Aug 12 CARLING CUP FIRST ROUND AFC Bournemouth 1-2 Cardiff City Att: 3399

Last updated : 13 August 2008 By Andy Burton

On a blustery evening, interspersed with some heavy showers, Cardiff City dominated the opening stages of this Carling Cup encounter at Dean Court.

Within 7 minutes a loose ball from Guyett fell to a City midfielder whose direct ball forward split the Cherries defence for Parry to end up one-on-one with Jalal, who was hopelessly exposed, leaving Parry with an easy goal.

It didn't get any better in the 12th minute when a dreadful back header from Cummings left Jalal in no-mans-land, leaving Parry another easy opportunity to score - which he did without having to think about it. Okay, Pearce tried to get back on his goal line to hook the ball clear, but it was too late - a second soft goal had been conceeded.

At this stage it seemed only a matter of time before City rattled up a cricket score as the Cherries looked completely out of their depth as the defence were all at sea. Between them, the entire back four looked as if they had never seen a football before, let alone know what to do with it!!

Much to the surprise of everyone in Dean Court, Bradbury, who was playing up front this evening, fed the ball left to find Kuffour, who shuffled a little bit further to his left again, but opened up some space for himself to fire the ball home in by the right hand upright. It was a goal completely out of the blue, and was just about the first effort the Cherries had on target in the opening half hour.

For the first time in the game, the Cherries started to look a little bit dangerous, but school boy errors let them down, especially where Bradbury was caught off side when he was on the left hand side of the pitch ..... he only needed to look along the line to notice and then adjust his position.

Even though we tried to assert ourselves after we scored, Cardiff City had an answer to it, and could have scored a third just before the break as Jalal was brought in to action with a save at full stretch. He was not to know that the flag had been raised for an offside decision as City pressed forward.

City again pressed just before the break as Jalal again, had to produce a great save to deny Bothroyd on the stroke of half time.

HT: 1-2

The second period was completely different affair as Cardiff City knew that they had done more than enough to contain the Cherries, which allowed the home side a greater share of possession. But it has to be said that even though we did enjoy a greater share of possession, we simply did not have any cutting edge to really challenge the Cardiff goal. At no stage throughout the game did the City keeper have to make a meaningful save.

Bartley tried to make progress down the right hand side, Cummings tried down the left, but it was all to no avail. Even when we opted to move the ball to a central midfielder, the Cardiff defence was quick to close down the opportunity, cutting out any element of danger.

When the Cherries did try and force the issue, Cardiff were very quick to counter attack, and on several occassions Jalal had to be alert in the Bournemouth goal, not least of all with a one-on-one, which he dealt with competently. Jalal was also called in to action when he had to come charging out of his area to prevent an on rushing Cardiff attacker from getting to the ball first. Again, Jalal was more than capable of dealing with the danger.

In the 70th minute Bradbury was sacrificed for the enormous Sappleton, our new loan signing from Leicester City. What a waste of space he is! He may have the height, he may have the build and some pace, but for someone with such physical presence, he was a waste of space!

A disasterous opening 12 minutes cost the Cherries dear this evening, but it could have been so much worse if our visitors had managed to be more consistent in front of goal.

Man Of The Match
My man of the match can only be Shwan Jalal. No one else sparkled or did anywhere near enough to warrant the award.

AFCB: Jalal, Guyett, Pearce, Ward, Cummings, Cooper, Bartley, Igoe, Anderton, Bradbury, Kuffour
Subs: Pryce, Pettefer (for Bartley, 84 mins), McQuiod (for Kuffour, 88 mins), Partington, Hutchings, Sappleton (for Bradbury, 70 mins), Webb

Andy Burton, Portsmouth