Yeovil Town welcomed Cardiff City for their third pre – season friendly at Huish Park. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side travelled to Somerset along with over 800 fans. Cardiff City’s squad boasts the likes of summer signing Adam Le Fondre, former Manchester United striker Frederico Macheda, as well as Premier League regular Kenwyne Jones. In contrast, Yeovil Town have a small squad and the starting 11 for this match was the first time that Glovers fans would see a potential line up for the start of the new season.
TEAM LINE UPS
10.AJ Leitch – Smith
5.Mark Hudson (c)
9.Adam Le Fondre
The game began evenly with both sides looking to play a positive passing game. Cardiff looked the stronger and after 10 minutes Town right back Brendan Moloney was out run by Adam Le Fondre and was lucky not to be sent off after a cynical challenge. Le Fondre stood over the resulting free kick, the delivery was strong and goalkeeper Artur Krysiak had the crossbar to thank for the score staying at 0 0. After this early pressure the League One side started to take control of the game and were rewarded for their efforts after 18 minutes. Sam Hoskins delivered a dangerous ball in to the box causing Cardiff goalkeeper David Marshall to collide with defender Ben Turner. The two city players subsequently allowed AJ Leitch Smith to open the hosts account, adding to his five pre – season goals. As a result Marshall was forced to vacate the field with a hand injury, with former Brentford stopper Simon Moore replacing him between the sticks. Unfortunately, it was not the only injury of the first half for Ole Gunnar Solskjaers side, with Ben Turner also having to be substituted after 30 minutes. An awkward landing on his ankle meant Matthew Connolly was to take his place. As the first half came to a close, both teams had chances, Kevin Dawson broke free on the right hand side supplying Kieffer Moore with a perfect ball, but the Glovers were not able to double their lead as he could only shoot wide of the target.
The second half began with two changes for the away side, Jordon Mutch and Nicky Maynard were introduced in place of Joe Ralls and Javi Guerra. Ten minutes in to the second period Cardiff got the equaliser from the penalty spot. Maynard was adjudged to have been pulled back in the area and Adam Le Fondre cooly slotted home past Krysiak.
They say goals change games and this was certainly the case even in a friendly match as Cardiff stepped up a gear and made four substitutions as the hour mark approached.
ADAM LE FONDRE, MATS DAEHLI, KAGISHO DIKGACOI, GUIDO BURGSTALLER OFF
KENWYNE JONES, MAGNUS EIKREM, ARON GUNNARSSON, PETER WHITTINGHAM ON
The introductions looked to ignite Cardiff and they did look a more assured side. The impact was clear early on as after 62 minutes they took the lead for the first time. Connolly’s shot eluded everyone including the Glovers keeper who was beaten at his near post and should have done better. The home side still had their fair share of chances as they continued to play free flowing football. A Yeovil corner was flicked on by centre half Martin before Kieffer Moore’s shot was excellently saved by his namesake Simon Moore.
Kenwyne Jones then showed his extensive Premier League experience when the Bluebirds broke away, Declan John placed a perfect cross for Jones to convert to dampen the hosts chances of a comeback. Despite some impressive play from Yeovil, the fact that 10 of the 11 Glovers were playing their first 90 minutes began to show as they were increasingly second to most balls. Brendan Maloney was the only Town player to be substituted after he suffered a cut to his head. The former Bristol City right back was not given a full run out merely as a precaution and Seth Nana Twumasi took his place in defence. Cardiff’s fourth goal came in the last minute of normal time with another classy finish from Jones which wrapped up an impressive second half for the Championship outfit.
It was a good win for Cardiff who are one of the favourites for success in the Championship, whilst Yeovil took the opportunity to test a starting 11 and give them a full 90 minutes on the pitch. With Cardiff finishing the game with a completely different team, the two sides had contrasting aims for the match. Cardiff’s second half team was certainly a lot stronger and they will expect to be as clinical as they were at Huish Park when they begin the new Championship season. Yeovil, however, will take heart from their first half performance and feel they are edging towards match fitness.