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Ninian Park (ATT 19,379) 13th April 2009 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: L Probert

Cardiff Cardiff City vs Burnley Burnley

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McCormack makes Bluebirds soar

Late goals help Cardiff's automatic promotion pursuit

Last Updated: 13/04/09 5:22pm

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McCormack: Match winner

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.

Luck

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.

Deadlock

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.

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Matches

Table

Sky Bet Championship

Sky Bet Championship
Pos Team P Pts
1 Bournemouth 22 42
2 Ipswich Town 22 41
3 Brentford 22 40
4 Middlesbrough 22 39
5 Derby County 22 39
6 Watford 22 38
7 Norwich City 22 34
8 Blackburn Rovers 22 34
9 Nottingham Forest 22 31
10 Wolverhampton Wanderers 22 31
11 Cardiff City 22 30
12 Charlton Athletic 22 30
13 Fulham 22 28
14 Sheffield Wednesday 22 28
15 Birmingham City 22 28
16 Bolton Wanderers 22 26
17 Reading 22 25
18 Leeds United 22 24
19 Rotherham United 22 24
20 Huddersfield Town 22 24
21 Millwall 22 23
22 Brighton and Hove Albion 22 19
23 Wigan Athletic 22 17
24 Blackpool 22 13

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