by Reece Chambers at the Cardiff City Stadium
Cardiff City made a winning start to their home league campaign, beating Luton Town 2-1 at the Cardiff City Stadium.
Second-half substitute and new summer signing Isaac Vassell clinched the decisive goal in the 94th minute with a crucial header.
A second-half goal from another summer signing, Aden Flint, opened proceedings in the 61st minute, following a tight first-half, before Matty Pearson levelled the game with just four minutes to play.
For Neil Warnock’s side, this is their first win of the campaign – having lost 3-2 at Wigan Athletic on the opening weekend of the Sky Bet Championship 2019/20 season.
Newly-promoted Luton Town have shown yet again that they are a force to be reckoned with this season. After a 3-3 draw against Middlesbrough in the season’s opening fixture, a marginal loss to the Bluebirds will give them hope going into the remainder of the campaign.
With a number of new signings on show, Head of Sport Reece Chambers outlines five things that we learnt from Cardiff’s first win of the season…
1) It’s going to be a long season
Neil Warnock’s teams don’t do things the easy way. That was certainly the case here with a last-gasp winner to kick-start the home league campaign.
The Bluebirds failed to assert any sort of authority you might expect from an ex-Premier League side playing at home. Luton caused them a number of problems and showed that Cardiff won’t be able to breeze through teams this season.
Perhaps this was the wake-up call the Bluebirds needed, what a difference one goal can make.
2) Marlon Park showing why Warnock recruited him
Purchased on deadline day from Bristol City, Pack looks like quite the acquisition. His leadership qualities and technical ability shone through in his league debut for the Bluebirds.
Whilst there will be more to come from Pack, this was a sign that Warnock has recruited wisely.
3) Murphy and Glatzel need time to settle
The two forwards showed a lot of promise, constantly threatening the Luton defence. Their pace and power was void of any end product, though. On a number of occasions, Murphy got himself into a promising attacking position, twisting and turning against defenders, but failed to create anything clear-cut.
Glatzel, too, was unable to get a proper grip on the game. His potential is clear, but it will take time for Warnock to find his most productive attacking line-up.
4) Aden Flint a good buy
The ex-Bristol City and Middlesbrough defender arrived in the Welsh capital earlier this summer, and has already proved his worth. As an imposing defender, Flint is well-renowned for his presence at the back.
He showed just why Warnock signed up in the 61st minute, when he dispossessed George Moncur brilliantly in his own penalty area. Moncur was bearing down on the Bluebirds’ goal and probably would have scored, had it not been for Flint’s brilliance.
Ultimately, Flint was the match-winner with the crucial last touch to divert a brilliant Josh Murphy cross into the back of the net. Warnock will certainly be pleased with his new summer signing.
5) Luton here to compete
Many Cardiff City fans will be expecting to easily brush aside teams like Luton Town. However, the Hatters proved their worth with an expansive style of play that really troubled the Bluebirds at times.
While end product may have been missing, Graeme Jones’ side showed that they are here to compete in the Championship. A last-gasp winner from the Bluebirds was definitely a kick in the teeth for Luton, who may have felt hard done by at the final whistle.