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28 July 2018

THE Brewers rounded off pre-season with a 5-1 defeat as Premier League quality finishing saw Cardiff to a comfortable win despite a bright start from Albion

The Brewers had seven players sidelined with niggling injuries. John Brayford, Reece Hutchinson and David Templeton (hamstring problems), Marvin Sordell and Scott Fraser (calf strains) and Will Miller (recovering from long-term knee injury) all missed the game. Ben Fox had a dead leg and  therefore only made the bench.

Albion opened the last Championship season at home to Cardiff losing narrowly to a late goal. Neil Warnock’s team went on to finish second and were promoted to the Premier League while Albion were relegated on the last day of the season at Preston and start life in League One on August 4,

Albion opened brightly with Ben Turner hitting a volley over the bar from a corner and Joe Sbarra coming close with a curling shot. On 10 minutes Jake Buxton headed a free kick on goal but Smithies saved.

A minute later Matty Lund should have tested the keeper when put through but shot wide.

Albion took a deserved lead on 12 minutes when Liam Boyce was bundled over in the box and the striker got up to convert the penalty.

It could have been two a minute later when Damien McCrory hit the bar with a fierce effort.

Cardiff's equaliser came against the run of play - Joe Ralls put in a teasing cross and Buxton headed into his own net

Albion continued to have the bulk of the attacking play, but Cardiff doubled their lead on 40 minutes when Kenneth Zohore controlled the ball expertly in the box and rounded Bywater to slot home.

It was 3-1 when Nathaniel Mendez-Laing curled in a great effort from 25 yards which deceived Bywater.

Half-time 1-3

Cardiff opened the second half on the front foot and Reid made it 4-1 on 55 minutes. A long ball into the box beat everyone and left Reid with a tap in.

On the hour mark Cardiff made five changes.

Another super strike from Cardiff saw Calum Patterson slam the ball into the bottom corner from outside the box on 72 minutes.

Albion never created the chances in the second half they did before the break and Cardiff were comfortable winners.

Full-time 1-5

Attendance: 853

Brewers: Bywater, Akins, Buxton, Turner, McCrory, McFadzean, Lund, Allen, Harness, Boyce, Sbarra. Subs: Hodge (for Lund 72), Campbell, Fox, Hart, Beardsley

Cardiff: Smithies, Peltier, Morrison, Ralls, Zohore, Reid, Gunnarsson, Cunningham, Mendez-Liang, Bamba, Hoilett Subs: Etheridge, Bennett, Manga, Richards, Murphy, Patterson, Damour, Madine

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