Stoke frustrated by Cardiff

Stoke City spurned several opportunities during their goalless draw with Cardiff City at the Britannia Stadium.

Last Updated: 04/12/13 at 23:43 Post Comment

Stoke City's Charlie Adam looked threatening throughout

Stoke City's Charlie Adam looked threatening throughout

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Towards the end of the first half, the Potters had the ball in the back of the Cardiff net, but Geoff Cameron was adjudged to be offside after tapping in a Peter Crouch knock-down.

It was a largely frustrating evening for Stoke, with Stephen Ireland, Marc Muniesa and Oussama Assaidi all having great chances to break the deadlock.

The Bluebirds had chances of their own, with Jordon Mutch's powerful header and Declan John's long-range effort both being palmed away by the assured Asmir Begovic.

Having failed to convert their opportunities in front of their home crowd, the Stoke fans vented their frustrations throughout the second half. The Cardiff fans will be the happier of the two sets of supporters, gaining a valuable point in their quest to survive in the Premier League.

Stoke boss Mark Hughes made two changes after Saturday's 4-0 defeat at Everton, with Jonathan Walters' run of 102 consecutive Premier League starts ended by a thigh problem.

Former Barcelona defender Marc Muniesa stepped in for the injured Robert Huth at the weekend but he was back on the bench with Marc Wilson preferred alongside Ryan Shawcross.

Marko Arnautovic made a surprise return from a hamstring strain while Cardiff boss Malky Mackay gave only a second Premier League start to 18-year-old full-back John.

The first 20 minutes featured plenty of huffing and puffing from both sides but no real chances.

The best opening fell to Shawcross, who got his head on a Charlie Adam corner, but his effort was well wide.

Begovic had to be alert in the 23rd minute to clear a corner under real pressure but it was Stoke who were offering most of the goal threat, such as there was.

Adam turned well on the right and produced a cross to Crouch, who felt he was blocked from getting to by Kevin Theophile-Catherine.

Moments later a fine ball from Arnautovic picked out Assaidi, who had run in behind the Cardiff defence but could not get the ball under control before David Marshall came out to block.

Adam was then the creator again with a cross for Crouch but he was sandwiched out of it by two Cardiff defenders.

Begovic had been largely untroubled, but in the 40th minute Don Cowie's corner picked out Mutch and his forceful header was pushed away by the Stoke keeper.

Stoke did have the ball in the net just before half-time after Assaidi and Crouch diverted Arnautovic's cross to the feet of Cameron.

The defender had popped up surprisingly in the middle of the box and he flicked the ball past Marshall but he was clearly offside.

Cardiff had a strong spell at the start of the second half, and Campbell looked unfortunate not to be given a penalty for a tangle with Wilson.

The striker was at the centre of things again when Peter Whittingham was fouled 25 yards out. Campbell hit the deck after appearing to be pushed in the wall by Adam, who was booked in the first half, but it was the Cardiff man and Crouch - who swung an arm towards Campbell - who were shown yellow cards.

At the other end, Crouch was again penalised when he felt he was being held in the box, this time by Ben Turner, while in the 68th minute the striker did get his head to a cross but nodded over the bar from Assaidi's delivery.

The home fans became increasingly frustrated as Stoke went in search of a breakthrough that would not come.

Substitute Stephen Ireland tried to pick out a team-mate instead of shooting, and the midfielder then blazed over from the edge of the box after Marshall had pushed away Adam's free-kick.

But it was the visitors who almost found a way through in injury-time, teenager John drilling a shot towards the bottom corner that was well saved by Begovic.

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