Cardiff moved to the top of the Championship table with a 2-1
victory at Oakwell that heaped more misery on struggling
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
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
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
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
Ben Marshall scored one goal and set up another on his return to
Hillsborough as the Foxes consigned the Owls to a fourth straight
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
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
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.