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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 Middlesbrough 44 84
2 Bournemouth 43 83
3 Watford 43 82
4 Norwich City 44 82
5 Derby County 43 75
6 Ipswich Town 43 74
7 Brentford 43 71
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 43 71
9 Blackburn Rovers 42 59
10 Nottingham Forest 43 58
11 Sheffield Wednesday 43 58
12 Charlton Athletic 43 57
13 Cardiff City 43 55
14 Birmingham City 42 54
15 Leeds United 43 52
16 Huddersfield Town 43 52
17 Bolton Wanderers 43 50
18 Reading 42 47
19 Brighton and Hove Albion 43 46
20 Fulham 43 46
21 Rotherham United 43 44
22 Millwall 42 39
23 Wigan Athletic 43 36
24 Blackpool 43 25