BLUEBIRDS ON HIGH THANKS TO NOONE!
TWO wonder strikes from Cardiff’s Craig Noone helped slam the brakes on Wolves’ play-off charge in a convincing 3-1 win which proved to be a much needed result for Bluebird’s boss Russell Slade.
Slade’s side were handed a shock transfer embargo on Friday evening so the goals from Noone and Joe Ralls were a morale-booster for the Cardiff faithful.
Slade acknowledged: “We needed a response and that’s exactly what we got, it was a really positive reaction.
“We were the best team in both boxes and that’s what has won us the match. It’s been a really good team effort today to get us over the line, a really welcome result.
“We’ll go away and build on this. We’re right in the play-off mix with two home games coming up, which is a real credit to he players and staff who have worked tirelessly to get it right.”
Despite a quiet opening ten minutes Wolves came the closest to breaking the deadlock after Jordan Graham found himself in space on the left wing, his cross was met by the head of Conor Coady, although he could only guide it over the bar.
The visitors very nearly opened the scoring with 18 minutes on the clock after Stuart O’Keefe’s long distance curling effort smashed against the underside of the crossbar.
Wolves had a strong shout for a penalty turned down midway through the half after Joe Mason shoved Kevin McDonald to the ground inside the penalty area, referee Dean Whitestone surprisingly giving nothing to the dismay of the Molineux crowd.
Struggling in midfield, the home side succumbed to the increasing Cardiff pressure on 28 minutes after Noone’s unstoppable 25-yard strike flew into the back of the net to put Cardiff ahead.
Despite organising themselves and regaining a foothold in the game, Wolves were undone once again by another fantastic strike from Noone on 36 minutes, the Cardiff midfielder cutting inside from the right wing before curling the ball into the top right corner.
Four minutes later new signing Michal Zyro pulled one back for Wolves after Cardiff keeper David Marshall parried Rajiv van La Parra’s effort into the path of Zyro who made no mistake with the easiest of tap-ins to reduce the deficit as half time approached.
City added a third goal three minutes into the second half after a quick counter-attack saw Noone unselfishly let Ralls loose on the edge of the area to hammer a low driving ball past Ikeme.
As the half progressed Cardiff continued to trouble Wolves, who found themselves being pushed deep into their own half.
They were given a scare on 59 minutes when Pilkington added to Cardiff’s collection of long-range efforts by hitting a thundering 35yard shot narrowly over the bar.
The visitors piled men behind the ball and shut out Wolves, Matt Doherty’s lacklustre header late into the game the only real attempt troubling Marshall.
Manager Kenny Jackett was not impressed with what he saw.
“We’ve defended a lot better in the past and I’m disappointed with the goals we conceded, we weren’t compact enough as a side,” he said.
“We didn’t recognize or work hard enough on doubling up on Cardiff’s players, we didn’t recognize their strengths or work hard enough to negate them.
“But I’ll accept there was a good attitude and spirit about us and if we had we have gotten on the end of the crosses things would’ve been different.”
GET IN: Craig Noone scores the first goal for Cardiff