A look at our rivals in Division 1 (part 2 P - W)

Last updated : 03 June 2003 By Michael Morris
Preston North End

Last met 08/04/2000. Preston North End 0 - 0 Cardiff City. Division 2.

At the time the goalless draw at Deepdale was a creditable result that kept City's hopes of avoiding relegation alive. Alas it wasn't to be. It shows how strong the second division was in 1999/2000 with Preston, Burnley, Millwall, Reading, Gillingham all now in the 1st division.


The Madjeski Stadium

Last met 26/12/2001. Cardiff City 2 - 2 Reading. Division 2.

I can't wait to go to the Madjeski Stadium again. City have played there twice and won both games. The last time thanks to two goals from Leo FW. Reading performed excellent last season, their first in Div 1 after promotion and they made it to the play offs. Wolves, the team promototed knocked them out over two legs.

Rotherham United

Last met 16/03/1999. Rotherham 1 - 0 Cardiff City. Division 3.

Congratulations to Ronnie Moore, the former City player has taken his team from the 3rd Division into the 1st Division and kept them there. Millmoor will be considered as probably the least glamorous ground we are going to this season but it's a 1st Division game nonetheless. Rotherham beat City twice in 98/99 but it was Cardiff who were promoted. 12 months later City were relegated back to the 3rd while Rotherham were promoted to the 2nd. Another year on (2001) and Rotherham went up again. The following season they escaped relegation on goal difference but have since consolidated and finished 15th last season.

Sheffield United

Bramall Lane

Last met 27/01/1999. Sheff Utd 4 - 1 Cardiff City. FA Cup.

The two teams played at Bramall Lane in the FA Cup a few years back. The winners of the tie had the reward of playing Arsenal at Highbury. At half time the score was 1 - 1, Kevin Nugent levelling an early strike from Paul Devlin. United went on to score three time in 16 second half minutes and it was the Blades who went to Highbury for a very controversial cup tie (incidently Jeff Winter, who referee's our Bristol away play off, was in change at Bramall Lane that night).

The Arsenal v Sheff Utd game had to be replayed becuase of a Kanu goal, scored after Arsenal should have thrown back the ball to Sheff Utd but as the United players stood and watched Arsenal scored and Arsene Wenger offered a replay which Arsenal won anyway.

United were beaten finalists at the Millennium Stadium last season.

Stoke City

The Britannia Stadium

Last met (gulp, this is hard to type) 01/05/2002.
Cardiff City 0 - 2 Stoke City.
Divison 2 play off semi final 2nd leg.

Plenty of rivalry here. The clubs were hardly best of friends when Cardiff bought Stoke skipper Graham Kavanagh, with Kav claiming he was coming to a bigger club (that didn't exactly go down well). The Bluebirds then took top scorer Peter Thorne as well. Both players had suffered play off heartbreak and were looking for Cardiff to take them to Division 1. Fate then brought the sides together in the 2002 play offs. It was going so well Cardiff won at Stoke (2 - 1) and only had to keep a clean sheet at Ninian Park to make the Millennium Stadium. All went well for 89 mins then Stoke scored, extra time followed and Stoke scored again. Kav's, Thornes and thousands of City hearts were broken and it was Stoke who went on to be promoted while Kav, Thorne and all were left as play off bridesmaids again.

But here we are only one year on. Kav and Thorne have had their play off success, Stoke narrowly avoided relegation and hopefully this time around City will flourish and Kav's words will turn out right in the end and we prove we are a bigger club than Stoke.


The Stadium of Light

Last met 03/05/1980. Cardiff City 1 - 1 Sunderland. Division 2 (old).

Here we look at the first of the relegated clubs. When we last met a whole generation of City fans had not been born. There was no Stadium of Light in those days, Roker Park was the home of the Mackems. Now City face a trip to one of the best league grounds in the country. It's also the longest trip from Cardiff. Please let it be on a Saturday so we can plan a weekend break. A Tuesday night in December would be awful.

Mick McCarthy is than man in charge, he took over as they were relegated at the end of last season, they went down with the lowest points total in Premiership history. Only 19. Huge expectation in the North East and is sure to be a fantastic away trip.


The Bescott Stadium

Last met 30/01/1993. Cardiff City 2 - 1 Walsall. Division 3.

Another "local" game. The three nearest grounds are West Brom, Walsall and Reading. All around 105 - 115 miles from Ninian Park. You can see the Bescott Stadium from the M6, we pass it on any North Western away trips, right next to the RAC building on the M5 / M6 split. It was hardly noticeable before but they've just built and enormus "Purple Loans" stand at one end. City fans will be at the opposite end in the small stand nearest the motorway.


Vicarage Rd

Last met 09/10/1984. Cardiff City 1 - 0 Watford. Legue Cup.

I remember going to this game with my girlfriend. Only way she'd come was because I told her Elton John might sing at half time. That was her first and last game. She's never been since and we are still together nearly 20 years later. The 1 - 0 win was not good enough though as we'd lost the first leg 3 - 1. Watford are another club who've had their time in the Premiership, it didn't last long but they are a solid first division club.

West Bromwich Albion

The Hawthornes

Last met 19/04/1975. WBA 2 - 0 Cardiff City. Division 2 (old).

28 years since we last played them. Goodness me. A big game for Daniel Gabbidon. A chance to show Gary Megson what he missed by letting Gabbidon go. Also it a chance to meet up again with Frank Burrows. The former City manager (twice) is Megsons right hand man. This is our new local derby. Just down from the Premiership it's another mouthwatering fixture.

West Ham United

Upton Park

Last met 06/05/1981. Cardiff City 0 - 0 West Ham Utd. Division 2 (old).

Probably seen as the biggest club we are going to play this season. I don't need to tell you much, as a Premiership side they were on the TV every day. Too big to go down? Obviously not. Freddie Kanute, Joe Coles, Paulo Di Canio, Trevor Sinclair, David James etc etc Ten players were released after relegation but for sure this is going to be a huge occasion. Glen Roeder missed their demise through illness and Hammers legend Trevor Brooking just failed to keep them up.

It brings home how much promotion means when you see this fixture. It could have been Hartlepool I was reviewing (no disrespect to the Monkey Hangers but you can see the difference).

Wigan Athletic

The JJB Stadium

Last met 26/04/2003. Cardiff City 0 - 0 Wigan. Division 2.

Not much to say about the Division 2 winners last season. Paul Jewell took the league very comfortably with a solid if not spectacular team. Full credit to them, they were the best team in the league, methodical, efficient and ultimately champions. With a an average attendance of only around 7,000 they in the lovely JJB Stadium with less that half the seast occupied, maybe they will attract more in the first division.


Milton Keynes

Last met 21.09/1999. Wimbledon 3 - 1 Cardiff City. League Cup.

Sam Hammam and Wimbledon. The man who took them from the 4th Division to the Premiership, to an FA Cup winning final, this is one fixture that Sam will either love or hate. In the end the relationship soured, Sam walked away after selling his share, Wimbledon were left without a ground of their own and next season are starting a new life in Milton Keyes. They are Wimbledon in name only. The local support now go to watch Wimbledon AFC in one of the lower leagues in the football pyramid. Only a few hundred home supporters went to watch Wimbledon at Selhurst Park last season. They are hoping for more at Milton Kenyes by selling cheap season to tickets to the locals and by offering packages for those who will still make the 150 miles round trip from the South West London to the new ground.

They have been dubbed "Franchise FC".

So there you have it. Have a happy Division 1. We've been waiting for it since 1985.