Cardiff City 1-1 Sheffield Wednesday
By James Lloyd at the Cardiff City Stadium
Cardiff City were held 1-1 at home to Sheffield Wednesday in Neil Warnock’s second game of his Bluebirds reign.
Peter Whittingham scored for Cardiff with a curling free-kick early in the first half with Sheffield equalising ten minutes after the interval through Daniel Purdil.
Ben Amos enjoyed a solid game in the City net making a string of fine saves late in the first-half to deny Wednesday. But the result leaves Cardiff in the Championship drop-zone with Sheffield nudging their way up to 6th in the play-off places.
And it was the Bluebirds who came out of the blocks firing. After last week’s 2-1 win at home to Bristol City, Cardiff were notably intent on building some momentum. Rickie Lambert forced Wednesday ‘keeper Kieran Westwood into an early save from the kick-off before the home side found the lead nine minutes in.
Sam Hutchinson carelessly brought down Craig Noone on the edge of the area and up stepped Whittingham who coolly curled the ball into the top right corner for his second goal in as many games.
The game hit a lull as Sheffield took control with a keep-ball approach, but it was the home side who looked the more likely to score the games’ second goal. Aron Gunnarsson utilised his long throw and found Lambert who took a slick touch, swivelled and fired over the bar.
Westwood departed for Wednesday who finished the half with a series of chances. First Gary Hooper saw his shot saved by the alert Amos before Adam Reach’s powerful strike forced the former Manchester United goalkeeper to save strongly to his left.
On the cusp of half-time, Cardiff thought they had doubled their lead but captain Sean Morrison saw his header cleared off the line.
Ten minutes after the interval Wednesday had their equaliser. Hooper found space to the right of the area and drilled in a low cross which eventually found Pudil at the back post who did enough to drive the ball in via Amos’s body.
Like the first-half, the game hit a drab patch after the goal where neither side took control. Ross Wallace saw his effort sail over whilst Cardiff turned to new signing Marouane Chamakh to spearhead the attack.
The Moroccan’s introduction failed to catalyse a late winner with the former Arsenal striker clearly lacking match fitness. At the other end half-time substitute Fernando Forestieri had a shot comfortably saved by Amos.
Junior Hoilett had his head in his hands as he thought he struck a late winner, only to be ruled offside.
Cardiff City: Amos 7, Peltier 6, Morrision 6 (c), Bamba 6, Bennett 6, Gunnarsson 6, Whittingham 7, Ralls 6, Noone 6 (Pilkington 61, 5), Lambert 6 (Chamakh 62, 5), Hoilett 7
Sheffield Wednesday: Westwood 5 (Dawson 30, 6), Palmer 6, Lees 6, Hutchinson 6, Pudil 7, Jones 6, Lee 6, Palmer 6, Abdi 5 (Forestieri 45, 6), Wallace 6 (Buckley 74, 5), Hooper 6
Man of the Match: Peter Whittingham