Championship
CardiffCardiff City2ReadingReading0

Cardiff City 2-0 Reading

By Dafydd PritchardBBC Wales Sport at Cardiff City Stadium
Kenwyne Jones scores for Cardiff City
Kenwyne Jones heads Cardiff's opening goal against Reading

Cardiff City ended their goal drought with a 2-0 win against Reading.

Kenwyne Jones became the first Cardiff player to score since 3 October as he headed them in front before half-time.

Matt Connolly doubled the lead as he nodded in from a corner, before David Marshall preserved the hosts' clean sheet with several fine saves.

The result sees Cardiff leapfrog Reading into seventh spot in the Championship, three points behind the play-off places.

A first victory in four games is also a timely lift for Bluebirds manager Russell Slade, who had watched his side fail to find the net in their previous three outings.

Cardiff celebrate Matt Connolly's goal against Reading
Cardiff celebrate Matt Connolly's goal against Reading

More than nine hours of play had elapsed since a Cardiff player last scored - Joe Mason's strike five minutes into the 1-1 draw at Brighton on 3 October.

The Bluebirds had managed one win since then - beating Middlesbrough thanks to George Friend's own goal - but the barren spell made for an agitated atmosphere at Cardiff City Stadium.

Cardiff winger Craig Noone alleviated the tension with numerous darting runs inside from the right flank, twice forcing Reading goalkeeper Ali Al-Habsi into saves.

His opposite number Marshall was also called into action as he dived low to his right to brilliantly deny Nick Blackman after a swift Reading counter-attack.

But it was the hosts who were in charge, and they took the lead when Jones headed firmly into the bottom corner from Joe Ralls' free-kick.

That goal seemed to settle Cardiff's nerves, and they stretched their advantage after 53 minutes as Ralls' corner was headed in by centre-back Connolly.

Aron Gunnarsson was close to adding a third with a low shot which zipped wide, while substitute Idriss Saadi was denied a goal seconds into his Cardiff debut as his effort was saved by Al-Habsi.

Reading poured forward late on in a bid to salvage a point, but they were thwarted by an inspired Marshall, whose three sharp saves in a minute prompted a standing ovation from the home fans.

Cardiff manager Russell Slade: "It was another good performance. We defended well though we made a couple of errors but fortunately David Marshall was there to deal with those problems - there were four or five of those and he's made great saves for us.

"Going forward I thought we created a lot more today, our quality of ball into the box was much better and that was highlighted by the two goals we scored from the set plays.

"It was always going to come but we've been a bit limited in terms of options, and Kenwyne Jones scored and stepped up to the plate by starting his first game since the last international break.

"And Mark Pilkington I think put in a strong performance and a strong performance from too from Craig Noone. I thought we were a real threat in those wide areas."

Reading boss Steve Clarke: "David Marshall was terrific today and the fact he got man of the match shows we weren't far away from a good result.

"We knew they would be a threat at set-plays, but we were very disappointed with the referee - the free-kick he gave for the first goal was very soft.

"They got the first goal which made it difficult for us as well and conceding from a corner is not like us.

"I have to give credit to the players because they kept going and kept trying and on another day some of those shots could have gone in."

Line-ups

Cardiff

Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Marshall
  • 2PeltierBooked at 75mins
  • 4MorrisonBooked at 88mins
  • 16Connolly
  • 28Malone
  • 11NooneBooked at 36mins
  • 17Gunnarsson
  • 8Ralls
  • 13PilkingtonSubstituted forO'Keefeat 87'minutes
  • 10MasonSubstituted forAmeobiat 63'minutes
  • 9JonesSubstituted forSaadiat 77'minutes

Substitutes

  • 15Dikgacoi
  • 20Tamas
  • 21Moore
  • 22O'Keefe
  • 23Kennedy
  • 38Ameobi
  • 39Saadi

Reading

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 26Al Habsi
  • 2Gunter
  • 8Hector
  • 15FerdinandBooked at 38mins
  • 3Taylor
  • 6Norwood
  • 19Fernández IglesiasSubstituted forWilliamsat 64'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 22Blackman
  • 7VydraSubstituted forHurtadoat 76'minutes
  • 20JohnSubstituted forLiburdat 64'minutes
  • 10

Substitutes

  • 1Bond
  • 11Obita
  • 12McCleary
  • 16Hurtado
  • 23Williams
  • 35Cooper
  • 41Liburd
Referee:
Keith Stroud
Attendance:
15,414

Match Stats

Home TeamCardiffAway TeamReading
Possession
Home50%
Away50%
Shots
Home10
Away19
Shots on Target
Home5
Away10
Corners
Home4
Away8
Fouls
Home14
Away11

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Cardiff City 2, Reading 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Cardiff City 2, Reading 0.

  3. Booking

    Danny Williams (Reading) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Danny Williams (Reading).

  5. Post update

    Craig Noone (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  6. Post update

    Attempt saved. Danny Williams (Reading) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Paolo Hurtado.

  7. Post update

    Attempt missed. Nick Blackman (Reading) left footed shot from outside the box is too high from a direct free kick.

  8. Booking

    Sean Morrison (Cardiff City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  9. Post update

    Paolo Hurtado (Reading) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Sean Morrison (Cardiff City).

  11. Substitution

    Substitution, Cardiff City. Stuart O'Keefe replaces Anthony Pilkington.

  12. Post update

    Delay over. They are ready to continue.

  13. Post update

    Delay in match Scott Malone (Cardiff City) because of an injury.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Nick Blackman (Reading).

  15. Post update

    Joe Ralls (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  16. Post update

    Corner, Reading. Conceded by David Marshall.

  17. Post update

    Attempt saved. Orlando Sá (Reading) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Oliver Norwood with a cross.

  18. Post update

    Corner, Reading. Conceded by David Marshall.

  19. Post update

    Attempt saved. Michael Hector (Reading) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Oliver Norwood with a cross.

  20. Post update

    Corner, Reading. Conceded by David Marshall.