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Sky Bet Championship

St. Mary's Stadium (ATT 18,526) 28th February 2009 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: K Wright

So'ton Southampton vs Cardiff City Cardiff

So'ton 1


Saints boost survival hopes

McGoldrick penalty ensures unhappy return for Jones

Last Updated: 28/02/09 5:35pm

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McGoldrick: Cool penalty

McGoldrick: Cool penalty

Southampton secured a vital win in their battle for Championship survival as Cardiff City boss Dave Jones endured an unhappy return to his former club.

David McGoldrick scored the only goal of the game at St Mary's as he converted an 11th minute penalty after Mark Kennedy had been penalised for handball.

Cardiff, who had not lost in their previous 13 league games, struggled to find their best form as Saints held on for a win which still leaves them in the relegation zone.

Saints had started the match brightly with Andrew Surman and Marek Saganowski probing but failing to breach the Bluebirds defence.

McGoldrick's spot-kick on 11 minutes then sparked City into life and Roger Johnson had a shot well blocked by Rudi Skacel soon afterwards.

The South Coast club were next to threaten in the 25th minute when Surman crossed for Saganowski but the Pole headed wide from a good position in the centre of the penalty area.

Saints dominance

McGoldrick shot off target soon afterwards before Johnson tried his luck for the Welshmen, Kelvin Davis holding comfortably.

The hosts continued to belie their lowly league position and Dimi Konstantopoulos had to be alert to save from Jason Euell's 20-yarder on the half-hour.

Saints continued to have the better of the match as the first half drew to a close but could not translate their dominance into clear-cut chances.

Cardiff boss Jones introduced former Arsenal midfielder Quincy Owusu-Abeyie for Peter Whittingham at the break in an attempt to spark his promotion hopefuls into life.

And his half-time reshuffle appeared to be having an effect with Ross McCormack firing a free-kick wide before Gabor Gyepes headed wide of the target after Euell's block.

Just after the hour mark Saganowski came agonisingly close to converting Euell's cross but could not quite make contact, before the Pole shot over when he should have hit the target at least.

Saganowski might have done more soon afterwards but he scuffed wide after Skacel's good work.

With the match moving into the last five minutes Konstantopoulos did well to smother McCormack's prod and City then had loud claims for a penalty turned down after appealing for handball against Chris Perry.

Eddie Johnson spurned Cardiff's final chance in the third minute of stoppage-time when he fired over the bar from Chris Burke's cross.

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Sky Bet Championship

Sky Bet Championship
Pos Team P Pts
1 Bournemouth 46 90
2 Watford 46 89
3 Norwich City 46 86
4 Middlesbrough 46 85
5 Brentford 46 78
6 Ipswich Town 46 78
7 Wolverhampton Wanderers 46 78
8 Derby County 46 77
9 Blackburn Rovers 46 67
10 Birmingham City 46 63
11 Cardiff City 46 62
12 Charlton Athletic 46 60
13 Sheffield Wednesday 46 60
14 Nottingham Forest 46 59
15 Leeds United 46 56
16 Huddersfield Town 46 55
17 Fulham 46 52
18 Bolton Wanderers 46 51
19 Reading 46 50
20 Brighton and Hove Albion 46 47
21 Rotherham United 46 46
22 Millwall 46 41
23 Wigan Athletic 46 39
24 Blackpool 46 26