Stoke 3 - 0 City

Last updated : 28 November 2006 By Michael Morris

Nothing McNaughton can do to prevent Stoke's 2nd
Report from Eleanor Crooks. PA Sport.

Cardiff's two-and-a-half-month run at the top of the Coca-Cola Championship came to an end in emphatic fashion against in-form Stoke.

Three goals in five second-half minutes transformed a previously lacklustre game and guaranteed the Potters their fifth consecutive win - all without conceding a goal.

The visitors, who drop behind Preston in the table, created little and have now won only two of their last eight games.

Cardiff also ended the game with 10 men after Stephen McPhail was shown a straight red card by referee Mike Riley for pushing Lee Hendrie in the face late on.

The on-loan Aston Villa midfielder exchanged angry words with Bluebirds boss Dave Jones when he was substituted moments later.

Both managers named unchanged sides from the weekend. Roger Johnson again deputised for the injured Glenn Loovens in the Cardiff defence while Ricardo Fuller and Dave Brammer had to settle for spots on the Stoke bench on their return from suspension.

Cardiff created nothing in the first quarter of an hour as the home side started the stronger but Michael Chopra should have given them an unlikely lead.

Paul Parry jinked into the area and chipped a cross to the back post, which the striker somehow headed wide from inside the six-yard box.

Stoke persevered with their tactic of hitting long balls to Mamady Sidibe and Vincent Pericard but the pair were well marshalled by Darren Purse and Johnson.

Darel Russell did get a sight of Neil Alexander's goal in the closing moments of the first half but his well-struck 30-yard shot flew wide.

The first meaningful action of the second half saw Steven Thompson booked for a clumsy challenge on Michael Duberry. The Cardiff striker was also the target of a water bottle thrown from the stands.

Thompson then had a chance to silence the home crowd but headed straight at Steve Simonsen from Purse's knockdown.

Stoke boss Tony Pulis brought Fuller on for Pericard early in the half, and it proved an inspired decision as the former Southampton striker grabbed the opening goal on the hour mark.

Fuller strikes
Johnson slipped on the edge of the area and Liam Lawrence found Fuller, who struck a precision shot across Alexander.

Three minutes later it was two as Cardiff failed to clear a Hendrie corner and Lawrence smashed in his first goal for the Potters.

And the home crowd were in raptures when Sidibe squeezed a shot from the edge of the area past a shell-shocked Alexander for Stoke's third.

Substitute Patrik Berger should have added to Cardiff's embarrassment but he shot over the bar when clean through.

Stoke Simonsen, Hoefkens, Duberry, Higginbotham, Griffin,Hendrie (Brammer 87), Russell, Diao, Lawrence (Berger 68),Sidibe, Pericard (Fuller 52).

Subs Not Used: Hill, Buxton.

Booked: Duberry.

Goals: Fuller 60, Lawrence 63, Sidibe 65.

Cardiff Alexander, McNaughton, Purse, Johnson, Wright,Ledley (Kamara 66), Scimeca, McPhail, Parry, Chopra,Thompson (Campbell 75).

Subs Not Used: Howard, Cooper, Gunter.

Sent Off: McPhail (85).

Booked: Thompson, Chopra.

Att: 15,039

Ref: M Riley (W Yorkshire).