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Sky Bet Championship

The City Ground (ATT 21,491) 20th October 2012 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: D Drysdale

N Forest Nottingham Forest vs Cardiff City Cardiff

N Forest 3

A Reid (25)
D Ayala (27)
B Sharp (47)
A Guedioura (S/O 84)

ft

Cardiff 1

H Helguson (74)

Forest deny Bluebirds top spot

Last Updated: 20/10/12 5:53pm

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Reid: Two in two for Andy

Reid: Two in two for Andy

Cardiff lost top spot in the Championship this afternoon with a 3-1 defeat to Nottingham Forest at the City Ground.

Forest had ended a five-game winless league run with victory over Peterborough prior to the international break.

Andy Reid scored the only goal of the game at London Road and it was the Irishman who opened the scoring this afternoon.

On-loan defender Daniel Ayala quickly added a second goal to give the hosts a 2-0 half-time lead.

Forest made sure of all three points shortly after the restart when Billy Sharp scored his first goal for the club since arriving at the City Ground on loan from Southampton seven weeks ago.

Heidar Helguson pulled a goal back for Cardiff midway through the second half, but despite Forest finishing the game with 10 men following Adlene Guedioura's red card for two bookable offences, they were unable to make any more inroads.

It meant back-to-back league victories for Forest for the first time this season, halting Cardiff's three-match winning run.

And the Welsh side also lost leadership of the table after Leicester came from behind to draw at midlands rivals Birmingham.

An uneventful game came to life after 25 minutes when Reid was fouled by Kevin McNaughton on the edge of the Cardiff box.

The Dubliner, who scored with a terrific curling effort at Peterborough a fortnight ago, repeated the feat with the resulting free-kick, bending a left-foot shot into the top corner and giving goalkeeper David Marshall no chance.

Two minutes later and it was 2-0 to Forest.

Ayala remained up in attack following a long throw from Greg Halford, and when Reid returned the ball into the box, the Norwich centre-half powered a header past Marshall from 10 yards out.

Helguson curled an effort over the crossbar as Cardiff sought an immediate response.

A nice move by Cardiff just before half-time then ended with the recalled Craig Conway falling over his own feet and Forest midfielder Chris Cohen clearing the danger.

Forest went further ahead two minutes into the second half.

Sharp held up the ball, spun his marker and ran at the Cardiff defence. He played a one-two with substitute Radoslaw Majewski, on at the break in place of Simon Cox, before shooting beneath Marshall for his first goal for the club.

Don Cowie saw a shot go narrowly wide as the visitors tried to respond.

Mark Hudson and Helguson missed chances to reduce Cardiff's arrears before the latter did so after 74 minutes.

Helguson controlled a high ball into the box, held off his marker and fired his shot beyond home keeper Lee Camp from 12 yards.

Cardiff were almost right back in it soon afterwards when the fit-again Tommy Smith struck a post with an effort from inside the area.

Had that gone in, it would have set up a frantic finale, particularly given Guedioura's red card in the 84th minute.

But Cardiff, despite some late pressure, were unable to make the game any closer and Forest claimed an impressive win.

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Table

Sky Bet Championship

Sky Bet Championship
Pos Team P Pts
1 Leicester City 43 93
2 Burnley 43 86
3 Derby County 43 78
4 Queens Park Rangers 43 73
5 Wigan Athletic 42 70
6 Brighton and Hove Albion 43 65
7 Reading 43 64
8 Ipswich Town 43 64
9 Nottingham Forest 43 62
10 Bournemouth 43 62
11 Blackburn Rovers 43 61
12 Watford 42 60
13 Middlesbrough 43 58
14 Bolton Wanderers 43 55
15 Sheffield Wednesday 43 53
16 Leeds United 43 53
17 Huddersfield Town 43 47
18 Birmingham City 42 43
19 Doncaster Rovers 43 43
20 Millwall 43 43
21 Charlton Athletic 42 42
22 Blackpool 43 42
23 Barnsley 43 39
24 Yeovil Town 43 37