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Match Report


Posted Tue 17 Feb 15 at 21:45 PM

Report: Cardiff City 1 Rovers 1

Rudy Gestede returned to haunt this old club with a last minute equaliser in a tight encounter at the Cardiff City Stadium.

Sean Morrison's goal six minutes from time looked to have given the Bluebirds their first win in six outings, but the Rovers striker had other ideas.

A fine solo run from Tom Cairney saw the midfielder feed substitute Chris Brown and although he saw his shot blocked on the line, top scorer Gestede was on hand to fire the ball home to secure a share of the points.

There was little between the two sides in a first half that was all about goal-line clearances.

Matt Kilgallon brilliantly kept out an Eoin Doyle effort on the quarter-hour, whilst Aaron Gunnarson thwarted Saturday's hero Josh King at the other.

The second half saw Rudy Gestede and Kenwyne Jones go close with headers, whilst a deft touch from King as Craig Conway centred flashed inches past the upright.

The game destined to be a goalless draw until it sprang into life in the closing stages.

On 84 minutes Rovers succumbed to a set-piece when Morrison powered home Peter Whittingham's centre and it looked like the visitors would leave Wales pointless.

But it was Rudy to the rescue as the striker pounced on 90 minutes for his 15th of the campaign.

Rovers pressed for a winner in added time as King headed over, but a point apiece was the right result.

Rovers started the match at the Cardiff City Stadium with the majority of players that served them so well in the weekend cup win over Stoke City.

Gary Bowyer made four changes from the Ewood triumph and it was one of those who had the first effort on goal as former Bluebird Craig Conway cut inside to flash a left-footed strike just wide.

He then combined with another ex-Cardiff boy but Rudy Gestede couldn't direct his header on target from the corner kick.

Slowly the home side got into the game with Rovers thankful for a sensational goal-line clearance from Matt Kilgallon just past the quarter-hour.

Craig Noone centred from the left to where Eoin Doyle shot first time from the edge of the box, the effort flashed past Jason Steele, but not Kilgallon who hooked the ball away on the line.

Moments later the Irishman, who joined from Chesterfield in January, clipped a shot from the edge of the box over the bar as the Bluebirds looked to capitalise on some hesitancy at the back.

As the half wore on it was Rovers, and Conway in particular, who was having a growing influence on the match.

On the half hour a free-kick from the Scotsman was headed on by Gestede to King but the striker saw his shot cleared off the line by Aaron Gunnarsson.

Chris Taylor headed over a Tom Cairney corner, before the last act of the half saw David Marshall clear straight against Gestede, but the rebound was kind to the red-faced keeper who was able to claim the ball as it bounced harmlessly in the area.

Saturday's goalscorers King and Gestede saw the first two chances of the second half come their way.

After a first half where the Norwegian found space in front of him limited, he put on the after-burners to race goalwards on 49 minutes, but the home side got back in time to block his effort at goal.

Taylor then fashioned a chance for Gestede with a fine ball into the box, but the striker headed wide despite a clean connection.

The Bluebirds hit back with an excellent chance of their own. Matthew Kennedy doing well to send a teasing ball into the box, Kenwyne Jones rose high but his header flashed the wrong side of the post.

A series of corners followed, Sean Morrison put another header wide for the home side before another centre broke to Kennedy but his effort was easily claimed by Steele.

Then failure to clear their lines almost proved costly for Rovers as Gunnarsson let fly from distance, the ball just going over the corner of post and bar.

With 15 minutes to go Rovers thought they had taken the lead. Conway with the centre from the right, it just needed a touch, it was applied by King, but the ball somehow went wide of goal.

Throughout the second half Cardiff had looked to make the most of corner kicks and six minutes from time they finally made one count.

Peter Whittingham sent a ball into the area to where defender Morrison climbed over a host of bodies to power the ball into the back of the net.

The home side sensed a first win in six but Rovers' never-say-die attitude came to the fore once more.

With seconds of the ninety remaining Tom Cairney embarked on a jinking solo run before teeing up substitute Chris Brown. The striker saw his shot brilliantly blocked on the line by Scott Malone but former Bluebird Gestede was on hand to steer the rebound into the back of the net for his 15th of the season.

Rovers pressed for a winner in added time, but King couldn't divert a late header on target.

It's back to Ewood Park this Saturday with Rovers looking to turn one point into three against Blackpool.

CARDIFF: Marshall (c), Peltier, Malone (sub Connolly 90+2 mins), Ecuele Manga, Whittingham, Jones, Noone, Gunnarsson (sub Adeyemi 80 mins), Doyle (sub Revell 72 mins), Kennedy, Morrison.

Subs not used: Moore (GK), Ralls, O'Keefe, Harris.

Goals: Morrison 84 mins.

Booked: None.

ROVERS: Steele, Henley, Hanley (c), Kilgallon, Olsson, Taylor (sub Brown 88 mins), Cairney, Evans (sub Spearing 53 mins), Conway, Gestede, King.

Subs not used: Eastwood, Spurr, Rhodes, Williamson, Duffy.

Goals: Gestede 90 mins.

Booked: None.

Attendance: 19,057

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