Cardiff top again as Palace slip

Cardiff moved to the top of the Championship table with a 2-1

victory at Oakwell that heaped more misery on struggling

Barnsley.

Cardiff, who went to the summit after Crystal Palace failed to

win at Leeds, controlled the majority of play and took the lead

when Ben Nugent headed home his first career goal in the 22nd

minute.

They doubled their lead six minutes into the second half when

they enjoyed more success at a set-piece, with Aron Gunnarsson

nodding in another Peter Whittingham delivery.

The win, which came despite a late dismissal for Simon Lappin,

ended Cardiff’s poor away run. It was their first victory in seven

games on the road and an automatic promotion challenge looks on the

cards for Malky Mackay’s side.

In contrast, things could not be going worse for Barnsley,

though they did at least make a game of it when Jacob Mellis tucked

home from close range in the final 15 minutes. But they are now

winless in seven and without a home win since September 1, with a

gloomy winter beckoning at Oakwell.

The Reds started well, with Jonathan Greening’s intricate

passing fitting in with their style and he was involved in a nice

move that saw Scott Golbourne cross for Craig Davies, but the

striker fired over from eight yards.

After a spell of three chances in two minutes, the visitors went

ahead midway through the first half. First Greening was

dispossessed in a dangerous position by Craig Noone, but his shot

went just wide of the post and a minute later Joe Mason was set

free only to be denied by a fingertip save from Luke Steele.

But from the resulting corner, Nugent got in front of his marker

and powered Whittingham’s delivery home.

Barnsley tried to respond before the break, but Matt Done

mis-kicked his shot when picked out by Marcus Tudgay and then David

Marshall produced a fine low save from Davies’ fierce effort from

just inside the 18-yard box.

In the second half, Martin Cranie was caught dawdling on the

ball in his own area, Mason stole it off him and pulled it back to

Heidar Helguson, but Steele somehow pulled off a miraculous save as

he flung himself across goal.

But Steele’s heroics were in vain as an unmarked Gunnarsson

headed home the corner to give Mackay’s side breathing space.

It could have got worse had Steele not kept out Rudy Gestede’s

palm-stinger and Kim Bo-kyung dragged the rebound wide.

Barnsley did at least make a game of it when Mellis converted

Scott Wiseman’s deep cross in the 76th minute, but, despite Cardiff

going down to 10 men and a late flurry, they could not find a

leveller.

Palace’s 14-game unbeaten run ended in defeat at Elland Road,

allowing Malky Mackay’s men to return to the summit.

The Bluebirds controlled the majority of play at Oakwell and

took the lead when Ben Nugent headed home his first career goal in

the 22nd minute.

They doubled their advantage six minutes into the second half

when Aron Gunnarsson nodded in another Peter Whittingham

delivery.

Barnsley did at least make a game of it when Jacob Mellis tucked

home from close range 14 minutes from time, but the visitors held

on – despite the late dismissal of Simon Lappin.

Palace surrendered top spot after going down at Leeds, Luciano

Becchio and Paul Green the men on target as Neil Warnock’s side

kicked off their new era in style after having been bought by GFH

Capital this week.

Peter Ramage got a late consolation for the Eagles but they

could not find an equaliser.

Leicester climbed to third thanks to their 2-0 triumph at

Sheffield Wednesday – while Middlesbrough and Hull were both

losing.

Ben Marshall scored one goal and set up another on his return to

Hillsborough as the Foxes consigned the Owls to a fourth straight

league defeat.

Middlesbrough suffered a surprise 3-1 loss against Bristol City

at the Riverside, the lowly Robins ending an 11-game winless run to

move out of the relegation zone.

City took a shock lead in foggy conditions through Albert Adomah

– a goal Boro goalkeeper Jason Steele will not want to see again –

but high-flying Boro drew level before the break when Ishmael

Miller netted after a penalty-area scramble.

Shortly after the hour mark Stephen Pearson put the visitors

back in front and the victory was sealed with just three minutes to

go when substitute Steven Davies netted.

Hull went down 1-0 at home to Burnley, Dean Marney notching the

only goal of the game to halt the Clarets’ mini slide under new

boss Sean Dyche.

In-form Millwall climbed above opponents Blackburn and up to

sixth after a 2-0 triumph at Ewood Park.

Chris Wood smashed his seventh goal in seven games 19 minutes

from time and James Henry sealed it at the death to extend the

Lions’ unbeaten league run to 10 games.

Nottingham Forest remained behind the Lions only on goal

difference after coming from behind to win 2-1 at Wolves.

Adlene Guedioura marked his return to Molineux with a brilliant

long-range winner against his former club, the Algerian settling

the game in the 57th minute after Billy Sharp had cancelled out

Bjorn Sigurdarson’s early opener.

Brighton were made to rue a number of missed opportunities as

David Ngog’s last-gasp strike earned Bolton an unlikely 1-1 draw at

the Amex Stadium.

The former Liverpool striker netted with the last kick of the

game to cancel out Bruno Saltor’s opener and preserve Dougie

Freedman’s unbeaten record as Bolton boss following his move from

Crystal Palace.

Adam Clayton converted a late penalty to salvage a 1-1 draw for

10-man Huddersfield against Charlton.

The Terriers saw Keith Southern dismissed in the first half and

fell behind to Rob Hulse’s effort after 60 minutes, but Simon

Grayson’s men hit back with two minutes to play as Clayton kept his

cool to net his first goal in 12 matches.

Blackpool fought back from two goals down to draw 2-2 against

Watford.

The Tangerines trailed 2-0 after only 21 minutes through goals

from Ikechi Anya and Troy Deeney, but veteran Kevin Phillips threw

the hosts a lifeline within seven minutes of the restart and Thomas

Ince snatched a point for his team in stoppage time.

The battle between the division’s bottom two teams, Ipswich and

Peterborough, finished 1-1 at Portman Road.

Lee Tomlin’s sixth goal of the season handed the visitors an

eighth-minute lead but it was not enough to claim all three points.

Tomlin turned villain on the hour as he brought down Lee Martin in

the penalty area, leaving on-loan QPR striker DJ Campbell to

equalise from the spot.