April 1, 2013
Cardiff close in on promotion
Cardiff moved seven points clear at the top of the npower Championship with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Blackburn.
Fraizer Campbell nodded home his sixth for the club from five yards out to finally break the Rovers resistance five minutes before the break.
And it was Campbell's replacement Joe Mason who doubled the lead with four minutes to go before substitute Peter Whittingham wrapped up the points from the penalty spot in added time.
Cardiff's response to the shock defeat to Peterborough was one of the best first-half displays the Bluebirds faithful had enjoyed this season.
It took them just seven minutes to test Blackburn goalkeeper Jake Kean, the recalled Craig Bellamy warming the shotstopper's gloves with a 25-yard free-kick.
A minute later Campbell missed a fantastic chance to open the scoring after Kean struggled to deal with a Bellamy corner.
Danny Murphy was one of a number of changes for Rovers and the home fans were up in arms that the former England international was not penalised for what they felt was a handball in the 28th minute.
Andrew Taylor linked up with Campbell before his effort hit Murphy but referee Craig Pawson waved away the Cardiff protests.
Rovers had the ball in the back of the net in the 35th minute when Leon Best got on the end of Morten Gamst Pedersen's cross but the celebrations of the 399 away fans were cut short by another offside flag.
Cardiff were continuing to create chances at will. First Campbell rattled the crossbar with a right-footed shot on the turn from 12 yards out and three minutes later Bellamy was denied twice in quick succession.
First Kean saved from the Welshman and then from the follow-up David Jones cleared Bellamy's second effort off the line.
The Bluebirds then made the breakthrough that their play deserved from the resulting corner.
Campbell rose unmarked to nod Bellamy's corner past Kean from close range to finally break the stubborn Rovers resistance just five minutes before the break.
Six minutes after half-time the visitors were forced into swapping their keeper after Kean was stretchered off. It meant a debut for Poland international Grzegorz Sandomierski.
Cardiff's chances were beginning to dry out and they were almost caught out when David Marshall just kept out Pedersen's optimistic long-range free-kick in the 68th minute after being caught off his line.
With 15 minutes to go Jordan Rhodes was introduced for Murphy as the visitors looked for a late leveller.
But the goalmouth action was taking place at the other end, as Sandomierski was called upon to deny first Bellamy and then a fantastic effort from Kim Bo-kyung.
Then with six minutes to go he pulled off a superb reflex stop to keep out Ben Turner's close-range header from Bellamy's cross.
But the Pole was eventually beaten with six minutes left by a fine individual goal from Mason who turned two defenders before drilling a low, hard shot into the back of the net.
And in added time Mason was fouled by Scott Dann and Whittingham's low penalty added gloss to their first win in four home games.
|Cardiff City||Blackburn Rovers|
|1 David Marshall||34 Jake Kean|
|25 Leon Barnett||16 Scott Dann|
|3 Andrew Taylor||31 Grant Hanley|
|6 Ben Turner||19 Todd Kane|
|12 Matthew Connolly||13 Danny Murphy|
|11 Craig Conway||12 Morten Gamst Pedersen|
|17 Aron Gunnarsson||35 David Bentley|
|18 Jordon Mutch||36 David Jones|
|13 Kim Bo-Kyung||24 Josh Morris|
|39 Craig Bellamy||9 Leon Best|
|27 Fraizer Campbell||39 Colin Kazim-Richards|
|32 Joe Lewis||Grzegorz Sandomierski 29|
|24 Simon Lappin||Gael Givet 5|
|8 Don Cowie||Karim Rekik 23|
|7 Peter Whittingham||David Dunn 8|
|16 Craig Noone||Cameron Stewart 32|
|15 Rudy Gestede||Jordan Rhodes 11|
|20 Joel Mason||David Goodwillie 25|
|Joel Mason for Fraizer Campbell (58)||Grzegorz Sandomierski for Jake Kean (53)|
|Peter Whittingham for Jordon Mutch (81)||David Dunn for David Bentley (62)|
|Rudy Gestede for Craig Bellamy (88)||Jordan Rhodes for Danny Murphy (75)|
|Leon Best (33)|
|Jake Kean (40)|
|Colin Kazim-Richards (79)|
|Scott Dann (90)|
|· Squads: Cardiff City | Blackburn Rovers|