Just one more game to endure and we'll be free, free!

Last updated : 22 April 2015 By Paul Evans

Cardiff City entertained some team from London who played in yellow and are likely to be relegated to whatever the league below us is called these days yesterday – the other lot really needed to win the game, but didn’t.

The match got off to a misleadingly bright start when some City player (it was probably Mason or Whittingham because they were wearing long sleeves) headed not too far wide after about thirty seconds, but things soon settled down to the normal pattern for home games this season – i.e. very little happening.

Actually, I’ve just remembered who we were playing and that I forgot to mention what the score was. It was Millwall and….oh bugger, I forgot to post that birthday card!

City were not creating much, but it seemed to me that they were enjoying the better of things in midfield where we had the very rare luxury for this season of Whittingham and Gunnarsson playing pretty well at the same time and there was a flurry of action around the half hour mark.

It was 0-0 by the way. Anyway, back to that flurry of action I mentioned. Former City keeper David Forde made hard work of a Whittingham shot from twenty five yards that was well struck, but virtually straight at him. Forde was also greatly concerned by what I thought was a cross by Ralls that glanced off the crossbar.

The one time in the match when City's hoofed balls forward found their target - ex Cardiff man awakes from his snoozing to get his head to  a pass.*

The one time in the match when City’s hoofed balls forward found their target – ex Cardiff man David Forde awakes from his snoozing to get his head to a pass.*

A fine run down the right by Doyle got the crowd excited for a moment, but the striker’s cross was just out of the reach of Mason and someone else, while some bloke from um, yeah Millwall had a potshot from thirty yards that Marshall dealt with easily.

Note to myself, I must check if I need to get bread and milk for tomorrow

This first half report was written in the style of City’s performance during the opening forty five minutes – vaguely interested, but, essentially, distracted.

The first peeryod hadunt been anything special, but compared to whAT followed it was top drawer stuff.Just as against Wigan in their last home match City basicAlly stopped playing at half time.

In that match on Good Friday City came up against opponents who were roofless in there finishing, butt, luckily for them, this time they were up against a side who had left they’re shoe tin boots at home.

Centerback Mark B Vers smacked an effort off the crossbar and Marshall did brilliantly to turn Gregorees follow up effort on to a post. ALexander then saved well with his legs after Ravel Morrison had carelessly given the ball away.

Worst of all for the visitors, sub Fletcher-Taylor made a complete mess of a simple chance provided by another sub Fullher after he had shaken off Bruno Manga too easily – Jeez why am I stuck in here writing this on a lovely evening like this?

All City had in reply during the second forty five minutes was an effort form Owen Doyle from a good position ten yards out that he skied a long way over the top – I honestly can’t think of any other times when we threatened the Charlton goal.

This second half report was written in the style of City’s performance in the closing three quarters of an hour – full of basic errors, while showing a desire to be elsewhere.

Now the serious bit, City made it just two wins in their last thirteen home league games with a dreadful 0-0 draw against relegation haunted Millwall. The visitors really should have won as City spent the second half seemingly hell bent on gifting them the three points that would have given them a decent chance of staving off the drop.

Millwall weren’t good enough to capitalise on their host’s generosity though and must surely be thinking that they missed a glorious opportunity yesterday.

City were just about reasonable I suppose during a first half that I thought they just edged, but a stat which says so much about what watching us play at home this season is like is that it is now nine games since we scored in the first forty five minutes of a game at Cardiff City Stadium.

My heart goes out to those poor souls in the Family Stand who have not seen their team score at their end in a league match since Sean Morrison’s scruffy match winner in the back to blue game against Fulham. Those of us sat at the opposite end of the ground should be grateful to have witnessed a whole five goals at our end during that time – riches indeed!

However, the two forty five minute periods I’ve watched in our last two home matches while the team have been “attacking” the Canton Stand have to be among the worst I’ve seen in terms of creative play – now I know fans have a tendency to apply “worst ever” labels to stuff they’ve just watched, but what has there been in the second half of our last two home games to get even mildly interested about?

Probably the closest we came to scoring  - Eoin Doyle's cross just eludes Joe Mason with the Millwall defence having been opened up. At the time I thought Mason had not been quick enough to get to the pass, but it turned out that the ball as played him - credit to Doyle for a very good run, but , typical of this team, the final ball wasn't good enough.*

Probably the closest we came to scoring – Eoin Doyle’s cross just eludes Joe Mason with the Millwall defence having been opened up. At the time I thought Mason had not been quick enough to get to the pass, but it turned out that the ball was played behind him – credit to Doyle for a very good run, but , typical of this team, the final ball wasn’t good enough.*

It’s funny how you remember things sometimes, but I can recall writing after we beat Sheffield Wednesday to record a record breaking tenth consecutive home win in our Championship winning season about how the team grew stronger attacking the Canton End, but if there was a magnet of sorts drawing the ball into the net in those days, there’s been a force field around our opponent’s penalty area in the last two games.

In the unlikely event of anything interesting threatening to break out on the pitch, we had referee Mark Brown and his linesmen officiating as if they thought they had an audience of poorly patients watching the game who were not to get excited under any circumstances. Virtually every time there threatened to be any penalty area action, the awful Mr Brown was there to blow his whistle and stop the game – his insistence that an injured Millwall player receive attention on the pitch while City tried to take a corner deep into added time defied belief.

So, those cursed individuals unfortunate enough to possess 2014/15 season tickets have only one game left before they complete their sentence. Who knows, perhaps this insipid Cardiff side and already relegated Blackpool will come up with a classic next Saturday which will mean that, Bournemouth’s visit last month will have some company when it comes to truly watchable league games staged at Cardiff City Stadium this season.

Those nine matches in which we’ve not scored at the Family Stand end began with Derby’s visit on the Saturday before season tickets for 2015/16 went on sale, so the club have had the thankless task of trying to convince people to part with hundreds of pounds at a time when we are losing far more than we win at home and goals have become something of a novelty.

I looked around the crowd during the so called more entertaining first half and it was really revealing. So many people were fiddling with their phones or finding something else to do rather than watch the football – it’s got to the stage where it’s a case of anything but the football, even for many of those who have not been able to kick the habit of going along to Cardiff City Stadium every fortnight – they will eventually though, just keep serving up the current dross and Russell Slade will soon have the two men and a dog he is, supposedly, used to managing in front of.

* photos courtesy of https://www.flickr.com/photos/joncandy/