Ledley's double helps blow Q.P.R. away

Last updated : 30 January 2008 By Michael Morris
At half time if it was a boxing match the referee would have intervened. Such was the dominance of Cardiff City's first half performance. The stats read something like 7 efforts on target from Cardiff and none from the visitors.

Lee Camp in the Rangers goal single handedly kept the score to a near respectable 2 - 0.

A 6 - 0 lead at the break would have been a fair reflection.

City then declared on the hour when it became 3 - 0 and only after that did we see any fight from Rangers.

A shocking back pass set Paul Parry through on goal and as he drew out the Rangers keeper he squared for Joe Ledley to side foot home from 6 yards. Aaron Ramsey, starting the game in place of the injured McPhail, crossed for Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink to turn the defence and lay it off for Ledley to score just as easy a second goal.

Jimmy Floyd was involved in the third goal again when his cushioned headed for Parry 20 yards out and vis a deflection Parry skipped into the box to pass the ball through Camp into the goal and it was 3 - 0 and just about game over.

Ranger's goal was quite bizzare when Michael Oakes fumbled a ball into the box and as he tried to recover he took a whack on the head from Hogan Ephraim who managed to put the ball over the line before limping away himself.

In the confusion that followed the Q.P.R. fans didn't celebrate as they didn't know they had scored. The players didn't celebrate as they were concerned for both Oakes and Ephraim and it took a full 30 seconds for the away support to cheer the goal and another 2 mins before a groggy and wobbly Michael Oakes left the field to be replaced by Peter Enckleman.

The Finn punted his first clearance the length of the pitch into the arms of Rangers keeper Lee Camp and from then on Enckleman was encouraged to shoot whenever he had the ball.

Rangers managed a period of pressure but City held on and nearly scored again. Paul Parry broke through one on one only to see his lob beaten away by Camp who was clearly several yards out of his box. The only person not to see it was a blatant handball and a red card incident was the referee and his linesmen.

City survived one more major scare when a City defender deflected the ball goalbound only for Enckleman to acrobatically touch the ball onto the crossbar before an even more acrobatic bicycle kick out of defence from I think Kevin McNaughton.

City then saw out the 6 mins added time.

Man of the match for me was Kevin McNaughton. Another excellent defensive display. His tackling ability is a joy to watch. George Burley should have included him in the latest Scottish squad.

Special mention to Aaron Ramsey, the 17 year old was a more than suitable replacement for Steve McPhail, also Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink who had one of his best games in a City shirt. His onfield coaching of Paul Parry and the two goals he set up showed how influential he is on a game.

Of course I must mention the goalscorers. Ledley and Parry. 00:01 on Feb 1st can't come quick enough. We must keep these players if we have any ambition to fight for promotion.

So that's 5 straight league wins at home and 6 wins from 7 games, home and away in all competitions. Dave Jones must be a contender for January Manager of the Month.