McCormack makes Bluebirds soar
Late goals help Cardiff's automatic promotion pursuit
Last Updated: 13/04/09 5:22pm
McCormack: Match winner
Cardiff City boosted their Premier League aspirations with a dramatically late 3-1 victory over Championship promotion rivals Burnley at Ninian Park.
Dave Jones' Bluebirds appeared set to take the points thanks to a 74th minute Jay Bothroyd goal, however, Burnley, who sat sixth at kick-off, hit back with six minutes remaining through Robbie Blake.
Ross McCormack, though, proved Cardiff's hero as he netted two goals in the final five minutes to secure the valuable three points for his automatic promotion-chasing side.
Cardiff sit fourth in the table but hold a game in hand over their rivals at the summit of the second flight.
Darren Purse was in the Cardiff side in place of Roger Johnson who was released from hospital on Monday morning following the injury he sustained in the tempestuous clash with Crystal Palace at the weekend.
Burnley boss Owen Coyle, meanwhile, kept faith with the same side that beat QPR 1-0 as the Clarets looked to extend their unbeaten run to seven matches.
The visitors made a bright start to the match and Jay Rodriguez tried his luck from the edge of the area but dragged the shot wide.
Cardiff gradually began to exert their authority on the match with McCormack's free-kick picking out Bothroyd who headed wide.
With 20 minutes gone Burnley almost went in front when Blake's free-kick found Clarke Carlisle six yards out, but the defender nodded over the crossbar.
Coyle would have been pleased with his side, who were stroking the ball about in confident fashion, and Chris Eagles' 30-yard drive was saved by Cardiff goalkeeper Stuart Taylor.
However, the home side had their best spell just before half-time and Bothroyd saw a header tipped round the post by Brian Jensen before the Burnley keeper denied McCormack.
The second half began in tentative fashion and McCormack tried his luck from 20 yards but skied the shot out of the stadium.
Cardiff looked more likely to break the deadlock and Carlisle's header fell kindly for Bothroyd who lashed straight at Jensen.
In the 74th minute the home side made the breakthrough when the impressive McCormack flicked the ball on for Bothroyd who hammered in his 12th goal of the season.
Burnley responded well and Blake came close to drawing them level when his cross looked to be creeping in at the far post but went just wide.
With six minutes remaining the visitors were level when Purse's back pass was intercepted by Blake and he rolled past Taylor.
The visiting fans had barely enough time to celebrate before Bothroyd flicked the ball into the path of McCormack who restored Cardiff's lead.
McCormack grabbed his 23rd goal of the season to ensure his side would end the day four points behind second-placed Birmingham.
Sky Bet Championship
Mon 13th Apr
Barnsley1 - 3Swansea
Sheff Utd0 - 0N Forest
Birm'ham1 - 1Plymouth
Norwich2 - 0Watford
So'ton1 - 0C Palace
QPR3 - 2Sheff Wed
Doncaster0 - 2Preston
Bristol C1 - 1Ipswich
Derby2 - 3Wolves
Cardiff3 - 1Burnley
Blackpool2 - 2Reading
Coventry0 - 0Charlton
Sky Bet Championship
|22||Brighton and Hove Albion||22||19|