As the fourth officials board went up on 60 minutes and showed the numbers ‘9’ and ‘10’, there were a few groans around me in the Ninian Stand.
Danny Ward, Cardiff’s number 9, was being withdrawn in favour of Kenneth Zohore. Ward had worked hard and clearly has fans among the Cardiff fan-base.
Some thought Decordova-Reid or Mendez-Laing (nothing against players with double barrel surnames) should be replaced instead.
In truth, it was always likely to be like for like. Neil Warnock has pretty much stuck to his tried and trusted 4-2-3-1 all season and it was unlikely he’d go to a 4-4-2.
So Zohore for Reid it was and from that moment, Cardiff finally looked dangerous.
For all of Ward’s hard work and endeavour, he lacks the cutting edge that Zohore clearly has somewhere in his body.
While the Dane flatters to deceive at times, he’s got the ability to be a real threat. We just don’t see it often enough.
Nine goals last season wasn’t out of this world for a striker in a automatic promotion side, but his 12 goals in 2016/17, including an emphatic run of form once Neil Warnock joined the club, showed he can score goals.
By bringing Zohore on, Warnock paired him up with Bobby Decordova-Reid and it changed Cardiff.
With Zohore occupying Palace’s centre-halves, Reid came alive. He began to find room in between the lines and was able to pick up the ball on the half turn and start an attack.
Cardiff fans have been calling for Reid’s involvement for weeks. His role as a spectator for most of the match against Fulham, where Rhys Healey was chosen to replaced Victor Camarasa, was the final straw for many.
It seems like the fans’ frustration influenced Warnock, who gave the former Bristol City man a full-90 minutes.
Reid rewarded him with a goal, a finely struck opportunity from the edge of the box as the clock turned to 90.
It was too late to save Cardiff from relegation, but it provided Cardiff with an insight into what we can expect in the Championship.
In Reid and Zohore, Cardiff have a pair of attackers with the capability to cause the division real problems.
Sadly, we’ve barely seen the partnership this season, but today provided a glimpse of what could be.