Another Late Disappointment
Cardiff City 2 (Connolly 68, Pilkington 86)
Wolves 1 (Doherty 2)
For the second time in four days Wolves suffered a late blow as Cardiff came from a goal down to snatch all three points four minutes from time.
Richard Stearman, back from his enforced one game absence, and George Saville came in for Kortney Hause and Conor Coady who both dropped down to the bench for the game. With Carl Ikeme and Andy Lonergan both still sidelined, Harry Burgoyne continued in goal.
Wolves kicked-off and they were ahead inside two minutes. Helder Costa sprinted into the Cardiff half where he was tripped by Matthew Connolly.
Ivan Cavaleiro took a short, quick free-kick slipping the ball to Matt Doherty who took a few steps before unleashing a shot from 20-yards that Ben Amos got a hand to, but was unable to keep out.
The first corner of the game went the way of Wolves and the home defence had difficulty in clearing Costa’s flag-kick allowing Romain Saiss a long-range pot at goal that was too high to worry Amos.
Lee Peltier’s awful challenge on Costa earned the Cardiff man a booking and left Costa in need of treatment before he hobbled back onto the pitch.
Cavaleiro fouled Junior Hoilett midway in the Wolves half of the field and Danny Batth had to head clear Peter Whittingham’s inswinging free-kick for a throw-in on the far side.
City had been using the long throws of Aron Gunnarsson to good effect and after he had launched the ball into the heart of the box, Stearman was there to head clear.
Another Cardiff free-kick came after Dominic Iorfa had clipped Peltier near the left-hand corner flag. Again Whittington took the kick and home skipper Sean Morrison was inches too high with a powerful header.
Kieran Richardson had a good opportunity in the 29th minute after a Gunnarsson throw but he seemed to be caught in two minds and his half hit cross shot drifted harmlessly wide of the far post.
Cardiff won their first corner of the game in the 38th minute but Whittingham’s kick was competently dealt with by the Wolves rearguard.
In stoppage time Hoilett was wide after a Gunnarsson throw had been half cleared to him on the edge of the box.
Half-Time: Cardiff 0 Wolves 1
Both teams had changes for the new half. Craig Noone and Kenneth Zohore took over from Richardson and Lex Immers for Cardiff whilst Paul Lambert sent on Joao Teixeira for Costa who was doubtless feeling the effects of his earlier knock.
Cardiff made a strong start and Burgoyne made a great save to turn away a curling effort from Noone that was going to fall inside the far post.
In the 53rd minute Zohore hooked narrowly over the bar after another Gunnarsson throw and then Burgoyne had to dive to his left to save a Whittingham free-kick after Saiss had been booked for fouling Zohore.
The assault on Burgoyne’s goal continued and Noone was close to equalising with an angled 25-yard drive that flew past the far post.
The visiting defence then had to clear a Whittingham free-kick taken from a yard to the left of the Wolves box after Iorfa was adjudged to have fouled Hoilett.
Bright Enobakhare replaced Cavaleiro shortly before Cardiff’s pressure paid off with Connolly despatching a close range header from Whittingham’s 68th minute corner.
Four minutes later Wolves were denied the chance of regaining the lead by Amos who made a tremendous save from Saville’s shot after a Teixeira’s corner.
After Jon Dadi Bodvarsson became Wolves’ final substitute when he went on for Nouha Dicko, Whittingham was booked for chopping down Enobakhare.
In the 86th minute Cardiff won the game when Zohora’s pass found Anthony Pilkington in space and he made no mistake drilling a low shot into the corner of the net from the edge of the area.
Cardiff: Amos, Peltier, Morrison (capt), Manga, Whittingham (Ralls 88) , Immers (Zohore 45), Pilkington, Richardson (Noone 45), Connolly, Gunnarsson, Hoilett.
Unused subs: Wilson, Bennett, Lambert, Harris.
Bookings: Peltier (16 – foul), Whittingham (76 – foul).
Wolves: Burgoyne, Doherty, Iorfa, Edwards, Stearman, Batth (capt), Costa (Teixeira 45), Saiss, Dicko (Bodvarsson 76), Saville, Cavaleiro (Enobakhare 66).
Unused subs: Flatt, Coady, Price, Hause.
Booking: Saiss (58 – foul).
Referee: A. Madley.