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Sky Bet Championship

Selhurst Park (ATT 13,464) 27th March 2010 - Kick off 12:45 Ref: C Boyeson

C Palace Crystal Palace vs Cardiff City Cardiff

C Palace 1

C Hill (58)

ft

Cardiff 2

G Gyepes (4)
C Burke (67)

Bluebirds cement play-off spot

Burke's second-half winner sinks Eagles at Selhurst Park

Last Updated: 27/03/10 2:56pm

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Burke: Second-half winner

Burke: Second-half winner

Cardiff City have cemented their play-off spot following a 2-1 success over relegation-threatened Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.

Chris Burke's second-half goal settled the contest after Clint Hill equalised Gabor Gyepes' early opener for the Bluebirds.

Some poor marking allowed Gyepes to side-foot home the opener just four minutes in, although the Eagles were unlucky to trail after half time.

Shortly after Kelvin Etuhu wasted a good chance to double Cardiff's lead, Hill was left unmarked at the near post to head the home side level.

Burke settled the game once and for all on 67 minutes when he lashed the ball home after Palace failed to deal with a set-piece.

Palace were missing six first team players through injury and suspension and it took the Bluebirds just four minutes to breach their patched-up defence.

On hand

Peter Whittingham's low corner was helped on at the near post by Stephen McPhail and Gyepes was on hand to fire his first goal of the campaign.

Palace are nothing if not resilient, though, and they almost hit back in the 19th minute when Hill's header from Darren Ambrose's free-kick beat the dive of David Marshall but came back off the crossbar.

Marshall did well to palm away a close-range volley from Ambrose five minutes later, but the goalkeeper suffered a case of the jitters from the following corner.

He came too far for Calvin Andrew's cross and palmed the ball to the feet of Ambrose, but the midfielder's lob landed on the roof of the unguarded net.

Cardiff could have doubled their advantage before the interval when Etuhu broke clear but the on-loan Manchester City striker's shot was too close to Julian Speroni, who saved with his shoulder.

Gilt-edged

After the break Ambrose missed a gilt-edged chance to level when he sidefooted Johnny Ertl's cross wide.

And Palace were screaming for a penalty when Tony Capaldi pulled down Stern John at a corner, but referee Carl Boyeson was not interested.

The goal they had been threatening finally arrived just before the hour mark, albeit from an unlikely source. Ambrose swung in a corner and Hill's downward header beat Marshall for his first goal of the season.

But City wrapped up the win 10 minutes later when Palace failed to deal with Mark Kennedy's free-kick and Burke hammered his volley past Speroni from the edge of the area.

Palace had a chance to level in stoppage time but Sean Scannell's shot was deflected wide as the Eagles slumped to a sixth defeat in seven home games.

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Table

Sky Bet Championship

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

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