Cardiff City 2 (Jones 44, Ameobi 60)
Cardiff took the lead at the end of a tightly contested first-half and Wolves were unable to prevent the Welsh team from going on to what was, in the end, a convincing victory on a disappointing evening for the Molineux men when they didn’t manage a shot on target.
Kenny Jackett made four changes to the team that had lost to Queens Park Rangers. Carl Ikeme returned in goal and in came Ethan Ebanks-Landell, Sheyi Ojo and Rajiv van La Parra whilst the men they replaced, Emi Martinez, Scott Golbourne, James Henry and Nouha Dicko, were all named as substitutes.
Cardiff kicked-off but the first chance fell Wolves’ way as Dave Edwards pulled down Ojo’s cross and hit a shot on the turn over the bar from ten-yards out.
Edwards then intercepted a headed clearance but the ball went away from him as it ran into the area allowing David Marshall win the race to claim – just!
There had been little to trouble Ikeme although he must have been grateful to Richard Stearman who blocked Fabio Da Silva’s long-range attempt after Kenwyne Jones had teed the ball up.
But the keeper needed his wits about him as he parried a low, angled effort from Matthew Connolly before claiming at the second attempt.
A fierce shot from Jones struck a defender and the deflection took the ball over the bar with Ikeme stranded.
When Peter Whittingham’s corner was played back to him, his second ball in was headed down by Jones and forced over the line by Joe Mason. But the home cheers were soon stifled when the referee ruled that the striker had kicked the ball out of Ikeme’s hands..
Two bookings in a five minute spell followed – Kagisho Dikgacoi was first to see yellow for hauling down Conor Coady 30-yards out. Ojo’s free-kick sailed high over the bar. Then Coady went into the book himself for felling Mason in the centre-circle.
Five minutes before the break a van La Parra corner almost opened up the home defence. He played it short to Ojo who turned and hit a cross that Kortney Hause, from close range, headed over at the far post (pictured).
In the 44th minute City moved ahead. Jones rose high to nod the ball goalwards from Da Silva’s ball into the box and, with Ikeme off his line, the ball floated into an empty net.
Half-Time: City 1 Wolves 0
With the goal in their locker, Cardiff made a bright start to the new half and Stearman did well to head clear a dangerous cross from Da Silva.
A timely tackle by Stearman on Jones prevented an almost certain second goal for the Bluebirds. Jones was hurt in the incident and although he briefly returned after treatment, he couldn’t continue and he was replaced by Sammy Ameobi.
On loan to Cardiff from Newcastle, it took Ameobi just four minutes to make his mark. When Da Silva’s corner was headed down by Dikgacoi, Ameobi was on hand to ram the ball home from eight yards out.
The immediate response from Kenny Jackett was a double substitution with Henry and Dicko replacing Kevin McDonald and Ojo.
A sublime piece of play from Ameobi almost resulted in a third Cardiff goal. He raced down the left flank and cut inside, skipping past two challenges, before curling a shot narrowly wide from the edge of the area.
There was a half chance for Dicko when Benik Afobe played the ball back to him – but he was quickly closed down and his shot was blocked.
In stoppage time, Sean Morrison was booked for a challenge on Dominic Iorfa to the right of the home area. Henry’s free-kick was cleared as was a corner taken by the wide man moments later.
And Mason almost compounded a forgettable night for Wolves when he raced onto a long ball from defence but lost out in a one on one with Ikeme.
City: Marshall (capt), Peltier, Da Silva (Manga 88), Morrison, Whittingham, Ralls, Jones (Ameobi 56), Mason, Pilkington, Dikgacoi, Connolly.
Unused subs: Noone, Gunnarsson, Doyle, Revell, Moore.
Bookings: Dikgacoi (28 – foul), Morrison (90+2 – foul).
Wolves: Ikeme, Hause, Iorfa, Edwards, Ebanks-Landell, Stearman (capt), van La Parra, Coady, Afobe, McDonald (Henry 62), Ojo (Dicko 62).
Unused subs: Martinez, Doherty, Golbourne, Price, Enobakhare.
Booking: Coady (33 – foul).
Referee: A. Davies.
Wolves Under 18s 3 (Kardat, Allen 2) Newcastle United 2