Depleted Bluebirds earn another vital 3 points
Cardiff City kept the pressure on Championship leaders Wolverhampton Wanderers with a narrow win over Hull City.
The Bluebirds’ unbeaten home league record looked under threat in a poor first half, but the hosts were good value for a hard-earned three points.
Sol Bamba’s header gave them a lead they never looked like relinquishing.
Neil Warnock’s side are four points behind Wolves, while Hull remain 19th, five points above the drop zone.
Not a classic
This contest will not be remembered as a classic but it was another hugely important win for Neil Warnock’s side, who continue to defy pre-season expectations.
The Bluebirds had failed to keep a clean sheet against Hull in their eight previous meetings, but were rarely troubled on this one despite heading into the contest without nine first team players.
In a disjointed first period, both sides squandered their best opportunities, which were few and far between.
Almost everything positive from the hosts came from Lee Tomlin, with the ex-Bristol City forward twice forcing Allan McGregor to parry efforts from just outside the penalty area, with Tomlin blasting over the bar with his best chance.
Cardiff’s aerial route
The visitors’ efforts were even scarcer, but despite their paucity of chances they did strike the woodwork when Nouha Dicko found space in the penalty area, but he could not beat the narrowest of angles with the ball striking the post.
The Bluebirds started the second period on the front foot, but Junior Hoilett just missed out with the ball inches away from his head after Bamba headed Joe Ralls’ free-kick back across the face of goal.
The aerial route was proving to be Cardiff’s best route and from a Tomlin cross, Anthony Pilkington flicked the ball to Bamba who buried it from close range.
There was plenty of time for Nigel Adkins’ side to mount a comeback, but substitute Seb Larsson’s wayward long range effort was the closest they came as the Bluebirds comfortably held on.
Indeed, only a superb block from skipper Michael Dawson denied Tomlin the chance to add gloss to the finish, as the Bluebirds demonstrated fully why they have won every game this season in which they have scored first.
Cardiff Player Ratings
Bogle 6.5 (68 mins Pilkington)
Paterson 6 (82 mins Peltier)
Halford 6 (83 mins Tomlin)