Cardiff 1 Swansea 0

Monday, 13 May 2002, 0:00
2 mins read

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Backed by a large travelling support taking advantage of the free travel offered by Cardiff owner Sam Hammam, Swansea went into the game as clear underdogs but hoping that the two factors of a local derby and a cup tie could produce a surprise (to the majority of the media) victory.
Swansea’s line-up was of interest to many on the basis that Nick Cusack will soon be releasing players and of the starting line-up, how many will actually be at the Vetch come August when the new season starts?


Phillips Sharp Smith O’Leary Howard

Cusack Mumford Coates

Watkin Sidibe

The first half was an even affair with both sides having chances. Cardiff looked the better side on the ball but that is not to say that Swansea were by any means over-run and indeed with better finishing could have found themselves ahead. Steve Watkin and Mamady Sidibe had chances as did manager Nick Cusack but none of them seriously threatened the Cardiff goal and as the interval came, 0-0 was probably a fair reflection.
The second half started slowly bar a Graham Kavanagh free-kick that flew harmlessley over the bar to the delight of the Swansea fans. But it was to prove only a reprieve as O’Leary cluttered into Fortune West from behind 10 minutes into the half and Kavanagh curled a superb free-kick past Freestone and into the net off the inside of the post to give Cardiff the lead. It takes a special free-kick to beat Roger from that distance and it has to be said that Kavanagh executed it to perfection.
There followed a period where Cardiff were in complete control and they almost added a second as Fortune-West headed just wide from a right wing cross with Roger looking more comfortable in leaving it then the end result suggested he should have been.
This seemed to be the wake up call that Swansea needed and they were unlucky when a free-kick was given for a foul on Watkin when Sidibe appeared to be through and the advantage was possibly the best option that the referee could have given.
Steve Brodie was sent on to replace Andrew Mumford and almost immediately could have set up Michael Howard for the equaliser but the ball just eluded Howard and was cleared to safety.
17-year old Jay Thompson was sent on for Howard with 20 minutes to play but by this time Cardiff’s fitness appeared to be superior to that of Swansea’s and they seemed in control. In a last throw of the dice Williams replaced Coates, quite possibly playing his last game for the club, and it was from Williams cross that Watkin headed onto the top of the bar when Brodie was unmarked behind him.
Cardiff from then on in succeeded in running down the clock and deservedly took the trophy to cap their season off with a win. It is now to the drawing board for Nick Cusack and within the course of the next few days we will start to see what he is intending to do as he re-builds on a season that is best forgotten.

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