Thursday, January 31, 2008

TRANSFER DEADLINE DAY but NOBODY'S GOING says RIDSDALE

Peter Ridsdale confirms that he will not be selling the likes of Joe Ledley or Aaron Ramsey today ... ... he'll wait unti the summer then!

It has to be good news although I'm sure he'd like to sell a couple of our players if he could - David Forde, Kevin Cooper, Warren Feeney, Jason Fowler, the out on loan Matt Green spring easily to my mind - but none seem likely now.

Perhaps, of more importance, is the reality that there are alomost certainly no new arrivals either. City certainly need reinforcements when our first team squad is realistically just 19 players including the injured Robbie Foler and Riccy Scimeca. It seems far too thin for a promotion/play-off challnge run-in but it does suggest City will look to the secondary window - for loan moves - which opens in 8 days.

Today's Western Mail
Ridsdale rules out player sales

GTFM: CARDIFF CITY phone-in with PAUL PARRY

If you missed last night's show or want to download it, the phone-in had Paull Parry as its studio guest, then goto this link.

REVIEW: GODSPELL at Wales Millennium Centre





I'm not really one for theatre but when an e-mail flyer passed my way last week of a "£15 for 2" offer for this production, well it's as cheap as a night at the cinema and it wins the missus around!




It wasn't the greates night to be outdoors, especially when I'm suffering from chronic bronchitis and have more coughing going on than the average funerall parlour, but I'd promised so out we went.




What followed was an enjoyable evening where I got value for my £15 and I think those paying £50 for their pair, more dedicated than myself, seemed to enjoy it too.




I suppose you should worry when the main name is Stephen Gately of Boyzone anyway but he pulled out. "Jesus" was therefore Tom Bradley, star and finalist of ITV's 'Grease is the Word' it said. Checked the boig and found out that he was botted out in Show 1!




However, after a slow start, realisation that it was a low-budget set and the show featured only 9 actors and actresses, it was very light-hearted and enjoyable. Not faithful at all the the original's production heavy religious and 70's hippy style theme, this was an upbeat modernised version. Plenty iof jokes, interaction with the audience and without being laugh out loud or riveting, there was enough to hold interest from start to finish.




Couldn't quite quite over Tom sounding as if he was doing Jesus with a Mid-Atlantic accent (the guy's from Leicester for crissakes!) and even sounding as if he was rapping at times but the cast overall were very good, some excellent singiers and, from my seat, the girls looked top totty indeed!




I suppose it was a 6/10 play but, on the whole, I enjoyed and was glad I went.








Wednesday, January 30, 2008

GREAT SCOT: ALEXANDER OFF TO RANGERS

Neil Alexander, the excellent goalkeeper who couldn't save a penalty and was cruelly discarded for nothing by Dave Jones last summer, is on his way to Scottish club Rangers today for a reported £500,000 after saving his 4th penalty of the season for Ipswich last night ... that one against Plymouth's record signing, City misfit Steve MacLean.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
ic Wales - United Kingdom
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

It is, indeed, a funny ol'game.

With 24 hours to the transfer window closing, there is a lack of activity at Ninian Park. I'm undecided whether to feel miffed we are not building a limited squad for the final assault or chffed we haven't (yet) sold anyone else!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

MATCH REPORT: CARDIFF CITY 3 QUEENS PARK RANGERS 1

SATURDAY JANUARY 19th
CHAMPIONSHIP - Game 29/46 - at NINIAN PARK


QUEENS PARK RANGERS (0) 1
Eprahim 76

CARDIFF CITY (2) 3
Ledley 12, 40 Parry 57



CARDIFF CITY's mirror image of last season hit new highs as we're upto 7th, 1 point off the play-offs, unbeaten in 10 league and cup games, won 5 on the bounce at home, have collected a fantastic 23 points in their last 10 Championship matches and, watch out the rest, we're getting even better by the game.

Tonight, City were rampant and, playing their best home football of the season, pulverised a shell-shocked QPR into Ninian Park submission. To have done that just two days after playing at Hereford was astonishing, the players deserve all the praise. They were a class apart in every department - organisation, movement, pace, power, tenacity - this was brilliance.


A Joe Ledley double saw City two ahead by the interval but even the West Londoners must have been asking themselves how they weren't at least 5 behind with chances begging, sitters missed and Camp saving at least four one on one shots against him. Paul Parry superbly finished the contest after the break before City dropped a gear, understandable given their exertions of two games in three days, before Rangers grabbed a flukey late consolation.

With Cardiff playing less than 54 hours after final whistle at Hereford and a couple of players carrying knocks and Rangers enjoying the distinct advantage of a free weekend and 10 day break ahead of this encounter, this looked a tough hurdle but City were having none of it. Roger Johnson show his grit and heroic status amongst City fans as he made himself available despite suffering a bad injury at Hereford and limping there for a half. I salute him. Skipper Steve McPhail was absent however with an injury from the same encounter, 17 yr old hot prospect Aaron Ramsey took his place. The only other change was perhaps expected as Hasselbaink, rested at the weekend, started in place of Thommo. It meant City were Oakes, McNaughton-Johnson-Loovens-Capaldi, Whittingham-Rae-Ramsey-Ledley, Hasselbaink-Parry. Subs were Enckleman-Blake-Purse-Sinclair (making a welcome return)-Thompson.

The Hoops must have really fancied this one in advance. They looked relegation cert's earlier in the season but are now regarded as Britain's richest club with Lakshi Mittel, the world's 5th richest man worth double a Abramovich, in charge along with Formula One leading lights in Flavio Briatore and Bernie Ecclestone. Exciting times are clearly ahead.

With major money into the club comes a new manager and an influx of new players - I think it's 8 already in the transfer window - and, of course, it breathes new life into the club. Under Italian Luigi de Canio, Rangers are now upto 18th and 6 points clear of the drop zone, they came to Ninian Park only 7 points behind us. Recent form is much improved but they still have blips. They've taken an impressive 16 points from their last 8 Championship games but with defeats to Sheffield United and Plymouth in that run whilst it took a goalkeeping own goal for Chelsea to knock them out of the FA Cup in Round Three at Stamford Bridge.

Their side now containing a host of very familiar Championship names were Camp, Delaney-Stewart-Connolly-Hall, Mahon-Buzsaky-Rowlands-Leigertwood, Vine- Agyemang. There was no place in the 16 for City old boys Gareth Ainsworth, Chris Barker but he is recovering from a small hernia op last week and, arguably, our worst ever loan signing in Simon Walton who was, in fact, sent on loan again on the day of the game - this time to Hull.

A mild night with the lightest of drizzle in the air brought a big crowd to Ninian Park and even if there was only 250 or so Rangers followers, it was a shock to see the screen call it as 13,602. Most seasoned fans around me all had it in the 14,500-15,000 region.

Those inside, Londoners apart, were treated to a five star City display for an hour until Rangers were put out of sight. You did wonder if a strong front pairing of Rowan Vine and Patrick Agyemang would cause us problems, the answer was very few, Loovens and Johnson saw to that but Agyemang did threaten early on but the better and quality football was already coming from City who nearly opened their account inside 10 minutes, Hasslebaink perhaps should have done better with a free head but it created another chance as the clearance found Johnson who was a fraction away.

Rangers looked in disarray and disorganised, especially at the rear, with several players looking unsure of their jobs. Was it the effect of so many new faces getting used to each other? There was a huge gulf in belief, teamwork and movement and City sensed the kill. On 12 minutes, it was 1-0 with Rangers committing hari-kari. Paul Parry chased a Ramsey ball through the middle, keeper Camp charged out and just hacked it away, the left back took it on the touchline 35 yards out but, bizarrely, decided to turn back and stroke it towards his goal straight to Paul Parry jogging back. Parry turned charged down on goal, then squared it between two defenders to find JOE LEDLEY at the far post for the simplest of tap ins. Cue the aeroplane wings celebration and the QPR left back trying to beat himself up which was very funny.

Three times Camp rescued Rangers in quick succession after that to get his body in the way of point blank efforts from Parry, Loovens and Rae. A training ground set piece saw Loovens fractionally miss meeting Whittingham's stabbed cross. QPR looking such a mess at the back and limited to long punts going forward which were meat and drink to our defence that buoyant City fans were enjoying crooning at them, "you're rich but you're f**king sh*t" and "what a waste of money" but they have obvious quality and nearly levelled around the half-hour, a low strike across the box when behind off Loovens but could easily have gone in, the resultant corner saw a similar strike which somehow escaped everyone and missed the far post by a fraction.

It was temporary respite, back came City, Hasselbaink on the charge after bringing down a through ball, he passed across the area to Parry but he was also denied with a free shot at Camp.
Then an absolutely fantastic pass 40 yards down the line, quality stamped all over it, by Aaron Ramsey which matched by Hasslebaink turning his marker with superb trickery, his low ball this time caught a Ranger boot but diverted the ball straight to Peter Whittingham 5 yards out at the far post for another simple tap-in which he somehow turned wide. Hasselbaink was the next culprit, turning Rangers inside out but his effort blazed over, a corner being given but his shot looked wayward anyway.

It was so one-sided with City m
issing so many golden chances, everyone near me was expressing their fears that we would be punished later in the game but 5 minutes before the break, it was 2-0, a scoreline that was still scant reward for City's mesmerising football and demolition job but a superb goal it was with Ramsey again showing his undoubted quality - how great to see a central midfielder always looking ahead with his passes first - his chipped ball over Rangers' defence was perfection, Hasselbaink could have taken it down himself but showed vision and perfection to spot JOE LEDLEY on the run again, touched it across the box but purposely behind to keep Joe onside and it was simple-as-you-like for Joe to stroke home another one. They may have been tap-ins but Joe was there supporting both times, the second goal saw him coming in from the right, many players in his position cannot do that.

For a player who wants to stay with City, Joe seems to be doing a hell of a lot to be noticed in the transfer window! That was his 8th of the season, doubling his career league goals total, but his 5th in the last 7 games, he's also hit bars and posts but Joe is now a thoroughbred. You expect nothing less than excellence from him in every match. What a player.

City weren't finished either, Parry coming within a whisker of making it three just before the half-time whistle blasted, Rangers would have been glad of the relief from a terrible 5 minutes which was compounded by them losing two of their messed up defenders - Fitz Hall and Connolly - to injury in the closing minutes, Dexter Blackstock was one of the replacements. For City, they must have enjoyed that half and marching off to a triumphant standing ovation. QPR were unable to live with them, it was breathless standards.

Half-time: CITY 2 QPR 0

There was no way that the second period was going to live upto the standards of City's incredible first half blitz but any lingering doubts about the outcome were dispelled before the hour, Whittingham picked out Hasselbaink, he showed quality again to play in PARRY who ran at goal, had the benefit of a lucky deflection but showed excellence as he placed home low side-footed to leave Camp diving for thin air yet again. It was his 8th of the season, making him joint top scorer with Joe Ledley.

City remained in the ascendancy and making all the chances but their intensity and the pace were boiling down, they had declared which was understandable with their recent efforts. Paul Parry got behind them again, Camp raced outside of his box and clattered player but also got a piece of the ball, Loovens and City fans were clearly happy about it, thinking the keeper deserved a card. Parry recovered after treatment.

Peter Whittingham drove a howitzer at goal, a Rangers defender took it full on the chest but looked as if he'd experienced a Joe Calzaghe uppercut as twice he wobbled backwards about 5 yards trying to stay up. How funny was that?

With City easing their way home, Rangers were now seeing plenty of the ball and showed they have quality when allowed to play, City took that away from them completely tonight. However City were defending well and having few anxious moments, they still looked the more likely to score again.

That changed on 76 minutes, a low ball deep into City's box, Oakes was perhaps a tad slow to leave his line but got down for it buy somehow spilled it, Rangers Eprahim was running through and appeared to catch his head and unknowingly touch the ball in the same instant, the ball rolled in amongst the melee causing Ali to announce on the tannoy, "I haven't a clue who scored that one and I bet you haven't either". I thought it was an Oakes own goal but tv later clarified. Oakes was in a mess and concussed, didn't know where he was or who he was, maybe someone should have told him that he was Petr Cech!

Unable to continue after treatment, you almost imagined he was seeing stars and birds circling his head just like in old cartoons as he needed two to hold him up and walk off. It, however, produced a cameo for the eccentric looking Peter Enckleman. Coming on with his grandad monk hair, grey and straggly at its back, he was waving to the whole ground as he ran to goal, no doubt chuffed to be getting his first league action for almost 4 years (his last time being 15/5/2004 in Blackburn's 1-1 home draw with Birmingham). He was going to enjoy his 20 minutes of fame including 6 added minutes.

He would have enjoyed taking Blackstock's header which came at him but, pumped with adrenalin, then had the crowd in hysterics as he blasted balls downfield, his first kick was like a shot that Camp had to save up high. His next flew in Rangers box as well and City fans were now letting out "shooooooooot" cries anytime the ball went near him. If he can practise hitting the wings or corners with that kicking, it's a useful weapon. He then showed he has quality as R's poured forward, a late scramble in the box saw Roger Johnson's deflected head flying for an own goal but it was brilliant Enckleman reflexes that saw it somehow tipped onto the bar, he deserved his luck as the bounce fell kindly for City to clear. Those closing stages were nervy but Rangers never got close again despite a couple of corners and free-kicks, Thommo replaced Jimmy for the added time and City played possession football high up the field. This was another professional job very well done.

Maybe some of us have been disbelieving that this City side who looked relegation material until November could turn things around and were a good outfit but they are now starting to get close to the standards they set early last season. Last 16 of the Carling Cup, an excellent chance of progress to the FA Cup quarter-finals and,, now, very real play-off contenders. Somehow they have to stay injury free but I haven't seen a better footballing side in the Championship than the way City are currently playing. Time to give credit to Dave Jones, his team and the players, they each deserve it.

Costs:

Tickets (2): £36
Programme: £3
Travel: £3
Food/drink: £10

TOTAL:
Total: £52.50

MEDIA CITY v QPR reports

SPORTING LIFE - JONES: BLUEBIRDS FIGHTING FIT

QPR Report :: QPR's 3-1 Loss at Cardiff - Reports and Comments
Telegraph.co.uk - United Kingdom

Cardiff 3 QPR 1
Sportinglife.com - UK

First UK free and legal music download site just launched

25 million songs in its library including current material and major artists. Can be played on computer or transferred to IPOD or any MP3 player but encrypted to prevent burning them onto cd.
Well worth checking out.

Monday, January 28, 2008

F.A. CUP DRAW, WOLVES come to PARC NIN

Watch out, Wolves are about

Not a glamour draw, not an easy one either but when CARDIFF CITY vs Wolves balls were out (ooo-errr) in the 5th Round draw, it certainly presented The Bluebirds with a winnable game and an even chance of progress to the F.A. Cup quarter-final. It could have been far worse than that one too.

Cardiff City lost 3-2 to Wolves earlier this season in the Championship but are a very different proposition today. The sides are level on points, City 8th and Wolves 9th. Wolves have an average away record, only 3 wins on the road this season and struggled in Round 3 of the Cup to overcome non-league Cambridge 2-1 before grabbing an outstanding 4-1 win at fading Watford last weekend in Round Four but they do blow hot and cold with only 1 win in their last 9 Championship games.

Subject to tv scheduling, it’s bound to be a full house at Ninian Park on February 16th. Can we lock Jed Moxey outside???

Kairdiff vs Cewnty Tinpot Trophy date confirmed

It's crap and we know it
The worst cup in the land
Only the prize money makes it worthwhile
Let's get that hundred grand


The Bluebirds FAW Premier Trophy semi-final home tie will take place at Ninian Park on Tuesday February 19th with a 7pm kick-off.



It is a match that will also be televised live on BBC2 Wales (bet you can't contain your excitement). No doubt that means only the Grandstand areas will be open for City fans to give the impression of a better crowd than it will be.



The other semi-final will be Llanelli against Carmarthen or New Saints (the latter two playing a rearranged quarter-final tomorrow).

Sunday, January 27, 2008

MATCH REPORT: HEREFORD UNITED 1 CARDIFF CITY 2

SATURDAY JANUARY 27th
F.A. CUP ROUND 4 - at EDGAR STREET "FLOORS-2-GO" STADIUM

HEREFORD UNITED (0) 1
Robinson 77

CARDIFF CITY (1) 2
McNaughton 45, Thompson 66 (pen)



Photos are at:
http://nigelblues.blogspot.com/2008/01/fa-cup-round-4-hereford-1-cardiff-city.html



Cardiff enjoyed a relatively comfortable and fully merited 2-1 F.A. Cup success at Edgar Street to progress to Round Five of the F.A. Cup. Last time they made it this far, in 1994, D Ream's 'Things Can Only Get Better' was # 1 (quite ironic in City's case as things got worse with Nathan Blake sold 24 hours before the game and City losing at home to Luton in controversial circumstances. Let's hope history doesn't repeat.

Back to the present, Kevin McNaughton's cracking 1st ever City goal just on half-time and a Thommo penalty in the second half and few problems at the back had The Bluebirds in cruise control until a late mistake let in Theo Robinson, the one opponent who caused problems, to make it a slightly worrying closing 15 minutes but it turned out to be a consolation The Bulls perhaps deserved for trying to play good football but they were the first to accept that they were beaten by a better side.

Hereford's a quick one hour 58 mile trip from Cardiff but a 12:30pm Sunday kick-off meant there was no big welcome in the town for the 1,498 travelling Bluebirds (not sure what happened to the other 2) is the 6,855 crowd (which, naturally, included a few Bluebirds in the home parts of the ground) plus a handful watching from the top deck of a nearby penalty area who could only see one penalty area.

We stopped at Monmouth en route for "refreshments" and Sunday brekky in a large and very decent Wetherspoon's. Hereford itself was straightforward as well, we parked 150 yards from the away end, car parking was free on Sunday so it wasn't all bad news.

The only thing that's changed in all the years I've been to Edgar Street are (i) its increasing rust (ii) its quaintness compared to modern identikit stadia (iii) The Bull no longer being marched around the pitch for health and safety reason) (iv) the addition of an electronic scoreboard which, in truth, was no more than the signblazers you see in some shop windows (v) its name - now the Floors-2-Go stadium, not Edgar Street and (vi) the pitch - they actually now have a relatively decent surface. It was bumpy and it still has a fair slope but was a major improvement on the past when it often looked more suitable for mud wrestling than football.

The game of "count the bulbs" in the floodlights passed a minute, 9 seemed to be the most. However being there early enough, we did get to see City warm up in full and were particularly interested to see Oakes and Enckleman being put through their paces. Worryingly, unsure as some of us may be about Oakes, he looked the far better of the two by comparison. Enckleman was beaten time and again by warm up shots from outside the box, anything hit low beat him. He was slower getting down than Ross Turnbull and the average Granny.

City fans were in a terrace pen to the corner behind one goal - the Hereford equivalent of the away end at City - and also in what may qualify at the smallest league stand with a mighty 5 rows of seats plus the terracing underneath on one side of the pitch. I was in the stand and have to say it provided fantastic views, looking over play, the touchline almost level with us. A far better view and experience than our Grandstand.

With City also home to QPR on Tuesday night and away at Stoke next Saturday lunchtime, you felt Dave Jones might have shuffled his limited pack to get through 3 big games within 6 days but he made just one change - Thommo starting ahead of Hasslebaink - in the now familiar line-up of Oakes, McNaughton-Johnson-Loovens-Capaldi, Whittingham-Rae-McPhail-Ledley, Parry-Thompson. Subs were Enckleman, Blake, Hasslebaink, Purse, Ramsey. Paul Parry's children were mascots, a touching gesture as he returned to the club where it all started for him and he enjoyed a good ovation, his young son was one of the funny moments of the day as he ignored dad's calls and kept running away kicking the ball then posed in the centre circle for the official photo with the ball completely obscuring his face. Love to see that picture!

Hereford United are synonymous with F.A. Cup giantkilling and history. There may be 44 places gap between City and United but Cardiff knew they faced a challenge but they were methodical and professional about it. Hereford have taken three more scalps already with League One Leeds United, Hartlepool and Tranmere Rovers beaten for them to get to this stage.

The Bulls are 4th in League Two, only goal difference separates them from the automatic promotion places and had lost just 2 of their last 19 but one of those came in a 4-0 Sky tv drubbing last Monday night at Chesterfield. Hereford's best results are away from home. At Edgar Street, sorry Floors-2-Go, more teams have left with a result than lost there which would have encouraged City.

Managed by Graham Turner (who must be about 208 by now), if you think City have a small squad then marvel at Hereford's 18 players only with 4 loans boosting the numbers. Critically perhaps, three of their key men were unavailable due to injury as Turner lined up with Brown, McLenahan-Colllins-Beckwith-Rose, Johnson-Smith-Diagourago-Taylor, Benjamin-Robinson. The only stand-out name was Trevor Benjamin, still a lump and still only 28, he seems to have been around forever.

In bright sunshine and a mild day, City kicked off defending the downhill run but Michael Oakes was to see little of the ball that end as City fairly dominated the opening period, largely playing in third gear too but their possession converted to few efforts at goal. The principal danger was Paul Parry who nearly scored in the second minute, Brown's smart reactions denying his snapshot. He was blocked a couple more times, looked set to explode as he cut inside for one of his trademark efforts across goal but it dipped a few feet wide and, later, when clear and pulling the trigger, only a brilliant block denied him. Parry also got booked early for a lunge on McLenahan in the corner which seemed to be 'afters' from an earlier battle. Another who could, maybe should, have scored was Kevin McNaughton who get behind The Bulls' defence, got deep into the box, Thommo was in position across goal but with Brown committing early, he shot at an open top corner of goal from an angle but hit the side netting.

Hereford were a decent side and tried playing football and keeping the ball down but struggled to make headway. The few occasions when they did largely came about through City errors but Benjamin and Robinson up front were handful, the latter making Roger Johnson feel his studs which caused most of the 4 minutes added time. Johnson carried on where lesser players may well have limped out. Their shots from angles or distances never troubled Oakes whose only save came when he dived for a Robinson effort going at least three foot wide and tipped it for a corner although Smith produced a flutter as he met a ball over the top with Oakes charging out. His decision to try and round the keeper proved a wrong one and he was dispossessed, the outcome may well have been different had he toe-poked towards goal. Luckily for us, when HUFC won their few corners, I don't think they cleared the first defender once.

The atmosphere was decent but subdued compared to how it would have been on a Saturday afternoon. City taunted Hereford with a chorus of, "you're Welsh and you know you are", they came back with "sheepsh*ggers" (this from a club whose ground is next door to a cattle market!) and two lads proudly showing off their England flag at us ... only problem was they held it upside down and back to front. Illiterate twonks!

Hicksie and myself were bemoaning City not having enough efforts at goal and not trying any distance shots as the half went into added time. As we did, Capaldi took a long throw deep into the box, it was headed out, Whittingham looked set to fire but left it for McNAUGHTON and thwack, a thunderous 25 yarder over the crowd, past a static Brown and right into the corner. YEW BEWTY!!!!! McNaughton's first goal for City ... at the right end. Well worth the wait. Naughts spent a lot of the half underneath us, I'd like to think he heard us!

Half-time: HEREFORD 0 CITY 1

Hereford had their most dangerous moment so far shortly after the restart as a free-kick was glided to Smith whose header was glanced to goal but directly into Oakes' grateful arms too. It woke City who almost scored twice themselves immediately afterwards as Joe Ledley's deflected shot clipped the outside of a post and Roger Johnson headed narrowly wide at a corner that looked in all the way from our angle. Thommo put side and Ledley was blocked when set to shoot.

It looked game over on 65 minutes, a flowing, Paul Parry dissecting U's defence with a delightful threaded ball and McNaughton was behind them again, tugged back a Hereford man who had just come on as sub. THOMMO was to take it and was calmness itself as he rolled it in one corner, Brown going the other way. What an FA Cup run McNaughton is having, an own goal at Chasetown followed by his first City goal and winning a penalty at Hereford, can't imagine what he'll produce in Round 5.

There looked no way back for Hereford with Ledley going just wide with an unintentional "header" from a clearance smacked into his face and then denied what looked a clear penalty. TV later showed he was just outside but how did Premier ref Andy D'Urso miss him altogether being hacked down?

it was a literal uphill struggle for the home side who threw on subs and changed to a more fluid 3-5-2 formation but the only fight seemed to come from Theo Robinson who was allowed to get away with two or very poor challenges where his only intent seemed to be having a dig at City men.

Then, for the second time, we uttered some fatal words but these counted against us. "Don't know about you but I'm really disappointed in Hereford, good football side but I really thought they would have hit us with more passion and spirit than they have". Moments later, a ball spread wide which Capaldi should have blocked but he stuck out a lazy trailing leg and missed it, ROBINSON was in behind him and the Watford loan man did produce an excellent low across Oakes from 15 yards, tucked inside the far post. The home terrace went nuts, small boys charging up and down as their elders did 35 years ago, disappointingly, none of them were wearing parkas.

All of a sudden, there was no panic but it was a difficult closing 15 minutes as the Bulls charged on. They were confined to largely distance shots but brought three saves from Oakes, one of them excellent to block a close distance point blank effort. In between however, City can rightly point to Parry somehow failing to bury a free header in front of goal and sublime Joe Ledley excellence clipping the ball over Brown only to see his cross come shot bounce off his crossbar.

City were fully deserved winners but only they could end up making hard work at the end of what was an experience more comfortable than most of us imagined it would be. I was little surprised Dave Jones didn't use subs, Jimmy for Thommo very late on being his only move, so I hope they're all fit and not tired for Tuesday. It was a strange game where you couldn't really name a City man of the match, it was efficiency over individuality, a team effort with nobody poor and everyone playing well.

The journey home was easy and we had a wee celebration in Monmouth again. So who would you like in the Round 5 draw? I'll be praying for a home tie as my better half has a major op just before the next round so there's no way I could go away - I'll be gutted if we get a big trip on the road - so Brizzle Roverzzz and Lennie at home will do me nicely, a game that offered progress to the quarter-finals and shouldn't be a distraction from the Championship either. I bet it'll be Wolves at home though! :>)

Costs:
Tickets (2): £30
Programme: £2.50
Travel: £10
Food/drink: £10

Total: £52.50

Cracking pic of Kevin McNaughton's special today

DOUBLE-CLICK THE PICTURE FOR THE BEST VIEW.
Thanks to my brother for this one.

FA CUP Round 4: HEREFORD 1 CARDIFF CITY 2 in pictures


Plenty of pics from Hereford today at the link below, hope you enjoy.
Try this link

Media reaction and reports to Hereford 1 CITY 2

‘Cardiff City was maybe a step too far for us’ic Wales - United Kingdom

Hereford United 1-2 Cardiff CityMirror.co.uk - London,UK

Hereford 1 Cardiff 2U.TV - Belfast,Northern Ireland,UK

Smith accepts defeat by Cardiff
BBC Sport

TURNER UPBEAT DESPITE DEFEAT
Sportinglife.com

Jones is more than happy for Bluebirds to play the role of Cup ...ic Wales, United Kingdom

Supermac plays a blinderic Wales, United Kingdom

McNaughton ends goal drought to oust HerefordGuardian Unlimited, UK

Heroic Bulls run ended by BluebirdsThe Press Association

Hereford 1 Cardiff 2The Sun, UK

Bluebirds squeeze past HerefordSetanta Sports, UK

McNaughton hits Bulls-eye for Bluebirdsic Wales, United Kingdom

Media reaction and reports to Hereford 1 CITY 2

‘Cardiff City was maybe a step too far for us’ic Wales - United Kingdom

Hereford United 1-2 Cardiff CityMirror.co.uk - London,UK

Hereford 1 Cardiff 2U.TV - Belfast,Northern Ireland,UK

Smith accepts defeat by Cardiff
BBC Sport

TURNER UPBEAT DESPITE DEFEAT
Sportinglife.com

Jones is more than happy for Bluebirds to play the role of Cup ...ic Wales, United Kingdom

Supermac plays a blinderic Wales, United Kingdom

McNaughton ends goal drought to oust HerefordGuardian Unlimited, UK

Heroic Bulls run ended by BluebirdsThe Press Association

Hereford 1 Cardiff 2The Sun, UK

Bluebirds squeeze past HerefordSetanta Sports, UK

McNaughton hits Bulls-eye for Bluebirdsic Wales, United Kingdom

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Green goes Blue (again)

CARDIFF CITY's MATT GREEN has gone on loan to Oxford United, his third spell loaned out this season and the second time with Oxford where he recently returned from a loan spell due to injury.

Now fit again, it is perhaps a surprise Green has been loaned again considering the only other fit strikers presently in the squad are Thommo and Hasselbaink - thankfully Paul Parry's outstanding stand-in role prevents it being a major crisis.

However perhaps it also indicates he is failing to make the grade with The Bluebirds as he had 6 Championship substutute outings last season following his £10,000 transfer from Newport County but has not got near City's matchday squads anytime since save a sub outing against Brighton in the Carling Cup when a lesser side was selected and the midweek FAW Tinpot Thingy Trophy win at Welshpool where he didn't shake any trees.

The Other Side of Cardiff

A sobering reminder that while this blog looks at the upside of life around Cardiff and South Wales, it does have its horror side - its good and bad - like every major city.

I remeber this story when the death happened, having a daughter of a similar age who has just gone to Uni brings this one home to me.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2008/01/26/nsuicide126.xml

Friday, January 25, 2008

GTFM / CARDIFF CITY SUPPORTERS TRUST


Corky was a guest on tonight's Cardiff City phone-in and promoted the trust and its aims ahead of next month's big meeting to hopefully confirm its future existence and full launch.

Scott Young was also a guest on the show.


You can either listen or download it via the link below
http://www.mediafire.com/?df9whlyh2dj

Paul Parry on his old club, Hereford, ahead of this weekend's cup tie, the build up starts




Parry talks to the mighty glamorous Worcester News



Hereford's centre-back Collins also talks ahead of the game to same paper



The grand man, Colin Addison, expresses his feelings to the Western Mail

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Acheampong - Apprentice of the the Year Finalist

CARDIFF CITY'S towering central defender Anthony Acheampong has been shotlisted in the final 6 of the prestigious Apprentice of the Year award.

At 17, Acheampong has been with Cardiff for 2 years having been spotted by a London-based City scout. The Award is based not just on development and performance but also education, discipline and attitude.

City will be looking to retain the Award as last year's recipient was Chris Gunter ... whatever happened to him?

Sensational: Picture of Keegan making Shaun Wright-Phillips his 1st signing


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

GTFM CARDIFF CITY PHONE-IN SHOW with City guest, Roger Gibbins

Listen or download it via this link >> http://www.mediafire.com/?9d5wt5znism

David Forde's future, uncertain as ever

Last week, DAVID FORDE was seemingly on his way to Ireland or Scotland for his future football and certainly seemed finished at Cardiff City.

Yesterday, another twist in the tale as Cardiff City agreed to supply him to Bournemouth as an emergency loan keeper to play against Luton (his previous loan club this season) and he was apparently halfway there as news emerged the a transfer embargo had been placwed on the South Coast club, seemingly about to enter administration.

With that news confirmed, Forde was told to turn around and head for Mid-Wales where he kept a clean sheet, with a good late save too, in Cardiff City's FAW Premier Cup win in Welshpool.

Who'd be a goalkeeper eh?

Media Welshpool v City reports

BBC News - UK
Echo/Western Mail

CHILDRENS BOOKS for 2008, part one






CHILDRENS BOOKS for 2008, part two






CARDIFF CITY's New Stadium - when do WE get to be part of it???

There's no bigger critic of Sam Hammam than myself but one thing I know is that he would have gone out of his way to make sure Cardiff City fans were pivotal to everything going on as the new stadium progressed. Some City fans may not feel that's important but a majority will.
From the very outset, I remember well how Hammam held meetings, shared the designs and details with us, talked us through the plans and enthused us. We all know it didn't happen under him but I couldn't fault how he connected us in all that was going on.

How I wish Peter Ridsdale and his lot would take a small leaf out of his book.
Looks like the club had a shindig today with the media involved, Ridsdale, contractors and partners but no supporters. This follows the first sods of the ground cut with just Ridsdale and Council Leader Rodney Berman present. Months of work have taken place but at no time have City fans been invited to take a look. There has never even been a display/exhibition/meeting about it.
Those able to invest in boxes or become "Premier season ticket holders" have been able to have a visual demo. The Cardiff City official website talks today to its corporate or high roller fans about the Premier Club, it's a passionless statement talking about corporate facilities and even going blah blah blah about the bloody egg chasing and the benefits of signing up for both City and Blues. Why? CCFC have appointed a third party to do it for them, there has been no message from the club to its followers direct.
All of this goes right over the heads of most of us - especially the Ambassadors and season tickets holders - whose only communication so far has been about the Premier Club which will hold little more than passing interest to the overwhelming majority. Those who are just regular fans have had nothing.
On site, boards around the development make it impossible to see the development. Vince Alm rightly pointed out last week that most major projects like this have sight holes cut in them, not for us though.
So what have they offered us so far? The opportunity to buy bricks in a self-styled Walk of Fame. Sounds good but they tend to disappear in a few years. Don't believe me? Take a look at the Millennium Stadium walkway.
I thought this was a stadium for Cardiff City supporters first and foremost. Judging by the behaviour and our involvement so far, we do appear to be an afterthought. Little wonder we feel underwhelmed.
C'mon City - you can do much better than this. You really must.
BBC STORY
CCFC OFFICIAL WEBSITE "PREMIER CLUB" LAUCH ANNOUNCEMENT
(Talking in an alien language)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

CARDIFF PROGRESS IN THE BOWLS GAME WITHOUT ANY JACKS!

City line up at Welshpool


CARDIFF CITY progressed to the semi-final of the FAW TINPOT THINGY TROPHY (the competition where only the £100,000 prize money holds interest) with a 1-0 victory at Welshpool in deepest Mid-Wales.


It was a youthful side for City but did include Captain Darren Purse who needed a game and a couple of players it's easy to forget are still at the club in Kevin Cooper, Matt Green and David Forde. Aaron Ramsey also played but it was another youngster, JON BROWN, who took the glory with a 85th minute free-kick winner in a hard but drab encounter on a pudding of a pitch - no suprise when it had three postponements in the last fortnight for a waterlogged ground and was only passed fit on the morning of the game this time.


Cardiff now have a tougher prospect of a home semi-final tie versus Newport County, a side featuring a few City old boys. Date to be arranged.

BBC haven't yet bothered writing a report for its own competition so who can say apathy only exists amongst the fans for it?

CCFC Official Website report

A Striking failure by City?

After two days of local paper speculation that The Bluebirds may be planning what always seemed an unlikely loan raid for Ched Evans, Manchester City's Welsh Under 21 striker, the word from East Anglia where the player is already on loan at Norwich, suggests is is a no-goes.

Cardiff are desparate for a striker however, having been thwarted so far by a loan move for old favourite Rob Earnshaw but has has since criticised by his current boss at Derby in Paul Jewell, which doesn't suggest he has a long-term future there.

The cat and muse game will continue but it seemes to affirm we're only in the market for loans rather than permanent signings.


NORWICH EVENING POST
Cardiff to shelve bid for City striker

WELSHPOOL - All set to be 3rd time lucky tonight

After having their FAW Tinpot Thingy Quarter-Final tie against Cardiff City cancelled in each of the last two Tuesday evenings due to a waterlogged pitch as well as a league game sandwiched between them, the signs are that the Mid-Wales side's Maes Y Dre Recreation Ground pitch will finallty be passed fit for play ths evening.

The ground passed a Monday inspection and although a further one is due this morning, before Cardiff are due to travel, no overnight rain and a relatively dry day should mean theb quest for the Bowling Ball 2008 continues. Hoo-ray!

Monday, January 21, 2008

HEREFORD F.A. CUP DOUBLE QUICK SELL OUT

Luckily, I happened to be near Ninian Park when the ticket office opened so rather than phone when I got to work, I though I'd call in for my Hereford tickets for the away cup game this Sunday ... just as well.
Walking towards the ticket office was a 200+ queue and a half-hour wait, the queue had grown considerably by the time I was served. Got stand tickets but they sold out by 10, the City allocation - a generous 1,900 which means we'll have about 25% of the crowd - was gone before lunchtime.


WHO SAID THE F.A. CUP HOLDS NO INTEREST ANYMORE??




Sunday, January 20, 2008

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Championship: WEST BROMWICH ALBION 3 CARDIFF CITY 3 in picture

Quite a few shots of today's game can be found by clicking below link.

View Photos >>> http://tinyurl.com/ywohgp


CHAMPIONSHIP: WEST BROMWICH ALBION 3 CARDIFF CITY 3 (match report)


SATURDAY JANUARY 19th
CHAMPIONSHIP - Game 28/46 - at NINIAN PARK


WEST BROMWICH ALBION (1) 3
Bednar 33, Alberechtsen 73, Johnson o.g. 88

CARDIFF CITY (2) 3
Parry 28 seconds, Parry 33, Ledley 52


Photos are at:
http://nigelblues.blogspot.com/2008/01/championship-west-bromwich-albion-3.html


West Brom and Cardiff City served us a thriller. The Bluebirds did us proud but it was agony too as they grabbed a lead in the opening 30 seconds, doubled it after the half-hour and led 3-1 with 15 minutes to go before Albion showed their class and quality to rescue a point from what looked a hopeless cause although it took a freak Roger Johnson 88th own goal to level matters at 3-3.

An exhilarating game, a cup-tie atmosphere and the first time I've had a hoarse voice shouting on City for some time but it was that sort of game. "3-1 and you f**ked it up" gloated the Albion fans at the end. They had a point but City's point at The Hawthorns, performing so well against easily the best team in the Championship, was something each of us would have gladly taken beforehand. Both teams and sets of fans deserve credit for making it memorable.

I like West Brom and I love the Hawthorns - a proper football team with passionate fans watching their football in a real stadium. City fans obviously see it the same way as our initial 1,500 allocation sold in no time, 500 more went in 2 separate extra allocations and it was pretty obvious many more Cardiff fans were in the home sections, some being escorted out when sussed, the giveaway being unable to contain themselves as City's goals rained in.

Perhaps the only sour not was the disgraceful treatment of our coach travelling fans - the ones least likely to cause problems - by West Midlands Police. Can they ever do anything right? A funeral procession escort from Frankly Services for over 1,000 of our number saw them get to the ground after kick-off and Parry had already scored. By the time they had entered a woeful 4 turnstiles, it was 20 past. West Midlands Police have no excuses for treating our fans this way and should be big enough to explain their antics and apologise. I won't hold my breath though.

Thankfully, I was one of a few hundred who opted for train. To stay low profile and have a hassle free day, our small group decided to get to Birmingham via a link at Bristol Parkway and avoid the direct route. Many had the same thought, including Joe Ledley's brother. In comes our connecting train ... packed with City fans! Little did we know the service we'd waited for started out at Cardiff too but went to Temple Meads first.

A decent trip though but time to go low profile again at Birmingham New Street which was swarming with police as Chelsea were also in town (playing Birmingham) and it's a connection point for many football fans. Cardiff fans were held up, searched before they were, I understand, escorted to a pub but we sneaked away into the grey day. Our group of 7 trebled as we bumped into the London 1927 travellers in the centre. Standing outside a pub we'd arranged to meet, someone phoned as it was shut. "We're not opening until 2", the sight of 20+ civil City fans enough to terrify its landlord inside apparently so we went upmarket in All Bar One, fantastic beer at incredible prices (incredible = £3 a pint!) but worth the extra to ogle the barmaid in there.

We split into smaller groups, some in search of pubs with Sky and cheaper ales, Mike Morris and myself had kids in tow and were meeting others so a Wetherspoon's (there are 7 in the middle of Brum) and met other City fans there, didn't win a single game on the quiz machine which says a lot about us and it was time for the game with one final 5 minute train trip to Hawthorns, a station about 3 minutes walk from the ground.

The match tickets were bar coded so there was no turnstile attendant, you slotted your ticket in the reader - after getting through the searches of course! - but every gate needed someone on duty to help you and in case there was a problem. Can anyone explain what was the point of that system?

Inside, no ale on sale (seems to be a standard practise wherever we visit these days) in our away end behind the goal with Baggies fans to our right. The police and stewards were keen to keep a no man's land between home and away fans but Cardiff fans since moved into the area and that was that, let the singing contest begin ... with some also more than happy to spend their afternoon having a stare out and gesturing contest with those on the other side of the divide and police/stewards also joining in with this more significant entertainment by pulling out Cardiff fans who went a bit too far, although they then let them back in again after a word.

City warmed up confidently but what a shock to see Peter Enckleman's hair-don't, a grey blonde straggly long haired style with a massive bald spot on the top of his pate that made him look about 60. Someone should tell him. Also warming up were two kids - Matthews and Brown - given Chris Gunter and Jason Byrne's old squad numbers and brought along for the experience but, no surprises, City were unchanged from the team that overcame Sheff Weds the week before with Oakes, Oakes, McNaughton-Johnson-Loovens-Capaldi, Whittingham-Rae-McPhail-Parry, Hasselbaink-Parry. Subs were Enckleman-Purse-Ramsey-Thompson and Darcy Blake.

Blake replaced Steve MacLean, the striker brought here for nothing from Sheff Weds who never fitted or quite looked able enough, yet Plymouth and Paul Sturrock think differently as they snapped him up for their transfer record fee of £500,000 with a long contract 24 hours earlier. On the evidence shown at City, brilliant business for us and something that could end in tears for them but maybe he'll settled better in Devon.

Albion are top of the Championship with the best team and a squad more able than anyone else's who, under Tony Mowbray, look certain for promotion. They have been incredible at home with, before this one, 34 scored in their 13 previous home games and just 11 conceded. Their last 3 at home in the league saw them hammer Charlton 4-2, Bristol City 4-1 and Scunthorpe 5-0 but they needed extra-time and penalties to be beat Charlton in the FA Cup during midweek and were seeking revenge over City for our 4-2 mauling of them at the Hawthorns earlier in the season in the Carling Cup, however Cardiff hadn't won here in the league since 1951, a run now stretched to 13 games. The Baggies' side were Kiely, Hoefkens-Pele(!!)-Barnett-Alberechtsen, Greening-Koren-Filipe Teixeira-Brunt, Miller-Phillips.

In the fully enclosed old stadium adapted and modernised Hawthorns (how I was we could have done something similar to Ninian Park), the atmosphere was hot with over 2,000 City fans in the crowd of 22,325. City were in black, WBA in their traditional Tesco Carrier Bag lookalike shirts (is that why they're called the Baggies?). They're the home of boing-boing but it was City fans doing that and going absolutely mental as PAUL PARRY opening the scoring in an amazing 28 seconds.

City got the ball in their own half, put together several passes involving half the side before Gavin Rae stroked the ball ahead in space for Parry to ran at defenders, he cut inside one of them watching him and unleashed a 25 rising drive that had Dean Kiely Minogue beaten all the way as it flew over him into the top corner. That's must be the earliest hug I've had with complete strangers for years, the place went bonkers. Funniest of all was a girl in the row in front of me who, I swear must have been about 8 years old, who turned to the West Brom fans and shouted "have that one you w*nkers, now f**k off" gesturing away like a veteran. I was shocked but in hysterics at the same time as she continued her tirade.

It heralded a half where Cardiff took the game to the league leaders, playing some fantastic football and creating most of the chances and causing danger every time they got forward. The longer the half progressed, the more ragged Albion became as balls swept long or wide were met by determined City tackles or spectators as they flew into the crowd. Their early threat was Ishmael Miller, who was big, very pacy and a real handful. One crunching Glenn Loovens challenge and as was finished, out of the game on the quarter hour, but replaced a huge Czech in new Baggies cult man Roman Bednan, it hardly meant things were easier. The chances were City's Johnson heading wide, Whittingham firing narrowly wide, Jimmy blazing over.

City were dominant at the back that the first seen of Baggies talisman Kevin Phillips was a speculative 30 yarder that flew towards us seemingly in slow motion that had Oakes flying across goal to palm behind. Then a worrying moment as Kevin McNaughton flew into a typical heroic challenge to block Phillips and, from my vantage point at the front of the stand, I could immediately see he was out cold and looking very pale. Lengthy treatment with City fans chanting his name eventually saw him back to his feet but the club doctor ruled him out, on came Darcy Blake for a testing challenge up against Chris Brunt.

The game restarted and Albion immediately tested him with a ball behind him, Blake was coolness itself turning full circle to leave Brunt behind, smacking the ball upfield, Jimmy flicked on and there was PAUL PARRY racing away in full flow, carrying the ball a full 30 yards deep into the box and firing the ball right across Kiely into the bottom, opposite corner, Parry's 8th of the season in which he doesn't score ordinary goals or tap ins and he was now looking for his first league hat-trick. Two-nil, dreamland and complete bedlam in our end, Albion looking in some despair, joy of joys!

Why is it City so often have the habit of shooting themselves in the foot when things are going so well? Straight from the restart, Albion won a free-kick, the ball no more than a simple chip into our box but there was BEDNAN to meet it unchallenged and plant a firm header across Oakes, 2-1 City.

Undeterred, on the pitch and off it with off singing, back came City undeterred and, once more, got stuck into the home side. Whittingham was very close, Parry had two chances and maybe should have bagged his hat-trick with clear sight of goal in the 6 minutes added time but his curled, placed top corner effort was narrowly over the angle. Albion, meanwhile, were looking quite ragged again, the home fans making their frustrations know too. What a breathless 45 minutes.

Half-time: Baggies 1 City 2

Albion started the second half trying to get at City more but, yet again, our counter-attacking caused them infinitely more problems than their pressing caused City and, 52 minutes, that two goal deficit was restored with City playing the ball out of defence, JOE LEDLEY involved three times as the ball moved upfield. He enjoyed a little slice of luck as he ball across the face of the area flew back towards him but what followed was quality as Jimmy let the ball run, Joe turned away from a defender and, calm as you like, rolled the ball into the opposite corner. That goal coming at our end signalled the biggest celebration and mass hug of the lot and took the atmosphere up another notch.

City's singing had been on the money all afternoon but now it was triumphant. Apart from all the usual repertoire did come a light-hearted, "you're just a small town in Chasetown" jibe at The Baggies whose players heads visibly dropped at that latest setback. The ayatollah was in full flow and the inflatable sheep was bouncing around in our end.

With Albion going nowhere, they showed what a squad they have as a double sub came just before the hour. What it must be to bring on players like Zoltan Gera as a sub and a pop star in James Morrison too! Pele (a name like that, you're'aving a laugh) and Koren made way as they threw caution to the wind.

Their tactics were simple, they loads up both flanks and moved the ball, left to right or right to left, firing in cross after cross after cross and City were suddenly finding themselves hemmed in and desperately trying to absorb it all. City had two big problem. The first, yet again, was Jimmy Floyd-Hasslebaink was clearly burned out by the hour, unable to chase the ball, close play down or hold up play when it came his way yet Thommo, despite City fans calling his name, was confined to warming up. The second was their inability to be ruthless and finish it. Gavin Rae, twice, and Joe Ledley were the guilty men. Ledley who was in on goal coming in fro an angle, the shot should have been his only thought but he opted to try and set up someone else, that chance went. Rae found a top Joe Ledley cross leave him with a free hit at Kiely but he trapped the ball and laid it back, another move had him set up by Whittingham yet he blazed over.

It was to prove costly as Albion, backed by impressive support of their own that got behind their side with an incessant chant, were making headway, City unable to stop the crosses and suddenly looking powerless to win the challenges in the box. Two or three times, a header flew narrowly wide, a header and a shot were straight at Oakes, a penalty appeal was survived and a Kevin Phillips goal was disallowed.

City fans were now starting to get a bad feeling and few doubted if Albion got a second, then another would follow, the momentum and possession was completely one way. On 73 minutes, we finally cracked, Oakes made a fantastic save to push a downward Bednan header up and away but City weren't alert enough to react, the ball was immediately lofted back into the danger area where ALBRECHTSEN rose above everyone to make it 3-2. Only then did Dave Jones change Hasslebaink for Thommo, that was a mistake in my view.

It was now, quite simply, a case of whether we could hold on although Thommo's first touch almost turned a Rae cross goalwards and missed Ledley's boot by a coot or two as it glanced wide. The Albion attacking was intense, Capaldi and Blake were being pinpointed, they certainly loaded up an extra man on Capaldi's side and we didn't respond, it was unerring how balls were flying to the wings and then into the box. Where was Michael Oakes amongst all of this mayhem? The answer was glued to his line. Not once did he came for any ball or help out his beleaguered defenders. He didn't have a bad game at all but it may have given Dave Jones the reason/excuse he perhaps wants to start with Enckleman.

City seemed to be riding it however and hopes again rose that we could hold on even though there was a lot of added time when disaster struck. 88 minutes, a simple ball into the box beat all the target men, ROGER JOHNSON was there to sweep away but mistimed it, the ball sliced and screwed off his boot over a helpless Michael Oakes. You can't stop Magic Johnson scoring, can you? :>)

From delight to despair as, for the second time, 6 minutes added time were shown. Both sides had one golden chance. Joe Ledley for City as he charged for a through ball, Kiely raced out and timed it wrong in his challenge, Joe did everything to shoot off balance as he fell, his effort agonizingly sailing a couple of feet over. You have to wonder if he had taken the challenge alone and gone down, was a penalty a certain award. At the other end, Albion won a knock down, a shot across Oakes must have smelled the paint of his far post as it whistled by.

Honours even then, a fantastic match in which you felt disappointed how it ended for City but, once the emotions of an amazing game had died down, immensely proud of their efforts and how they so nearly won against, let's be honest, a far superior team man-for-man although their defence didn't convince at all.

Coming home, we got lucky. Wanting to get home rather than go on the sauce (unlike me I know but I had a heavy Friday night), we arrived at Hawthorns as a train pulled in, avoided the law back at Birmingham and they again tried to pen other City fans and got to New Street 2 minutes before a service pulled out and before the hordes made it. With few footie fans on board, the bar was open - Stu, Mike and myself raided it and had a decent trip home a little gutted how it ended, chuffed by the point overall and celebrating a good awayday. What a contrast all of this is to just 2 or 3 months ago, long may it continue!

Costs:
Trains (me and the boy): £24
Tickets: £42
Programme: £3 (a big 100 page production)
Food/Drink/Misc: £35

Total: £104

Friday, January 18, 2008

CARDIFF JONGLEURS TONIGHT: RAYMOND & TIMPKINS REVUE

Raymond & Timpjins Revue



Went along to Jongleurs this evening with a group of 8 friends and, as always, had a thoroughly enjoyable time.


The acts can sometime be hit or miss but you usually get a good variety and enough smiles out of the 4 acts on show but tonight was excellent. A very funny female compere, two grand opening acts and a sensational main act in The Raymond & Timpkins Revue doing knockabout silliness with 100's of props at the expense of pop and rock tunes. Highly original and even genius.

If they're near you on a bill, then go see.


Thursday, January 17, 2008

It's SUNDAY LUNCH at HEREFORD

Been confirmed today that City's Fourth Round F.A. Cup tie at Hereford is, once again, affeceted by police based on the past.

The game will take place at 12:30pm Sunday February 26th - with City home again just 2 days later to QPR in the league.

Hardly ideal and it is unecessary. There were past problems between the clubs but that was then, this is now. There is little justification for theis action but so be it.

Before the Ayatollah came THE COFFIN!!

Never heard about this before but glad to know Cardiff City fans pioneered the original!

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/sport/football.html?in_article_id=508802&in_page_id=1779&ito=newsnow

Fowl Play?? NO WAY!!!

Most likely venue for
Robbie Fowler's next appearence?


In what was surely the most inevitable story of the year so far comes news that Robbie Fowler will not play for Cardiff City again this season. You do wonder if it is a sad but inevitable end for a player whose illustrious career has been on the wan for some time and long before he arrived at Cardiff.

Fanfared as our biggest ever signing, I well remember feeling chuffed with the news. The club shop has record sales of the new shirt with thousands getting Fowler printed on theirs but where are they now? You hardly ever see anyone sport them, it symbolises how it time has been.

Perhaps a sign of things to come was that Robbie arrived at the club overweight and unfit even though he was playing Premiership football for Liverpool only 4 months beforehand. His debut saw him taken off in a friendly after 20 minutes ... injured again.

Robbie got a run in the team but despite earning a reported £25k a week, his performances justified a fraction of that enormous wage, double the most ever paid to a City player any time before. Slow of pace and thought but with tricks, Robbie was lost at Championship level, looking as if he was taking part in a knockabout or testimonial in contrast to everyone else.

The epitaphs were being written then Robbie provided his one and only good spell. Six goals in six games, half of them the coolest taken penalties I've ever seen, and I thought he was turning a corner but normal service was soon resumed as games passed him by, he looked tired before an hour had gone and City were struggling.

His last start was November 6th and all we saw was a shadow of the man he was and someone who played for Cardiff City, not on merit, but because of his name. His partnership with Hasselbaink, an unmitigated disaster. Cardiff have come good only since it was dissolved.

City have the option to take Robbie for next season and, amazingly, a club insider seems to think it may be an option. Cut your losses City, Robbie retire gracefully. Fowler will only fall further behind and get even more unfit with another 7 months away.
He promised so much but delivered so little, what a pity

Fowler Over and Out?

Here's the media take on it.

SOUTH WALES ECHO
Fowler is out for the season

Goal.com
England Injured Fowler Out For The Season

BBC
Fowler could miss rest of season

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

FA Cup: Ooh arr, we're off to Herefordshire (and Jacks incredibly crash and burn at Havant and Wterlooville)

Tonight's F.A. Cup replays resolved the detination for City's 4th Round tie, it'll be Edgar Street and Hereford United as The Bulls from League Two high fliers overcame Ronnie Moore's League One Tranmere Rovers with a late 1-0 winner despite reportedly being outplayed for much of the game.

The tie - currently scheduled for January 25th -won't be easy at all but does give Cardiff a very realistic chance of reaching the last 16 and, potentially, a big money-spinning reward against one of the 'big boys'.

Hereford are doing very well but their best form is on the road. At home, their 6 wins, 4 draws and 3 defeats in League Two does suggest City are more than capable of getting a result.


The real, most amazing and very funny shock, came on the South Coast as League One leaders Swansea City crashed to non-leaguers Havanat and Wtaerlooville. All week, I've been hearing from Jack colleagues about their trip to Liverpool - the reward had they won, what a day that will now be for H&W - so imagaine how much I'm looking forward to seeing them tomorrow.

BBC report
http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/fa_cup/7184890.stm

Cardiff Man in Children's TV Drama

Blimey, it all happens in children's telly - do you know this man?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/coventry_warwickshire/7189882.stm

Swansea confirm they will not sign Warren Feeney in this transfer window

Regardless of his current injury, I am lead to believe the issue of Warren's current Bluebirds contract and his high wages at CCFC were the real stumbling block that prevented his permanent transfer and means City have a man back in the fold who doesn't look as if he's get any game-time for us or be near the 1st team squad.

It's far from ideal all around and only goes to underline the folly of the busienss conducted by the club bringing him here on the terms that they have.

Swansea City offical site
http://www.swanseacity.premiumtv.co.uk/page/Latest/0,,10354~1215539,00.html

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

JEFF WHITLEY

An honest interview with Jeff Whitley on Radio Wales tonight, an honest footballer who has been bedevilled by problems for several years which, even if in public denial, curtailed his football at Sunderland, Northern Ireland and with Cardiff City.

Now treated for alcoholism and with what is surely his last chance as lowly, desparate Wrexham, I can only wish him well and sincerely hope that he takes it as there's still a good player in there.

BBC Radio Wales interview
http://news.bbc.co.uk/player/sol/newsid_7190000/newsid_7190700/7190730.stm?bw=bb&mp=rm&news=1&nol_storyid=7190730&bbcws=1

Wekshpool Off Again

For the second successive Tuesday, Cardiff City’s FAW Apathy Tinpot Trophy quarter-final tie at Welshpool has falled foulf of the weather.

It's rained heavily over the past week and been torrential over the past 36 hours so, again, it was a formaility to postpone it after an early morning inspection.

Cancellation stopped some City players getting some much needed game time including Peter Enckleman who was scheduled to have his debut. No new date has yet been set.

Monday, January 14, 2008

DAVID FORDE - clubs battling for his services

Dundee United are believed to have made an official approach to Cardiff City today, just as it was widely believed the goalkeeper, surplus and without any realistic future at Ninian Park, would return to Ireland.

Derry City remain favourites to take him off City's books and are understood to be stepping up their efforts to land him but Dundee United see him as a prelacement in the SPL for the Pole Szamultolski who is quitting the Tangerines at the end of the month and whom, ironically, Dave Jones went to watch in Scotland at New Year with a view to bringing him to Cardiff.

The only certainty, it would seem, is that Forde will be out of Ninian Park in a matter of days.

Sheffield Star's view of City v Wednesday

http://www.thestar.co.uk/football/Owls-beaten-by-Bluebirds-SLIDESHOW.3668210.jp

City vs Sheffield Wednesday video photo slideshow

The Sheffield Star paper produces photo slideshows of United and Wednesday games in its online editions.

This is pretty good coverage form the City match last Saturday.
http://tinyurl.com/yr929j

RAMSEY beaten to F.A. Cup Award

Aaron Ramsey's fantastic and immensely promising full debut for Cardiff City at Chasetown was not sufficient for him to win the F.A.'s Player of Round Three which, instead, went to Coventry's Maltese international Michael Mifsud for his double blast in Coventry City's amazing 4-1 demoliton of Blackburn on the Lancashire sides' own ground.

The award, voted for by fans, on the F.A.'s own website saw Ramsey as one of 6 short-listed nominees om which the player of each round gets a V.I.P. F.A. Cup Final ticket for themself as well as an award and £500 of sports equipment for a local school to them.

The fact Aaron even got short-listed for a round when the big boys enter the F.A. Cup, on top of his debut, was an achievemen in itself. Unlucky Rambo but well done.


* Incidentally, two of Chasetown's players are now pros themselves as their cup run brought them to the attention of Port Vale so they are trying their luck in League One.

RAMSEY beaten to Award

Aaron Ramsey's fantastic and immensely promising full debut for Cardiff City at Chasetown was not sufficient for him to win the F.A.'s Player of Round Three which, instead, went to Coventry's Maltese international Michael Mifsud for his double blast in Coventry City's amazing 4-1 demoliton of Blackburn on the Lancashire sides' own ground.

The award, voted for by fans, on the F.A.'s own website saw Ramsey as one of 6 short-listed nominees om which the player of each round gets a V.I.P. F.A. Cup Final ticket for themself as well as an award and £500 of sports equipment for a local school to them.

The fact Aaron even got short-listed for a round when the big boys enter the F.A. Cup, on top of his debut, was an achievemen in itself. Unlucky Rambo but well done.


* Incidentally, two of Chasetown's players are now pros themselves as their cup run brought them to the attention of Port Vale so they are trying their luck in League One.