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Cardiff City Stadium (ATT 21,578) 17th November 2012 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: O Langford

Cardiff Cardiff City vs Middlesbrough M'boro

Cardiff 1

M Connolly (19)

ft

M'boro 0

Cardiff beat Middlesbrough 1-0 at the Cardiff City Stadium in the Championship

Last Updated: 17/11/12 8:16pm

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Cardiff: Up to second in Championship

Cardiff: Up to second in Championship

Cardiff replaced Middlesbrough in second place in the Championship with a 1-0 win, their ninth in a row at the Cardiff City Stadium.

Recalled defender Matthew Connolly bagged the only goal of an injury-ravaged match as Boro slipped to a first league defeat in nine.

In a frantic opening, recalled Boro midfielder Seb Hines was booked for a rash challenge on Craig Noone before City were forced into a tactical reshuffle when centre-half Ben Turner limped off to be replaced by 18-year-old debutant Ben Nugent.

The home side edged ahead just before the 20-minute mark when Connolly found space at the back post to head home his fourth goal of the season from Peter Whittingham's right-wing cross.

Bluebirds boss Malky Mackay was required to make a second change of the afternoon in the 26th minute when left-back Andy Taylor came off with a knock picked up early on to be replaced by Joe Ralls.

Middlesbrough captain Grant Leadbitter tested Cardiff goalkeeper David Marshall from long range before Boro were pressed into a substitution of their own on the half-hour mark when Richard Smallwood replaced injured Belgian midfielder Faris Haroun.

And Tony Mowbray's men were almost on level terms moments after the switch. Ralls fouled Emanuel Ledesma 18-yards from goal and the Argentinean midfielder picked himself up to strike a powerful, dipping drive which cannoned off the crossbar with Marshall beaten.

The visitors had another good opportunity to restore parity on the stroke of half-time. Lukas Jutkiewicz's blocked shot rebounded into the path of Scott McDonald but the Australian striker fired over from inside the Bluebirds' six-yard box.

Boro made the stronger start to the second half and McDonald was again in the thick of the action driving straight at Marshall before heading wide from 12 yards.

Cardiff hit back and almost doubled their advantage when Whittingham's low free-kick from the right travelled through a crowded penalty area and almost caught out Boro keeper Jason Steele.

The away side continued to dominate the second period without making their superiority count and Jutkiewicz blazed over when clean through as the Bluebirds hung on for victory.

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Table

Sky Bet Championship

Sky Bet Championship
Pos Team P Pts
1 Derby County 13 26
2 Watford 13 25
3 Middlesbrough 13 23
4 Wolverhampton Wanderers 13 23
5 Norwich City 13 22
6 Nottingham Forest 13 22
7 Charlton Athletic 14 22
8 Bournemouth 13 21
9 Ipswich Town 13 20
10 Cardiff City 13 19
11 Blackburn Rovers 13 19
12 Brentford 13 19
13 Sheffield Wednesday 13 18
14 Rotherham United 13 16
15 Leeds United 13 16
16 Huddersfield Town 13 16
17 Reading 13 15
18 Millwall 13 14
19 Fulham 14 14
20 Wigan Athletic 13 12
21 Brighton and Hove Albion 13 12
22 Birmingham City 13 11
23 Bolton Wanderers 13 8
24 Blackpool 13 6