07 April 2023

Connor Wickham on target as Cardiff thrash fellow-strugglers Blackpool

07 April 2023

Connor Wickham made headlines for all the right reasons as Cardiff thrashed Sky Bet Championship relegation rivals Blackpool 3-1 at Bloomfield Road.

Earlier in the week, Wickham had apologised after a social media video emerged of him apparently inhaling ‘laughing gas’ in the wake of the Bluebirds’ derby defeat to Swansea last weekend.

Manager Sabri Lamouchi described the striker’s actions as “stupid” but named the former Sheffield Wednesday and Ipswich frontman in his starting line-up, and Wickham responded by netting his first goal for the club at the sixth attempt.

He gained further credit in the visitors’ blistering first-half performance by playing major parts in goals for team-mates Sory Kaba and skipper Joe Ralls, with Josh Bowler’s reply coming too late for Blackpool.

Cardiff’s first win in four lifted them up to 19th and made painful viewing for their former boss Mick McCarthy, whose Blackpool side lie seven points from safety.

Wickham ended his wait for a first Cardiff goal after 21 minutes. Marlon Romeo delivered a perfect right-wing cross and the centre-forward headed in at the far post.

Seasiders goalkeeper Chris Maxwell was at full strength to keep out Cedric Kipre’s low drive and the latter had another effort blocked by James Husband.

Maxwell then denied Jaden Philogene as the Welsh side looked to press home their advantage, and it was no surprise when they doubled their advantage after 37 minutes.

Wickham’s ball in from the right was only headed into the air by Husband, and as Maxwell came out to intervene, Kaba nipped in for his eighth goal of the campaign and fourth in five games.

City’s third quickly followed. This time Wickham crossed from the right with the ball finding its way through to Ralls.

The Cardiff captain had not scored since February 2022 and there were jubilant celebrations when his low shot beat Maxwell.

Cardiff had not managed to score three since beating Wigan 3-1 last October, and for much of the second half the visitors coasted towards a much-needed three points.

However, when Bowler pulled a goal back with 15 minutes remaining, Cardiff nerves were finally tested.

Ryan Allsop reacted well to beat away Callum Connolly’s long-range attempt as the Seasiders stepped up their bid for an unlikely comeback, but Cardiff saw out the rest of the contest.

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