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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 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