Homesick Cardiff pick up Eoin

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By James Candy

CARDIFF as­sis­tant Scott Young says he never lost faith in goal-shy striker Eoin Doyle af­ter he opened his ac­count for the Blue­birds to help down Birm­ing­ham.

The Ir­ish Jan­uary ar­rival stepped off the bench to res­cue the hosts af­ter a poor first-half dis­play, get­ting his first goal in nine games be­fore win­ning a penalty.

Peter Whit­ting­ham wrapped up the win with the spot-kick to seal a first victory at the Cardiff City Sta­dium for the Blue­birds since Jan­uary 10 – and their first home league win in seven games.

Young said: “Since the New Year we’ve been in good po­si­tions in a few home games but not quite got over the line so it’s very pleas­ing to get the win.

“I thought Eoin changed the game for us when he came on.

“He has been very un­lucky not to get on the score­sheet be­fore but we have al­ways known he has plenty of qual­ity.

“He made a real im­pact and it’s nice to see him get the goal his per­for­mance de­served.

“As a side we are show­ing a lot more re­silience, the whole team is work­ing hard and we want to fin­ish as high up the league as pos­si­ble.”

The de­feat could have fur­ther ram­i­fi­ca­tions for the Blues, who had manager Gary Rowett sent to the stands in the sec­ond half which sparked ugly scenes as a sec­tion of their sup­port­ers clashed with po­lice. Birm­ing­ham as­sis­tant manager Kevin Sum­mer­field tried to play down the in­ci­dent with Rowett.

He said: “Gary was ob­vi­ously very frus­trated.

“There was a throw-in that had gone out of play next to us on the touch­line which we felt was clearly our ball but the as­sis­tant ref­eree gave it the other way.

“He did not swear but he made the point to the ref­eree and he threw the ball down to the ground.

“That was enough to get him sent off.

“We are not go­ing to blame the ref­eree for the de­feat but we didn’t think it was a penalty and that had killed the game off.

“This will be a kick up the back­side for us. The play­ers will re­ally have to roll their sleeves up for the rest of the sea­son be­cause it will have a big im­pact on what hap­pens next year.”

Cardiff’s rot­ten luck at home looked like it was go­ing to con­tinue when they lost in-form striker Fed­erico Macheda in the warm-up and he was re­placed by Ken­wyne Jones.

With­out Macheda the home side strug­gled to cre­ate any clear chances in the first half as both sides failed to reg­is­ter a shot on tar­get.

But Doyle came on for the in­jured Alex Rev­ell just be­fore half-time and he trans­formed the game in the sec­ond pe­riod to great ef­fect.

The for­mer Ch­ester­field striker com­bined with Matthew Kennedy on 50 min­utes to sweep the ball past Dar­ren Ran­dolph and score with the game’s first shot on tar­get.

Cardiff should have had a few more goals be­fore they got the penalty, but Jones was guilty of wast­ing three ex­cel­lent scor­ing chances.

How­ever, the de­ci­sive penalty came when Doyle broke into the box and was brought down by Jonathan Spec­tor.

And Whit­ting­ham stepped up to calmly slot the ball down the mid­dle.

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Images

WHIT A HIT: Peter Whit­ting­ham scores the sec­ond goal for Cardiff City from the spot

GET IN: Eoin Doyle cel­e­brates

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