Cardiff 1-0 Southampton (report)
A crowd of just under 20000 packed into Ninian Park tonight with a palpitable air of anticipation in the air. City were aiming to make it 5 wins in a row against a Southampton side with injury and consistency problems.
If Cardiff expected the Saints to sit back, they were sadly mistaken as Southampton started the game much the brighter and came at Cardiff from the start, Rasiak going close early on. Southampton were closing the City midfield down well and the Cardiff players were finding it difficult to utilise the slick touch-and-move passing that has been such a feature of their play.
Chopra did have a shot deflected over and Loovens just failed to react quickly enough from a corner as Cardiff found their rhythm. After about half an hour Cardiff came closest to breaking the deadline when Paul Parry cut in from the right and his low shot fizzed along the turf and was not held by Davis in the Southampton goal, Scimeca and Chopra were both following up but the bal;l was scrambled away from a corner.
The second half saw very few chances as Parry and McPhail had shots blocked by Chris Baird and Alexander was out quickly to save from Kenwyne Jones.
Just as the game seemed to be heading towards a draw, City pulled a goal from nowhere in the way that top teams always seem to manage. Chopra took possession 35 yards outs and turned and ran directly at goal, he slipped the ball to Thompson jhust as he looked about to shoot and the big Scot shifted the ball onto his left foot and sent a blistering shot rising into the top right corner to send Ninian Park into raptures. It was a great finish and no more than Thompson has deserved for his recent performances and tireless team play.
Alexander saved under pressure from a corner as Southampton tried to fashion an equaliser and the again outstanding Darren Purse made a good saving challenge to deny Rasiak. It was a determined performance from Cardiff tonight and they stuck to their task well. Southampton may feel slightly aggreived to leave with nothing but Cardiff showed slightly more attacking intent and it payed off. It was an even game and could have gone either way but the win keeps Cardiff 6 points clear od Preston and extends the gap over other sides.
12 games in and City are going well, Chopra is now suspended for the next game againt Nowich who picked up a good win against Birmingham in Peter Grant's first game in charge.