Cardiff 2 Stoke City 0

Last updated : 23 January 2002 By

Cardiff City kept their second division play-off hopes alive with a thoroughly deserved 2-0 victory over promotion rivals Stoke City.

A frantic opening produced an abundance of action in the middle third of the pitch, but precious little in the way of controlled football.

The first chance came in the 12th minute when Andy Legg put a long throw deep into the Stoke penalty area. Neil Cutler came out to gather, but failed to hold the ball, leading to a huge goalmouth scramble before the ball was finally cleared.

Within seconds, Cardiff were back on the attack again through Gavin Gordon. He cleverly laid the ball off to Jason Bowen, but the former Welsh International's shot lacked the power to trouble Cutler.

Stoke responded with a dangerous cross by Jurgen Vanduerzen that Rhys Weston failed to cut out. However, luckily for the Cardiff centre-back, the ball skipped harmlessly across the face of the goal.

Cardiff fired back, and Cutler pulled off a magnificent one-handed save in the 17th minute to deny Graham Kavanagh a goal against his former club.

The home side finally took the lead in the 19th minute through a Bjarni Gudjonsson own goal. There seemed little threat when Des Hamilton fed Bowen down the right. The crossed ball was met by Gudjonsson, with the ball somehow bouncing off him and past the astonished Cutler.

Stoke fought hard to get back on level terms, with Chris Iwelumo and Andrew Cooke going close with headers, before Vanduerzen wasted a wonderful chance by shooting over the bar from fifteen yards after a mistake by Hamilton.

Stoke again attacked with gusto at the start of the second half, with Wayne Thomas, in particular, working hard. However, despite their efforts home goalkeeper Neil Alexander was rarely troubled.

In their best chance, David Rowson shot wide from twenty yards, and then Iwelumo was unable to control a Thomas cross with the ball wastefully bouncing off his shins straight to Alexander.

Cardiff settled it in the 71st minute, when Bowen and Mark Bonner combined well on the right. Bonner's cross to the far post appeared to be going nowhere, until Legg came storming in to meet it with a powerful header that flashed past Cutler and into the opposite corner of the net