Cardiff 2 : 1 Bolton
We headed into the heart of Wales to celebrate St George’s Day, determined to make the best of what’s left of our miserable season. We pushed the boat out a bit with a superb man-size chicken teriyaki at ZeroDegrees accompanied by some particularly fine ales. On arrival at the ground, our seat tickets were exchanged to accommodate Cardiff’s Foundation Day, their annual charitable family fun day. This meant that both sets of fans shared facilities and it was a compliment to Bolton fans that Cardiff City felt able to do this with us, rather than at their traditional last home fixture with Birmingham City.
Jimmy Philips rightly continued with the youngsters. The Cardiff fans showed their appreciation of Darren Pratley’s Swansea heritage, while he was on the pitch. The team deserve a lot of credit for this performance and it gave some hope for the future. Zach Clough curled in a wonderful free kick early on. Dimitri Payet look out! Niall Maher’s enthusiasm got the better of him when he mugged Craig Noone in their half. But when down to ten men, we defended heroically and had three great chances to wrap the match up through Kaiyne Woolery twice and Zach Clough. The way our season has gone, it was no surprise that we conceded a soft penalty with virtually the last kick of the match, while being denied a couple of decent shouts for penalties ourselves. Tyler Garratt was another positive despite his naivety with the penalty. The young ones have to learn and today there were some harsh lessons for them.
Results don’t matter at the moment as we are going to finish bottom whatever happens. We are rebuilding the club at all levels and it is encouraging that we appear to have a decent crop of young players. We will need a few older heads to direct them. Full marks to David Wheater and his giving up of appearance money to play for the Wanderers. In League One we will be able to blood our own young players rather than loan them out for experience. Similarly, a more successful League One team should be better able to attract a higher quality of loanee than a struggling Championship team. Meanwhile, we are still waiting for the first managerial and directorial blocks to be put in place. Things will turn but we are going to need time and patience.