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Fulham draw at Cardiff ~ Ch. Match Report MD01

last updated Saturday 05th September 2015, 8:01 PM

Match Report

Cardiff (0) 1-1 (0) Fulham

Championship Match Day 01 1516 at Cardiff City Stadium

Saturday 8th August 2015    KO: 12:00

Ref: Darren Bond

Fulham striker Matt Smith
Fulham striker
Matt Smith
Matt Smith
His Wiki page
Substitute Craig Noone produced a stunning late strike to earn Cardiff a 1-1 draw in their Championship opener at home to Fulham. Cardiff seemed to be running out of ideas when Noone, who had been on the pitch for only eight minutes, rifled a 25-yard shot into the top corner of the net with only four minutes remaining.

What had been an evenly-balanced contest turned Fulham's way when Matt Smith punished Simon Moore's goalkeeping error two minutes after the re-start.

Moore, deputising for suspended West Brom target David Marshall, misjudged Ben Pringle's overhit cross and spilled the ball for the alert Smith to head home from close range.

Cardiff welcomed back Kagisho Dikgacoi and Anthony Pilkington after injury-riddled spells last season and both players were influential in the early stages as the Bluebirds sought an early advantage.

Pilkington set up Joe Mason for a second-minute shot which was blocked by Dan Burn before Dikgacoi rolled an exquisite ball into the wideman's path.

The Republic of Ireland international picked out Mason at the near post but the striker was stretching and unable to hit the target.

Match Stats Cardiff Fulham
Goals (0) 1 1 (0)
Scorers Noone 86 Smith 47
Goal attempts 17 8
On target 5 1
Shooting Accuracy 29% 12%
Possession 54% 46%
Corners 7 3
Offsides 4 1
Passes 449 400
Pass Success 82% 76%
Crosses 33 13
Crosses Success 15% 31%
Tackles 13 15
Tackles Success 85% 87%
Saves 0 4
Fouls 8 6
Yellows 1 1
Reds 0 0
source: Soccernet/Fulham FC
Fulham's response was immediate as Matt Smith almost profited from the hesitation of Moore as the big striker headed against the outside of a post.

Smith's aerial ability produced the visitors' best moments of an entertaining first period, rising above Cardiff defenders but unable to keep down crosses from Jamie O'Hara and Kay Voser.

Cardiff were enjoying the greater share of possession and they were at their most dangerous when they managed to get Mason, back at the club after spending last season on loan at Bolton, into the game.

Pilkington found him with a neat ball and Mason's sharp spin and shot on the turn forced a flying save from Andy Lonergan and the Fulham goalkeeper had to deny the same player with his feet following a clever flick from Alex Revell.

Cardiff almost took the lead within 40 seconds when Pilkington's deflected shot looped onto the crossbar but Fulham were ahead a minute later.

The Bluebirds thought they had equalised four minutes later when Pilkington got the final touch but referee Darren Bond had spotted a handball and booked the winger for ungentlemanly conduct.

Cardiff pressed frantically for an equaliser in the final quarter and Mason and Scott Malone both went close before Noone's late strike.

Cardiff City:Moore; Peltier, Morrison, Connolly, Malone; Pilkington, Whittingham, Dikgacoi (Noone 77), Ralls; Mason, Revell (Sammy Ameobi 63)
Subs not used: Wilson, Fabio, Gunnarsson, O'Keefe, Doyle

Goals: Noone 86.

Yellow Cards: Pilkington (51)

Fulham: Lonergan; Jazz Richards, Hutchinson, Burn, Voser; Cairney; Christensen, Pringle; O'Hara; McCormack, Matt Smith (Dembele 78)
Subs Not Used: Bettinelli, Bodurov, Kacaniklic, Mattila, Hyndman, Woodrow

Goals: Smith 47. (header from very close range to the centre of the goal).

Yellow Cards: Dembele (85,F)

Ref: Darren Bond (Lancashire).

Att: 15,429

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