Dreadful away record costs chance of promotion

Last updated : 20 April 2008 By Michael Morris
City have failed to beat any of the bottom six sides away from home this season. Our results against those teams have been three draws and three defeats. We have collected just three points from a possible eighteen against the six worst sides in the division.

After winning the opening two away games of the season City have won just twice on the road in the last 19 matches. To even be in with a shout of the play offs was something but today's defeat just re-infornced the reality that we are not quite good enough.

Colchester, relegated. City only drew at Layer Rd. Scunthorpe, relegated. Defeat at Glanford Park. Sheffield Weds, in bottom 3. We lost at Hillsbrough. It's no wonder we are set for a mid table finish.

The Bluebirds needed to win today and hope Crystal Palace lost at Watford. Then City would have had 6th place in their own control. Win all our games, get into the play offs. Well that idea went out of the window. We lost Palace won and now we are 8 points from 6th place with 3 games to go. Two of those are away. Forget it.

The first half of today's game was instantly forgettable, a poor pitch combined with poor passing and poor control from City made it scrapy and little in the way of goalmouth action. Just as the 45 minute approached City took the lead. Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink found himself in front of goal and he managed to poke the ball through the keeper to make it 1 - 0 to City.

As the second half started Hasselbaink found himself in possession in the box again. This time he had to manouevre himself and his delicate effort towards the corner of the goal came back off the post into the keeper's arms.

City then got done by a double blow. Scunthorpe scored twice in 3 minutes to take the lead. Firstly a corner was not dealt with and Enckleman was helpless as the ball flashed past him from the near post and then three mins later Scunthorpe were ahead as the defence failed to pick up the striker who was all alone in the box and he passed the ball into the net with the defenders looking stunned towards the linesman.

Cardiff came back though, Joe Ledley scored from the edge of the box to make it an end to end, absorbing opening 20 mins of the second half. The game drifted again though and City failed to take control, the inability of the forwards to hold the ball up or to carve out a chance for themselves cpontributed to the eventual result.

As the 4 mins of injury time ticked away City allowed a run from Marcus Williams and he was tripped by Glenn Loovens with the referee pointing to the spot. Paul Haynes placed the ball past Enckleman into the middle of the goal to take the three points for the already relegated Scunthorpe.

Former Jack Izzy Iriekpen was singled out for plenty of stick and gave as good as he got with "swim away" actions. Ultimately he had the last laugh.

City therefore remain in the Championship and have an FA Cup Final to look forward to. Any results achieved in the league now are a bonus, a chance for Dave Jones to mould his FA Cup Final line up.

I was back home by 9pm thanks to a quiet motorway system. Maybe the price of £1.129 a litre for petrol at the services made everyone stay at home.