Premier League: Stoke City 0 Cardiff City 0
By Football News
Stoke City and Cardiff City battled out a 0-0 draw at the Britannia Stadium to keep them level on 14 points in the Premier League table.
In a game devoid of chances it was no surprise to see neither goalkeeper stretched throughout the match, as both sides failed to bring any creativity to the encounter.
Peter Crouch had the best opening midway through the second half but he headed over the crossbar from an Oussama Assaidi delivery.
The result is the sixth time both sides have failed to score in a league fixture this season, with Cardiff picking up their sixth point away from home this term.
Both sides made two changes following defeats at the weekend, Marc Wilson and Marko Arnautovic returned for the hosts while Declan John and Aron Gunnarsson started for the visitors.
A scrappy start saw neither team impose themselves on proceedings and it was not until the 20th minute that the game had its first chance on goal.
It went to the hosts as Ryan Shawcross rose at the front post to meet a Charlie Adam corner, however the central defender's header flew wide of goal.
Just after the half hour Stoke threatened again as Arnautovic and Adam linked well down the right, the Scot's low cross was aimed at Crouch but he was unable to bundle the ball past Marshall.
Begovic was only tested once as Cardiff threatened just before the break, Don Cowie fired a corner in from the right but Jordon Mutch's header was punched clear by the Bosnia goalkeeper.
Cardiff threatened first after the break through Peter Whittingham, but the midfielder's free-kick was straight at Begovic and he held the ball easily.
The introduction of Stephen Ireland gave the hosts some creative spark in the midfield and within minutes of coming on he had a hand in a good opening.
Ireland released Assaidi down the right and the Moroccan delivered a perfect cross to Crouch, but he could not direct his header on target from six yards.
Stoke continued to press for the winner Ireland slicing his shot wide.
John drew a fine save out of Begovic as Cardiff went close to stealing a stoppage-time win, but the game deservedly finished goalless.
Mark Hughes' side have now failed to win five of their last six outings at the Britannia Stadium, coming out without a goal in four of those games as their stuttering start to life under the Welshman continues.