Report: Cardiff City v Bolton Wanderers

First half goals from Armand Traore and Sean Morrison gave Cardiff City a comfortable victory in this rearranged Sky Bet Championship encounter in the Welsh capital.

The score line didn’t really reflect the hosts’ dominance – thanks to a string of superlative saves from Ben Alnwick - with Wanderers’ chances to get on the score sheet at a premium.

Team News

Phil Parkinson made three changes to the side that earned an impressive draw against in-form Fulham at the weekend.

Goal scoring hero Adam Le Fondre, Reece Burke and Filipe Morais came in for Zach Clough, David Wheater and Mark Little who were all named among the substitutes.

Meanwhile, former Wanderer Gary Madine wasn't named in the matchday squad after failing a late fitness test.

First Half 

The hosts almost got off to the perfect start when Junior Hoilett was sent clear down the right hand side. The former Blackburn man went around Ben Alnwick, but Mark Beevers was in the right place to clear away the danger before the ball found a blue shirt.

Wanderers, wearing all white, responded with a half-chance of their own after Josh Vela laid the ball on for Derik Osede after being played in superbly by Sammy Ameobi. However, the Spaniard was unable to get his shot on target.

The Bluebirds suffered an early blow when they lost Jamie Ward to injury. Yanic Wildschut replaced the debutant with barely 14 minutes on the clock.

Alnwick was then pressed into action when he made a solid save to thwart Sean Morrison who tried to nod past the Wanderers keeper.

Ameobi looked like he was going to smash in a trademark left footed drive from distance but his effort skewed wide without causing any issue for the Bluebirds’ keeper.

Cardiff then had a great chance to break the deadlock after Wildschut got in behind the Wanderers defence, but Alnwick got his feet to the frontman’s angled drive.

Wanderers were living dangerously and were under sustained pressure. Beevers stretched well clear a header after the ball was pumped into the box from the right hand side, before Hoilett volleyed straight at Alnwick with a shot that lacked power.

A rare opportunity befall Wanderers when Beevers rose above everyone to get his head on Filipe Morais’ free-kick into the box, but the big defender saw his chance drift wide.

Antonee Robinson went on an impressive run, shrugging off numerous challenges, before being dispossessed as he cantered into the box.

Armand Traore found a way past the previously unbeatable Alnwick on 34 minutes when his deflected effort nestled into the back of the net to give Cardiff the lead.

Cardiff were threatening to increase their advantage and the pace of Wildschut got himself ahead of the backline, beating the offside trap, before his side foot found Patterson, who shot narrowly wide.

The second goal came just two minutes before the interval with Wanderers failing to clear a free-kick into their box. Sean Morrison rose to get a header on target which was initially saved at close range from Alnwick, but the forward was first to react to the loose ball and he made no mistake in nodding past the keeper.

Second Half

Parkinson made a change during the break with Wheater coming on for Burke, and the big defender soon found a taste of the action with a couple of headed clearances in quick succession.

Fortune, in the guise of the crossbar, came to Wanderers’ rescue when they again failed to clear a set piece delivery. Manga got his head to an attempted clearance as the ball pinged its way into the box but he could only direct the effort onto the bar with Alnwick well beaten.

Despite the undoubted dominance from the hosts Wanderers won two corners in quick succession but they both came to nothing.

A lightning break from Neil Warnock’s men presented Zohore with a chance after Hoilett’s pass split the Wanderers defence in two, but the Cardiff midfielder’s shot lacked the power to trouble Alnwick.

Le Fondre latched on to a decent through ball which saw him charge towards goal; however, he pulled his angled shot wide without troubling the Bluebirds shot stopper.

Wanderers made their second substitution when Clough came on for Derik to try and give the visitors more of an attacking edge.

Loanee Clough’s attacking threat almost paid dividends when he got into the box thanks to a brilliant ball from Morais only to see an attempted pass cleared. Le Fondre was ready to strike before the ball was cleared. This period was arguably Wanderers’ best passage of the evening. 

The impressive Alnwick was at his best once again when he tipped over a Hoilett drive before rising to collect the resulting corner.

Beevers was perfectly placed on his goaline to keep out another Hoilett effort as Cardiff went in search of putting the game well and truly beyond Wanderers’ reach.

Tyler Walker was Wanderers’ last change of the night when he came on for Ameobi with just five minutes of the game remaining.

Although Wanderers improved in the second-half, the damage had already been done in the first thanks to the goals from Traore and Morrison.

With another long distance trip to QPR at the weekend, Parkinson will be hoping for an improved display from his charges in the capital.

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