disturbance mostly in the Birmingham fans section and several seat were ripped and thrown before the police used their batons to restore order. A number of Cardiff fans congregated on Sloper road after the game but were eventually dispersed without further trouble.
Date:Saturday August 26 2006
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