A late own goal was the only difference in a closely fought affair at The Cardiff City Stadium as Middlesbrough succumbed to a 1-0 defeat to Russell Slade’s side.
Peter Whittingham and Craig Noone both went close in an encouraging opening quarter for the Bluebirds, forcing good saves out of Middlesbrough goalkeeper Dimitrios Konstantopoulos. It was David Marshall who produced the save of the match on 25 minutes however, as the 30-year old flew to his left to deny Albert Adomah’s header from 12-yards when the ball seemed destined to hit the back of the net. The one controversy of the half came just before the 30th minute when Daniel Ayala appeared lucky to have avoided a second yellow card following a clumsy challenge on Cardiff’s Joe Mason just 20-yards from goal. The ref was unmoved despite numerous protests and an eventless final fifteen ended with Middlesbrough probably on top.
The second half was much brighter and after chances for Aaron Gunnarsson and Alex Revell, it was Middlesbrough who should have opened the scoring within minutes of the restart. A mix up between Matthew Connolly and well, Matthew Connolly, allowed Albert Adomah to slip in and steal the ball 20-yards from goal. With just Marshall to beat, Adomah should have given his side the lead, but instead it was the Scot who came out on top. Marshall was at it again shortly after, denying first Diego Fabbrini and then Grant Leadbitter from close range as the visitors began imposing their authority on the game. Despite the possession, it was Cardiff who eventually broke the deadlock. It came just four minutes from time as Peter Whittingham’s corner somehow found its way in to the back of the net. The ball appeared to ricochet of a number of bodies in the box before George Friend was unfortunate enough to nudge it in to his own net. Joe Mason led the celebrations, but the goal unquestionably hit the Middlesbrough man on it’s way past a helpless Konstantopoulos. For City, the win leaves them eighth in the Championship table, just two points behind third place Reading. Next up for Cardiff, they take on Bristol City at the CCS on Monday night, where undoubtedly, they will look to extend a four-match unbeaten run, which now stretches back to mid-September.
Cardiff City Stadium, Tuesday 20th October, 7:45pm. Attendance: 13,371