By Gareth Axenderrie at the Cardiff City Stadium
Cardiff City prompted praise from their manager Neil Warnock as they held high-flying Brighton to a goalless draw at home.
“We had to work really hard. I don’t think there was anybody who didn’t give everything today. We did exactly what we have been doing all week really.”
“They’re a good side, Brighton. They rip people apart. but today I never felt threatened.”
“Freddy (Gounongbe) and Kadeem (Harris) did well. The midfield won their duels, Gunnars (Gunnarsson) was fabulous. And the defenders put their heads in. I thought it was good.”
A bright start from the home side included a couple of shots from outside the box from Peter Whittingham and Aron Gunnarsson, both of which involved some promising work from Kadeem Harris down the right-hand side.
The half fell flat after that however, as neither side seemed keen to probe anything other than the odd long ball in the final third.
There was a half chance for Glen Murray mid-way through after some sloppy work from Joe Bennett but the striker was unable to make contact just inside the box.
In contrast to a dire first period, the second started very brightly. With only minutes on the clock, centre back Sol Bamba saw his header go just wide of the goal, prompting a reaction from the home crowd.
Minutes later, Shane Duffy received a yellow card and as the half went on, it seemed a goal was imminent.
First Joe Ralls managed to get a shot away, albeit comfortably wide, and Junior Hoilett, who looked for more lively on the right-hand side after swapping with Kadeem Harris, was causing Brighton left back Gaetan Bong problems that resulted in a yellow card.
A couple of half chances were all the bluebirds could muster as Brighton imposed themselves as the half went on.
Referee Roger East disallowed what looked like a Brighton opener, just as the home defence looked to have cracked under the pressure.
Cardiff seemed happy to hold on to a point, before a moment of madness from Bong saw him receive a second yellow with only injury time left on the clock.
In front of an incensed home crowd, Whittingham curled in a final cross that came to no avail.
It’s Cardiff’s first clean sheet since the opening game of the season, and their first under Neil Warnock.
“December is a big month. The two centre halves, I might owe them a couple of quid really because we’ve not had a clean sheet. We’ve been owed a few really.”
Brighton manager Chris Houghton praised Cardiff’s resilience, adding: “I think it’ll be a hard place for most teams to come.”