Hartlepool-born Andrew Taylor misses out on return to Wembley

Andrew Taylor
Andrew Taylor

ANDREW Taylor and Cardiff City have missed out on a return to Wembley.

The Hartlepool-born star was part of the Bluebirds side beaten 5-0 on aggregate in the Championship play-off semi-final by West Ham.

Already trailing 2-0 from last week’s home leg, Taylor and co were swept aside at Upton Park last night as Sam Allardyce’s men booked their place in the final courtesy of a 3-0 win.

It means Cardiff miss out on a second Wembley appearance this season having been beaten by Liverpool in the Carling Cup final.

However, the Welsh outfit had made an encouraging start - and could have had a penalty had referee Mike Dean not been unsighted for a clumsy Winston Reid challenge that felled Kenny Miller in the box - but instead they suffered a terminal blow when Kevin Nolan nodded in after Carlton Cole’s initial header from Matt Taylor’s corner had been blocked.

Malky Mackay’s side never recovered as the home side capitalised on their position of superiority.

Gary O’Neil was close to extending West Ham’s lead with a side-foot volley from 12 yards that struck the top of the bar, before Ricardo Vaz Te did just that with a fiercely-struck shot that flew across City keeper David Marshall and into the far top-corner of the net.

The second half was a mere formality as a relaxed West Ham played out a comfortable 45 minutes, which they decorated right at the very end as substitute Nicky Maynard found space to shoot past Marshall.