McNaughton In Shooting Chance Shocker !
Cardiff City full-back Kevin McNaughton remains an ever-willing runner and does all he can to support the Bluebirds attacks from full-back despite having the unenviable task of covering the entire right flank with Don Cowie operating in a 'tucked-in` midfield role. The former Aberdeen man often makes marauding runs down the wing, though his final ball is often lacking.
However, if a telling final pass is somewhat of a rarity for McNaughton, then the opportunity to score is a virtual impossibility. There have been a few shots over the past few seasons, but very few to trouble the goalkeeper though one memorable strike last season hit Cowie on the six yard line when it looked to be flying in.
Therefore it was a surprise on Friday night for the fans when a neat move down the City left saw a pull-back which traversed the penalty area to find McNaughton 16 yards from goal and with the space to shoot. It was also a shock for McNaughton, but he did recover in time to control and get a shot away on target - though he was certainly unsure whether to place his effort or blast it. In the end, he did neither but still forced an excellent sprawling diving save from visiting Keeper Smithies. I'm sure he considered putting it out for a throw-in - far more natural for the defender...
McNaughton has netted just twice in his Cardiff City career, and that puts him in negative figures with several own goals against him! Of those two goals, one was a nicely hit volley in an FA Cup tie against Hereford while the other was an embarrassing affair when a looped cross evaded Luke Steele and crept under the bar during a 3-0 win over Barnsley during the 2007/08 season - he did look suitably abashed.
Overlapping full-backs to support the attacks are a feature of Cardiff City under Malky Mackay, and McNaughton has more clear cut chances than the vast majority of our side so far this season. On current and past form however, hopefully the next falls to a striker, Peter Whitttingham or other attack minded player (even preferably Mark Hudson!).