Cardiff 2-2 Plymouth (report)
Cardiff City and Plymouth Argyle founght out their second see-saw draw of the season as a brace for Steve Thomspion for the home side and David Norris for Plymouth saw both teams take a point from the Boxing day clash.
Stephen McPhail and Riccy Scimeca both revovered from doubts to start but Alan Wright came in for the injured Kerrea Gilbert. There was a welcome return also for Willo Flood on the bench after a thigh strain.
Plymouth started much the better and caused havoc in the Cardiff defense just by walking slowly towards us. A succession of bad referring decisions broke the game up and what little fluency there was belonged to the visitors whose crisper passing and better confidence was on show.
The goal was inevitable and duly came on 34 minutes after a Barry Hayles pass found David Norris 10 yards out on the left to sweep home. The space was created after Darren Purse charged forward from defence without winning the ball, but the gap between he and McNaughton was too big and the midfield were bypassed far too easily.
Dave Jones obviously had a few choice words at half time as Cardiff came out a completely different side. The committment was back, and whilst some needless errors still punctuated the play, they looked capable of scoring again.
Cardiff got the goal they needed soon after break and it was STEVEN THOMPSON with his first since 17th October as he rammed home a Riccy Scimeca pass after good build up play by Cardiff. And on 52 minutes it was 2-1 to Cardiff as superb interplay found ledley on the right, he opted not to shoot but pulled back and the ball came to Kevin McNaughton who strode through 2 tackles on the edge of the area and with everyone baying for the sho, stood up a perfectly flighted cross to the far post with STEVEN THOMPSON waiting for the easiest of headed finishes.
The topsy-turvy game allowed David Norris to equalise after a another pass from the 'abrasive' Barry Hayles but Norris should not have beaten Alexander from such a tight angle, he was merely a yard inside the by-line when he shot.
Stephen McPhail had two chances to win it for City, sidefooting one oppurtunity and firing over with another. Roger Johnson also had a chance while Barry Hayles went just wide with a shot on the turn for Plymouth.
Darcy Blake and Willo Flood came on for Cardiff but they were unable to force another goal despite enjoying the majority of second half possession.
It was yet another point for Cardiff making it 4 draws in the last 5 games but at least Steve Thompson and the team are scoring again. Michael Chopra was off form yesterday withhis touch deserting him and frustration getting the better of the Geordie. When City get their 2 strikers firing together, they will be a much tougher opposition.