Cardiff City maintained their unbeaten start to the season with a comfortable home win over a struggling Huddersfield side.
Joe Mason and Kenwyne Jones combined well from the start, with the former benefiting from a great run by Jones to nearly open the scoring on two minutes, only for Terriers goalkeeper Jed Steer to make a smart save. Mason then fired wide again minutes later as City dominated the opening ten minutes. Huddersfield, though slowly gathered some momentum, with Jonathan Hogg pulling the strings in midfield and testing City’s defence with some tricky runs.
Cardiff were forced into an early change just twenty minutes in, as full-back Lee Peltier, a former Huddersfield captain, was involved in a nasty collision with Hogg and was consequently replaced by Scott Malone. It didn’t take long for the former Millwall man to make an impact, making a smart interception to deny Sean Scannell from putting the away side in front.
Fabio and Matt Connolly were to thank for preserving the stalemate score-line, with the little Brazilian, a firm favourite amongst City fans, clearing off the line from Scannell’s effort, before Connolly dealt with Nahki Wells’ attempt to break the deadlock. In a first half of end-to-end play, home fans thought the scoring had been opened when Anthony Pilkington raced clear from a Mason ball to fire home, only for the offside flag to go up.
Not long after the break, Sean Morrison was called into action on more than one occasion as Huddersfield came out firing. Frustration also appeared to be creeping in amongst the home side as Fabio conceded a free-kick in a dangerous position. However, within minutes, the game had been turned on its head again as the tenacious Joe Ralls played a brilliant ball through to Jones, who turned Joel Lynch and fired straight at Steer. It was a sign of things to come.
The introduction of Sammy Ameobi, who was so impressive against Wolves, as a replacement for Jones was a catalyst for this. The on-loan Newcastle man was involved in the majority of City attacks from then on. Peter Whittingham shot just wide from distance, before one of his trademark free-kicks almost picked out Ameobi, only for Huddersfield to clear just in time. It would be only minutes though before Cardiff were ahead.
Ameobi again was at the heart of the attack, providing a sublime ball through for Pilkington, who, after some quick manoeuvring, turned to slot the ball past Steer. It is only the second goal for the former Huddersfield man in a City shirt, and must have been all the sweeter coming against his old team. The away side quickly made two substitutions, yet couldn’t regain dominance, as Malone again fed Mason a great ball, only for offside to be called again. However, he finally grabbed his deserved goal moments later, rounding Steer to slot into an empty net.
Cardiff can now look ahead to Tuesday’s clash with Hull from second place, only trailing leaders Brighton by four points.
Cardiff: Marshall (Captain), Peltier (Malone, ’19), Morrison, Connolly, Fabio, Pilkington, Dikgacoi, Whittingham, Ralls, Mason (Gunnarsson, ’86), Jones (Ameobi, ’59)
Subs: Moore (g.k.), Manga, Noone, Revell
Huddersfield: Steer, Smith, Lynch, Whitehead (Captain), Ward, Hogg (Huws, ’64), Scannell, Paterson (Miller, ’72), Cranie, Wells, Bunn (Carayol, ’72)
Subs: Allinson (g.k.), Davidson, Llolley, Dempsey