Cardiff give Slade winning start

Date published: Monday 24th August 2015 1:22

The former Leyton Orient manager has had to wait a long time to lead his new side, due to legal wranglings and the international break, but it proved to be worth it.
Federico Macheda’s first league goal in Cardiff colours gave them a 22nd-minute lead, with Peter Whttingham firing home the second five minutes later.
Forest did pull one back through Britt Assombalonga, but it was not enough to prevent Stuart Pearce’s side suffering their first defeat of the season.
Slade had demanded a quick start from his new charges and he got one, with Anthony Pilkington making two powerful surging runs, the latter of which ended with the former Norwich man working Karl Darlow with a low shot.
But Cardiff’s bright opening did not come without cause for alarm.
Captain and goalkeeper David Marshall made a sharp stop to keep out Matty Fryatt’s curling strike, and Craig Noone made a critical goal-line clearance after Chris Burke had bamboozled makeshift full-back Joe Ralls.
Within 60 seconds of Noone’s intervention, Cardiff led.
Aron Gunnarsson led the break and Macheda arrived on to his pass to work his way beyond Fryatt and slot low beyond Darlow, who got a hand to the strike but could not keep it out.
Having been punished once for poor defending on the edge of their box, Forest failed to heed the lesson and fell further behind in the 27th minute.
A loose ball fell to Whittingham, who was given plenty of time to pick his spot and dispatch a left-footed shot into the bottom corner.
The Cardiff midfielder nearly repeated the dose a few minutes later as Pearce made his frustrations clear to his players.
The Forest manager sent his side back out very early for the second half and withdrew Eric Lichaj in favour of Dan Harding.
But it did not bring about any real improvement from the visitors and only a fine save from Darlow prevented Sean Morrison’s header putting Cardiff three goals to the good, after a Whittingham free-kick had been allowed to travel through to the far post.
But Forest slowly began to exert sustained pressure on their hosts and they thought they had pulled a goal back just after the hour.
The Cardiff rearguard allowed Michail Antonio to weave his way towards goal and get a shot away that Marshall could only parry. Assombalonga was on hand to tap in the rebound, but the flag was up for offside.
Slade had spoken of his concerns over the fitness levels of some of his players and, as they began to flag, so Forest pressed.
They gave themselves hope of salvaging a point when Assombalonga turned in Antonio’s cross with two minutes to go.
Antonio had a last-gasp chance to grab an equaliser, but Marshall was equal to his low drive.

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