Hudson strike downs Terriers
Hudson thundered home when the ball fell to him in the penalty
area to give Cardiff, playing in their new red strip for the first
time in a competitive fixture, the three points on a night that had
looked set to end in frustration.
The result was harsh on the Terriers, who looked assured on
their return to the npower Championship, with the impressive Oliver
Norwood and Scott Arfield forcing excellent saves from Cardiff
keeper David Marshall, but it was not enough.
Cardiff manager Malky Mackay made 10 changes to the side beaten
by Northampton in the Capital One Cup, with Heidar Helguson the
Huddersfield had Lee Novak up front while Jordan Rhodes, who has
been linked with a move to Blackburn, was not in the squad
following his midweek outing for Scotland.
After the furore over the switch from blue to red, Cardiff
received a rapturous reception but it was the visitors who settled
They crafted an early opening down the right for Arfield from
Novak’s pass, but Marshall made a sharp, low save to deny him.
The Scotland international was called into action again after 12
minutes as Norwood was given far too much time to line up a strike
from distance, Marshall parrying his fierce drive.
Cardiff barely threatened until Jordon Mutch had a half-chance
after 20 minutes.
Helguson’s intelligent knockdown gave the summer signing room to
get away a strike on the edge of the area, but he could not keep
his shot down.
Norwood almost gave the Terriers the lead six minutes before the
break but his wonderful dipping volley was tipped away by an agile
save from Marshall as the opening half ended with a burst of
Helguson hit the bar after Ben Turner headed a Bellamy corner
back across goal, while the lively Norwood could not control Sean
Scannell’s cross after the midfielder had rounded Marshall.
Cardiff were struggling to get Bellamy and Peter Whittingham
into the game as they opted to pump the ball long to Helguson,
which the Huddersfield back four dealt with comfortably.
The Terriers continued to carve out the clearer of the openings
with Jack Hunt’s driving run to the edge of the box ending with the
full-back fizzing a strike inches over the bar.
The hosts then spurned a great opportunity on 64 minutes. Alex
Smithies failed to hold Mutch’s angled drive and Helguson looked
certain to tap in, only for the covering Peter Clarke to
brilliantly deny the forward.
It was Smithies’ turn to help out Clarke seven minutes later
after Bellamy had tricked his way past the centre-half, the keeper
making a sprawling stop to deny Kevin McNaughton from the Wales
Marshall pushed an Arfield effort around the post from Keith
Southern’s pass while substitute Joe Mason blazed over for the
hosts with what appeared to be their last chance, until Hudson came
to the rescue.