Forest 1 - 2 Cardiff City. Website reaction.

Last updated : 23 August 2003 By Michael Morris

Cardiff city produced a devastating 45 minutes of football to pull off a shock result at the City Ground today. You could get 4/1 on a City win at the online bookies this morning.

The first half had City fans drooling at the quality of City’s play. It took only 75 seconds for Robert Earnshaw to burst through and fire past Darren Ward. The little striker out muscled the defence to create the opportunity after Langley’s through ball.

City fans were still celebrating when the Bluebirds won a free kick on the edge of the box, Graham Kavanagh stepped up and placed a perfect free kick into Darren Wards net. The keeper was grasping thin air. The accuracy of the shot would have won a nod of approval from Robin Hood himself.

City were solid in defence with Daniel Gabbidon again in fine form. To be honest the whole team were excellent. Earnie twice and Willie boland put efforts over the bar and city were more than worthy of a 2 – 0 half time lead. Tony Vidmar went close with a header. Neil Alexander was rarely troubled and when he was called upon, mainly for crosses, his handling was excellent.

The game was controlled by the excellent Howard Webb. He’s my favourite referee, his last three games with us are Cardiff 1 – 0 Bristol City, Cardiff 1 – 0 QPR and today’s win. Can we have him every week.

Forest had to come at city in the second half, they put city under pressure at the start of the second half but city held firm. As Forest pushed forward city looked to attack on the break and looked dangerous every time. Forest pulled a goal back on exactly 70 minutes when Marlon Harewood turned and volleyed home to the surprise of the helpless Alexander, it was the only thing Alexander missed and city can thank their keeper for a last minute goal line save that made sure city won all three points.

Darren Ward made three superb saves late on to keep the score-line down, he produced one particular save from the top drawer to deny Alan Lee his opening city goal. Robert Earnshaw missed a couple of great chances as Chris Barker rampaged down the left and put quality ball into Earnie’s path.

City could not match the quality of football in the second half and there was a little hesitancy at times. I think that was a slightly cautious approach and the heat which was intense at times, not quite Rotherham but heading for the mid 80’s. The failure to put Forest to the sword nearly cost city a couple of points, Alexander’s last gasp save ensured a deserved victory, but it would be harsh to concentrate on missed chances when the rest of the performance was so good.

The 2,500 city fans today witnessed one of the greatest City performances for years made even more impressive by the opponents and the venue.

We’ve now had consecutive victories at the City Ground, only 26 years apart. This result today will mean so much more if we follow it up with a win against Derby County on Monday.

Congratulations to the manager and the players for the performance, the result and the belief that we can compete at this level.