Coventry 1-1 Cardiff (match report)
Cardiff fielded an unchanged line-up against Coventry after Ledley recovered from a twisted knee but Cardiff were put under early pressure by the long ball tactics with Adebola winning several early flick-ons.
The home fans had to wait just 7 minutes to see a goal after Misfud turned Joe Ledley far too easily and squared to Leon McKensie, the striker having time to switch feet before burying the ball for the opening goal.
Soon afterwards, Cardiff got their first sniff when Chopra found some space only to be dispossessed by a fantastic sliding challenge from Cardiff old-boy Robert Page. Chopra also fired over from a free-kick but Cardiff were struggling for possession and not matching Coventry physically. Paul Parry did shoot narrowly wide but Coventry should have doubled their lead on 40 minutes when the impressive Mifsud hit the inside of the City post after a Loovens mistake.
Coventry were punished for their miss, when, on the stroke of half time. Cardiff were awarded a penalty by World Cup referee Graham Poll. Robert Page blocked Roger Johnson with an elbow and MICHAEL CHOPRA stepped up to net the equaliser and his 6th in 4 games.
HT Coventry 1-1 Cardiff
Cardiff began to settle after the break and Whittingham missed a good chance shooting high and wide when free. Cardiff took the lead with a spectacular goal soon afterwards when a good run by Parry saw the ball break free for PETER WHITTINGHAM to curl sublimely past Andy Marshall. A wonderful finish and Whittingham's second goal in consecutive games.
Cardiff looked the better side and were passing better but the game was changed on minutes when Cardiff's Dutch defender Glenn Loovens was dismissed for a second yellow card after pulling back Mifsud, it looked a little harsh but after 6 first half bookings, it was odds on that someone would go.
On-loan midfielder Simon Walton switched to centre-back, and Cardiff's lead lasted no time at all. An excellent cross from Jay Tabvb was headed down and in by Dele Adebola and with 20 minutes to go, Coventry were clear favorites.
Under constant pressure, Cardiff weathered some dodgy moments, 2 goals were disallowed and Alexander made a superb point-blank save to deny Adebola. Cardiff did manage to hang on for a draw but were forced to camp well inside their own half for long periods and could count themselves fortunate to come away with a point.
A reasonable result for Cardiff then, it looked like they would win again until the sending off which changed the course of the game but they need to learn from this physical, bruising encounter and not be bullied so much. The timing of the goals were crucial and had they not got the penalty on half time, the game would probably have been lost.
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