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Sky Bet Championship

Riverside Stadium (ATT 17,564) 7th April 2012 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: K Friend

M'boro Middlesbrough vs Cardiff City Cardiff

M'boro 0

ft

Cardiff 2

B Turner (11)
J Mason (19)

Cardiff leapfrog sorry Boro

Last Updated: 07/04/12 5:38pm

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Mason: Scored at The Riverside

Mason: Scored at The Riverside

Ben Turner and Joe Mason both struck in the first-half as Cardiff leapfrogged play-off rivals Middlesbrough into the top six with a 2-0 win.

Cardiff defender Turner headed home Liam Lawrence's corner in the 11th minute and early substitute Mason converted another Lawrence assist from close range eight minutes later as Malky Mackay's side rekindled their promotion hopes with their first win in six matches.

Boro winger Adam Hammill struck the post with a vicious shot early in the second half and substitute Marvin Emnes forced Cardiff goalkeeper David Marshall into a fine save with 15 minutes left, but otherwise Tony Mowbray's side were restricted to long-range efforts as they chased the game after the break.

Both sides had seen their play-off chances falter in recent weeks after drawing their previous four matches and, while the Bluebirds' second win in 11 games lifted them a point above seventh-placed Brighton, Boro have now failed to win any of their last seven and drop down a place to eighth.

Cardiff quickly overcame an early injury to striker Kenny Miller, forced out of the action in the sixth minute, to take the lead five minutes later.

Bluebirds midfielder Lawrence swung over a corner and defender Turner rose above the home defence to plant a firm header into the bottom corner.

Boro striker Lukas Jutkiewicz spurned a golden chance to equalise when he headed Joe Bennett's cross wide in the 17th minute, but within 60 seconds Cardiff had doubled their lead.

Lawrence was again the provider, playing the ball across the six-yard box from the right and Mason, Miller's replacement, was left unmarked to sidefoot the ball into the bottom corner for his 10th goal of the season.

Boro responded immediately, with midfielder Barry Robson's angled 25-yard shot brilliantly turned away at full stretch by Marshall.

Boro defender Seb Hines headed Hammill's corner straight at Marshall and Jutkiewicz dragged a 20-yard shot wide, but Cardiff were only denied a third goal just before the break when Boro goalkeeper Jason Steele kept out Mason's shot from inside the area with his feet.

The home side raised the tempo after the restart and were denied by the woodwork when Hammill's angled drive hit the post in the 48th minute.

Marshall then held a shot from Boro midfielder Nicky Bailey and striker Scott McDonald rifled a shot over the crossbar.

But Boro were restricted to long-range efforts. Robson's free-kick was easily held by Marshall, McDonald skewed another effort from the edge of the area off target and Hammill fired straight at the Bluebirds' goalkeeper from 20 yards.

Jutkiewicz headed McDonald's cross just wide in the 86th minute and substitute Bart Ogbeche was wayward with his shot from outside the area, while defender Stephen McManus lifted his effort over the crossbar in the closing stages.

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Matches

Table

Sky Bet Championship

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