By Ian Hallam
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I went to the West Ham v Cardiff game when it was Malkys debut league game 3 seasons ago. I was invited into the West Ham supporters bar by a friend of mine who I use to work with in Spain. Those Hammer fans in there were absolutely convinced they were going to win the league. Keen to get going was not the word. Three seasons later we find yourselves in the same position, one of the relegated clubs with perhaps a squad that matched West Hams then, but walking around Cardiff the confidence was certainly not there…..yet.
I felt this carried onto the pitch as for the first 25 minutes Hudderfeild stifled Cardiff and basically denied them most of the possession. The visitors actually played some nice football around midfield but never looked like breaking a Cardiff defence. Fabio and Brayford had any danger created by the visitors easily dealt with. Hudson and Connolly look very comfortable in central defence and dealt with anything that managed to get pass the two full backs. Turning out to be a bit of a revelation is this defence line.
However besides a half chance falling to Jones after a Daehli surge there was nothing happening for the home side. Huddersfield were doing a good job and must have felt destroyed when all their hard work was unravelled by a 35 yard effort from no where. You would have been excused if you asked the question whether Whitts was playing before that moment. From that distance Whitts sent an unorthodox low shot into the inside of the side netting. That moment seem to settle the midfield with Adeyemi starting to make an impressive home debut. Basically he took control of the area with the help of Whitts and Daehli playing wide. This bit of dominance produced a second goal for Cardiff when Jones found himself free in the vistors penalty area. His first efort was saved but someone the ball ended up in the net after it seem to bounce back off him.
Cardiff were looking exceptionally comfortable but unfortunately a lapse of concentration let Huddersfield back into the game. From a last minute corner Marshall was forced to make a good save but unfortunately the ball rebounded straight back into an awaiting Huddersfield foot that blasted it into the back of the Cardiff net. A disappointing end to what was a very comfortable half.
After the break Cardiff soon restored their 2 goal lead when Jones found himself with space inside the opponents penalty area and was nicely setup by Daehli. Jones coolly slotted the ball into the top corner of the net. You could not but admire a clinical finish even if he only had the keeper to beat. That moment made me think he is going to have a good season.
The only drawback Jones had was that he should have got his hat trick. Some smart move from a couple of Cardiff players saw Jones head wide when it look easier to score.
After that Jones was replaced by Guerra who looks a different kettle of fish. Well actually he looks a class act and the opponents must have wondered if they were up against a different team. From the hurley burly Jones to an intelligent mover Guerra bet they were wishing they were on the coach back up North.
In all fairness to the visitors they played some good football but were not in the same class as the hosts. Cardiff saw the game out with ease although they had a scare when a Huddersfield effort hit the post. Some will say it was a poor team we played and they might have a point specially as this team had no manager. I think it would be unfair to say the Terriers were poor because I felt they played some decent football. They struggled with the end product but dont put that down to them being weak there but to this Cardiff defence who seem to be proving a few wrong.
Concluding some were saying we have a lot more to come. Time will tell but it does look promising. One last thing but good luck to Huddersfield I hope they stay up playing football like that.