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Unforgettable Ninian Park derbies

Ninian Park
Ninian Park is in its twilight season

By Peter Shuttleworth

Ninian Park will host its final South Wales derby on Sunday when Swansea City help neighbours and rivals Cardiff City end a 96-year long tradition.

Cardiff City's new stadium
The new Cardiff City Stadium

Cardiff will leave their famous old ground after 99 years for a new state-of-the-art £38m 25,000-capacity stadium over the road at Leckwith ready for next season.

Ninian Park has held many memorable derbies over the years, here BBC Sport profiles six of the most memorable Cardiff v Swansea games at the old ground.

15 February 1913
Welsh Cup semi-final: Cardiff City 2-4 Swansea Town

Swansea and Cardiff shared the honours 1-1 in their first meeting in September 1912 in Southern League Division Two but the Swans, who went on to lift the Welsh Cup, beat nine-man Cardiff in the first derby at Ninian Park.

Cassidy scored a ninth-minute penalty to give Cardiff the lead after Devlin was brought down in the box before Burton scored a stunning scissors kick to give the hosts a two-goal half-time advantage.

Injury forced Cardiff players Featherstone and Evans to leave the field in the days before substitutes and Swansea capitalised with goals from Gierson, Coleman and two from Ball.

27 August 1949
Football League Division Two: Cardiff City 1-0 Swansea Town

A derby record crowd of 57,510 watched newly-promoted Swansea, managed by Cardiff's former promotion-winning manager Billy McCandless, lose at Ninian Park.

Tommy Best's 74th minute header into the roof of the net from George Edwards' corner won the game.

The fixture was the first league derby for 19 years - and that gap still remains the biggest break without a meeting since their first Football League clash in October 1929.

John Charles
John Charles scored twice against home-town club Swansea

6 April 1965
Football League Division Two: Cardiff City 5-0 Swansea Town

This was the day that two of Swansea's favourite footballing sons conspired to help relegate their home-town club.

The great Wales international Ivor Allchurch scored the first of his hat-trick inside the opening seven minutes and when Allchurch had finished, another legendary Wales striker took over.

The 'Gentle Giant' John Charles scored two late goals to condemn the Swans to defeat and within a matter of weeks, Swansea went down.

8 February 1966
Welsh Cup fifth round replay: Cardiff City 3-5 Swansea Town (after extra-time)

Gareth Williams and George Johnson had given Cardiff a 2-0 half-time advantage that Johnson added to after the break.

But the turning point was when Cardiff centre-back Don Murray was sent-off by referee Leo Callaghan for an alleged head-butt on Swansea's Jimmy McLaughlin in the 62nd minute.

Within seconds Keith Todd scored for Swansea before Todd added another. Herbie Williams ensured extra-time would be played thanks to an 83rd-minute equaliser.

606: DEBATE
Shuttsy

Cardiff could have snatched a dramatic late winner but Johnson failed to connect with Gary Farrell's cross.

Cardiff were punished as McLaughlin and Brian Evans scored extra-time goals to secure a stunning and memorable Swansea comeback.

27 December 1980
Football League Division Two: Cardiff City 3-3 Swansea City

John Buchanan's "goal of a lifetime" in the dying seconds spoiled former Cardiff striker John Toshack's return to Ninian Park as Swansea manager.

Cardiff midfielder Buchanan's 35-yard shot after Wayne Hughes touched a free-kick to him rescued a valuable point for Cardiff who only survived relegation on goal difference - while Swansea went on to win promotion to Division One on goal difference.

Gary Stevens had given Cardiff an early lead before goals from Neil Robinson, Alan Curtis and a superb Leighton James header gave Swansea a 3-1 advantage.

Peter Kitchen capitalised on a poor Dave Stewart clearance to give Cardiff a late lifeline before Buchanan's last-gasp thunderbolt rescued a vital point against a Swansea team that were the talk of the Second Division

Police try to restore order in the 1993 derby at Ninian Park
Violent scenes at the 1993 South Wales derby at Ninian Park

22 December 1993
Football League Division Two: Cardiff City 1-0 Swansea City

This was the South Wales derby that captured national headlines for all the wrong reasons.

Garry Thompson's 52nd-minute winner - a cool finish from Nicky Richards's incisive through pass - was the difference between the sides.

But the festive fixture was marred by crowd trouble when violence erupted after the arrival 1,000 Swansea fans and the kick-off was delayed.

Hooligans ran on to the pitch and seats were ripped out and hurdled at rival fans after Cardiff took the lead in a night that brought shame on Welsh football.



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see also
Tate appeals for 'right spirit'
02 Apr 09 |  Swansea
Cardiff City v Swansea City (Sun)
02 Apr 09 |  Championship
Welsh rivals are upwardly mobile
02 Apr 09 |  Championship


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