IF ONLY TERRIERS HAD BIT OF BITE
DEFENCES came out on top at Huddersfield as the hosts struggled to find a way through Cardiff’s dogged back line and Terriers’ boss Chris Powell admitted it was a frustrating day.
Alex Smithies and David Marshall both pulled off smart first-half saves in a game which was otherwise short of chances at either end.
And Powell confessed his side had lacked the attacking edge which could have been the difference between taking one point and three.
“It’s another point to our tally and obviously we would have liked more but we just didn’t create enough in the final third,” he said.
“They packed their defence and we found it hard to get through. Maybe that final decision, the final pass, just wasn’t right.
“It was just one of those games where we couldn’t really muster the chances we would have liked to.
“We would have preferred three points at home, but you have to take something from the game and that’s what has happened.
“I think it’s just one of those games where both teams have got to take the point, dust themselves down and move on very quickly.
“If I can take any comfort from today it’s that we didn’t lose. We haven’t had a clean sheet for a while but there aren’t too many positives from a game that probably won’t live long in the memory.”
Chances were at a premium in the first half, but it took an athletic stop from Smithies to keep out Eoin Doyle’s header, from Matthew Kennedy’s cross, on 29 minutes.
Cardiff skipper Marshall then pulled off a fine save of his own on 37 minutes, turning wide at full stretch when Mark Hudson headed Jacob Butterfield’s freekick goalwards.
Marshall then had to be quick off his line to deny Nahki Wells on 42 minutes, as James Vaughan looked to have played his strike partner in behind the defence.
The visiting fans felt Town should have been reduced to ten men on the stroke of half-time, when Tommy Smith hauled down Kenwyne Jones as he looked to turn Kennedy’s early cross in.
Referee Mark Heywood, on the advice of his linesman, only gave a yellow card, however, and Peter Whittingham’s subsequent freekick was deflected over.
Whittingham went close again on 49 minutes, when Kennedy picked him out with a low pass, but Murray Wallace blocked his powerful shot.
Chances remained at a premium, however, with both sides only really threatening from long range – Jacob Butterfield firing over on 53 minutes and Aron Gunnarsson likewise on 79.
Neither side could find a way through two solid defences though, and Cardiff boss Russell Slade was satisfied with the clean sheet.
“We were solid,” he said. “That was the important thing. It was another clean sheet for us, which was pleasing. We’ve only conceded one goal from open play in the last four and it has been that back four.
“That back four has been fairly solid for us and it’s a shame it looks like Malone will be out for a few weeks.
“The ball didn’t seem to drop for us in the final third but I certainly thought we worked their centre-halves more than they worked ours.
“There wasn’t a lot in it to be honest. I thought we had the best chance of the game – it was an excellent save by Smithies.
“The only other thing was the decision to only give (Tom Smith) a yellow card. I’m not saying it was wrong, it was a difficult one for the referee, but it’s one of those things that didn’t quite go our way.”
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TUSSLE: Cardiff's Kenwyne Jones heads the ball clear