Date:Saturday December 23 2006
Cardiff City manager Dave Jones was able to field his first choice starting XI for the first time since October as Kerrea Gilbert (shoulder) and Stephen McPhail (suspension) returned to face Leicester.
There was more life to the Cardiff performance than in recent weeks after resolving off-field matters following a turbulent week for the Bluebirds but it was Leicester who went closest in the first half with a good double save by Neil Alexander denying Iain Hume and Elvis Hammond for the foxes.
Cardiff's Riccardo Scimeca was withdrawn at half time and taken to hospital suffering from 'sever chest pains' to be replaced by highly rated youngster Darcy Blake.
Rob Kelly's half time talk inspired the Foxes and they began the second half in breathtaking fashion forcing Cardiff right back and completely dominating possession. Cardiff held out despite immense pressure and some desperate last-ditch defending by City skipper Darren Purse saved Cardiff.
After weathering the Leicester storm, Cardiff began to re-assert themselves in midfield and as the game wore on Cardiff rediscovered some of the flowing football and neat touches that were behind their rise to the Championship summit.
Darren Purse made a storming run and played a good one-two with Steve Thompson to set up Parry whose shot was just stopped on the line. It was Michael Chopra however who spurned Cardiff's, and the game's, best chance in the closing stages when good Cardiff build up play saw Kevin McNaughton cross from the right and Michael Chopra completely miskick just 6 yards out and the chance was gone.
The game ended in Cardiff's third stalemate in six and leaves them without a win now in 7 games. Cardiff drop to sixth in the table but the performance was better from City. Darcy Blake looked impressive in central midfield and Ledley and Thompson looked sharper than in recent weeks. Cardiff desperately need a win to halt their alarming slide but the signs of improvement are there and they gained a decent away point at the Walkers Stadium today.
Next up is the Boxing Day home encounter with Ian Holloway's Plymouth Argyle where Cardiff need to use the home crowd to their advantage and re-discover their scoring touch.
Date:Saturday December 23 2006
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