Stoke City 1 - 1 Cardiff City. Match Report

Last updated : 09 January 2011 By Michael Morris
After leaving Cardiff after 11.00am were sat in the car park at the Britannia by 2.15pm. A gentle walk towards the away end was easy enough until we had to wait for a selection of Cardiff coaches to be allowed in.

Gee whizz we have some people who need to take a look at themselves. Banging the windows and foaming at the mouth to yell obscenities at the home supporters and myself, even though I was waiting with an obvious Cardiff City jacket on.

The queue at the turnstiles was lively with stewards assessing fans and searching a selection of supporters. One chap in front of me was obviously worse for drink and was refused entry. His refusal to accept the decision despite the police getting involved saw him cuffed and led away. Just so pointless. That followed word from some supporters that a few Stoke fans had tried to attack a pub containing Cardiff Supporters' Club families. It beggars belief.

There was a massive amount of younger City supporters. Cheap coach/ticket deals encouraging the teens to come along. Fair play, they provided a decent noise with plenty of Cardiff songs in the ground. A group of City fans congregated in the bottom left hand corner of the away stand with a similar aged bunch of Stoke fans getting as close as they could in their stand to help create an atmosphere.

Onto the game.

Cardiff were able to compete with the higher placed team for most of the half. City were organised and patient while Stoke just couldn't take control.

From the start the action was down at the Boothen End where Cardiff were attacking. 8 mins gone and a cross from Steve McPhail found Chopra's head inbetween the giant Stoke centre halves, the ball beat Sorensen but hit the post. Thankfully it bounced back to Chopra who lashed home the opening goal.

Stoke were disappointing as the Premier League side and created few opportunities. A free kick hit the bar and anything else was sorted by Marshall in the Cardiff goal.

Just before the break Stoke got themselves back in it. Their most creative player Tuncay was allowed an extra yard on the edge of the box and his shot beat Marshall to make it 1 - 1.

I felt in the second half they would be pumped up and so it was.

For nearly all of the 45 mins + 5 the ball was pinging towards the Cardiff goal. Stoke battered us for 20 mins at the start of the half and after a 10 minute breather sustained the pressure until the final whistle. Their side were giants compared to ours but that didn't stop players like McNaughton and Rae going toe to toe with them.

David Marshall made a couple of match saving saves and the whole team defended resolutely.

The replay, some might say is a distraction, to me was totally deserved and gives Cardiff a chance at progression.

Stoke, getting more and more frustrated brought on Etherington, Kenwyn Jones and Delap but City held firm. The action at the City end, in front of the travellelling fans, was sparce but I was overjoyed at the result.

The FA Cup is special, we should know that more than anyone. I appreciate the desire to get promoted but a replay means we are in the hat for round 4 and a part of me is excited for Sunday's draw.

Stoke announced Cardiff fans would be kept in. We were allowed to leave the ground but were contained in the compound. An invisible Stoke force that sounded like a 16 years old party taunted from outside the fence. Cardiff's finest tried to get through the plastic / hedge barrier to get at the equally pathetic Stokies. The result was a bit of pointless bravado before the plod allowed us to exit the compound (but only because i was waving car keys). By that stage I would have happily thrown my keys into a basket if it meant I'd 'swing' my way out a bit quicker.

Home in a couple of hours. Not a bad trip at all. Still in the cup.