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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 Middlesbro'

Cardiff 1

M Connolly (19)

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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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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