Sammy rides to the rescue
SAMMY Ameobi stepped off the bench to inspire Cardiff City to their third win in a row – but boss Russell Slade played down premature promotion talk.
Slade had earlier turned to Ameobi to help the Bluebirds turn possession into goals, despite hos side dominating visitors Huddersfield.
And the striker, on loan from Newcastle United for the season, did just that with a hand in both goals.
His pace and vision set up Anthony Pilkington to finally break the deadlock on 69 minutes.
And just eight minutes later, it was his pass that was flicked on by Pilkington to Joe Mason for Cardiff’s second.
Slade said:“The impact Sammy made was excellent and he had a hand in getting us the goals.
“But I think there’s also more to come from him as he gets stronger and fitter. There are goals in him as we saw against Wolves.”
Some may scoff at promotion talk so early in the season, especially after the shambles behind the scenes at Cardiff City in the past two years.
But this is certainly promotion form and the first time they have won three games in a row since winning the Championship three seasons ago.
Slade said: “Let’s see where we are after 12 games because that’s when you’ve got a quarter of your games out of the way and things start to settle down.
“But we’re clearly pleased with three wins and three draws at the start of the season.
“It took a while to get some element of control of this game against resolute opposition.
“It was important to stay with it because the first goal was always going to be crucial and the timing was good as well. After that we settled down and were comfortable enough.
“At times we were a bit sloppy and the fine detail was not quite where we have been in recent weeks but we had enough belief to get the result.
“We are looking solid and difficult to break down as well as creating chances.”
In stark contrast, Chris Powell’s Huddersfield are still looking for their first success in what looks set to be a long season.
After a lacklustre first 45 minutes, the second half proved far more entertaining.
Ameobi took over and turned the game with a hand in both goals before going close to scoring a third himself.
But Powell was furious that Harry Bunn was not awarded a penalty less than 60 seconds before Cardiff took the lead when he was felled by Matthew Connolly’s challenge inside the box.
Powell said: “That was the turn- ing point in the game. Before that we dominated the first period but failed to find the final product.
“It petered out in the second half but we felt that was a penalty straight away.
“If the defender had got the ball then it would have deviated but the ball continues along the same line.
“Then you’re talking 1-0 to us instead of 1-0 down just seconds later and then we’re chasing the game.
“That’s just the way it’s going for us right now and we just have to keep our heads down, brush this off and keep working because eventually things will turn around for us.
“It’s not the start to the season that we wanted but, to be fair, we’ve had to deal with a lot of players coming and going and we’re trying to gel as a team as quickly as possible.”
BREAKING THE DEADLOCK: Cardiff City’s Anthony Pilkington fires in the Bluebirds’ opening goal on 69 minutes