Lack of fringe benefits

Adrian at the Carling Cup final at Wembley in 2011

Birmingham City 0 – Cardiff City 4

Saturday, May 1 2021

Disappointing day at St Andrews as an experienced Cardiff side overwhelmed a disjointed mish-mash of a Blues side.

Bowyer gave a chance to his fringe players, and the seven changes from the last game proved to be too many. Truth be told, none of the newcomers really took their chance. The three youngsters included, goalkeeper Jeacock, midfielder Stirk and forward Miller, all had their moments but these were balanced out by naive mistakes.

Big lad Cosgrove also started for the first time. A few bits of nice hold-up play, but no chances to take or miss as Blues consistently failed to get the ball into the box.

Sloppy defending throughout cost Blues and it started with one of the more experienced players in the side. After a bright start from the team, captain for the day, Roberts, handed the Bluebirds their first goal.

With Jeacock in goal, Blues were playing out from the back. On the edge of his box, the young goalkeeper gave the ball to Roberts who, inexplicably, gave the ball to to Wilson, easily the best player on the park, a few yards away. Wilson said thank you very much, and chipped and curled the ball into the unguarded net, Jeacock stranded on his 18 yard line.

Miller created a chance to equalise on 35 after a nice run and pull back. But Sunjic, not for the first time this season, horribly miscued and the corner flag was under more threat than the goal.

Just before half-time, the on his own and in acres of space Wilson drew a good save from Jeacock. But the young goalkeeper undid that good work a minute later by badly lining up a wall which allowed Wilson to curl a free-kick around it and into the corner of the net it should have been guarding.

Cardiff piled on the pressure after the break, Jeacock having to make two good saves after separate bits of sloppy work, first from Miller in his own box and then Harper and Stirk combining to make a hash of getting our own free kick in our area out of harm’s way.

On the hour, Seddon had a good chance when he combined with the otherwise ineffective Leko, but he blasted over the bar.

Four minutes later it came as no great surprise when Cardiff extended their lead further. A breakaway combined with some indecisive defending left substitute Harris running though and his strong shot had too much on it for Jeacock to stop. It was now a matter of how many.

Four was the answer. Dean came on to needlessly give away a free kick which Wilson dispatched with aplomb to complete his hat trick and finish the scoring.

“What did we learn? Probably that we don’t have enough depth in the squad.”

What did we learn? Probably that we don’t have enough depth in the squad. We’ve plenty of bodies, but, beyond the first eleven, the quality need upping, particularly up front. We may also have learned that making seven changes is too much to give those fringe players a real chance of creating an impression.

MoM – No one really. On a day of chances to impress, no one really took that chance.

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