Hot-shot Blades are given a happy birthday

Last updated : 23 March 2009 By Bladesmadeditor
David Cotterill celebrates his opener
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The Blades ran rampant over Cardiff City on a sunny Sunday afternoon. Darius Henderson was put through on goal in the 24th minute and was brought down by Gabor Gypes in the area. He was awarded a penalty and the defender saw red. David Cotterill tucked away the penalty against his hometown club to open the score line.

A few minutes later, Ross McCormack leapt for the ball with Kyle Naughton and was penalised for an elbow. He was also dismissed which meant Cardiff had to play the game with nine men.

Jamie Ward who was unmarked nodded past Taylor in Cardiff's goal just a minute after the restart. And just 5 minutes before the 90 were up, Stephen Quinn poked into the far-corner for United's third.

Kevin Blackwell opted to drop Jamie Ward and Leigh Bromby to the bench and bring Nick Montgomery and Greg Halford in respectively. It looked as though United began the game with a 4-3-3 formation.

The games' first real piece of action occurred in the fourth minute. David Cotterill's swinging cross into the box beat everybody and the ball struck the post, much to the relief of Cardiff goalkeeper Stuart Taylor.

Gyepes nodded wide for the Bluebirds who started to mount some pressure on the Blades in the opening stages. A few minutes later up the other end of the field, Greg Halford controlled the ball with his arm and attempted a sneaky lob over the goalkeeper but the ball dipped over the bar. The referee cautioned the recently returned Halford.

The Blades were awarded a penalty just a few minutes after the halfway mark in the 1st half. Gyepes tugged down Henderson when he was in front of goal which gave the referee no hesitation in pointing to the spot.

The defender saw red which shortly lead to a David Cotterill opener when he stuck past Taylor to silence his hometown crowd.

David Cotterill silences the home crowd
Image copyright to SportBox.TV
The Bluebirds had to re-shape and brought on Comminges who replaced the frustrated Michael Chopra.

Just 8 minutes after United's goal, Ross McCormack leapt for the ball along with Kyle Naughton and was penalised for an elbow on the Blades defender. The referee was certain it was worthy of a red card and branded Cardiff with a second dismissal.

Halford struck at goal but the keeper parried the ball away. This proved to be the on loan Sunderland man's last contribution when he was replaced by Jamie Ward just before half-time. He refused to shake Kevin Blackwell's hand and stormed straight down the tunnel. He will miss the Ipswich game due to picking up his 5th yellow card of the season.

Gavin Rae's poke towards goal was hurriedly cleared off the line by Montgomery. Kyle Naughton just minutes later saw his looping effort tipped round the post by the goalkeeper.

The half-time whistle invited boos around Ninian Park from the home faithful who were directing their jeers towards the match officials. The first action of the second period was a Blades corner which Cotterill beautifully chipped in to find the pint-size figure of Jamie Ward who could head in for his second of the season.

A couple of United chances were shortly followed by a triple of Cardiff opportunities but both teams couldn't convert. Darius Henderson was presented with a rest when he was taken off for Craig Beattie with 20 minutes left.

Ward did an intelligent dummy which Beattie latched onto but he threaded the ball inches past the far-post - it would've been a dream start for the Scot. Johnson was looking for a penalty when he fell to ground but the referee had none of it.

With 10 minutes left, Naughton and Montgomery both picked up cautions for professional fouls. Five minutes later, Beattie knocked the ball through to Quinn who nestled the ball into the far-corner with his left-foot to send the 1,000 travelling Blades fans crazy.

Comminges and Rae both received yellow cards and then the fourth official indicated 3 minutes added time. Joe Ledley's looping free-kick which flew over the bar caused agro when Kenny hung onto the crossbar to see the ball over which sparked the Cardiff fans behind the goal. The police had to intervene.

Seconds late the referee blew for full-time in an incident packed game in the Welsh capital. United extend their unbeaten away run to 14 games and join Birmingham and Wolves in the teams which have picked up all three points at Ninian Park this season. The final score is Cardiff City 0:3 Sheffield United.