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Cardiff City Stadium (ATT 24,263) 29th December 2012 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: M Halsey

Cardiff Cardiff City vs Millwall Millwall

Cardiff 1

R Gestede (8)

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Rudy Gestede scored the only goal of the game as league leaders Cardiff beat Millwall 1-0

Last Updated: 29/12/12 8:14pm

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Rudy Gestede: Scored the winner

Rudy Gestede: Scored the winner

Rudy Gestede scored the only goal of the game as league leaders Cardiff made it three in a row against Millwall with a 1-0 win to move five points clear of second placed Hull.

Manager Malky Mackay dropped striker Heidar Helguson in favour of 24-year-old Gestede who partnered Craig Bellamy while Aron Gunnarsson also came into the midfield.

And it was the former Metz forward who was quickest to repay the faith of his manager after just eight minutes when Craig Noone beat Shane Lowry with a mazy run before crossing for the Frenchman who tapped home from six yards.

The visitors' problems worsened 10 minutes later when winger Scott Malone had to be replaced by Liam Feeney with the Bluebirds already in a rampant mood.

Former Aston Villa defender Lowry made amends for his early lapse blocking a Bellamy effort inside the box while goalkeeper David Forde was forced to deal with a flurry of tricky deliveries in quick succession.

But they were showing no lack of firepower themselves following 11-goal Chris Wood's return to parent club West Brom. Lowry delivered for Darius Henderson on 24 minutes whose header drew a fine stop from David Marshall.

Substitute Mutch went close to a second 10 minutes after the restart but Forde produced a flying save to keep out his long range drive.

Dangerous in attack, the hosts looked susceptible at the back and Dany N'Guessan, recalled to the starting XI following the departure of Wood, fired a warning shot into the side netting on the hour mark after a swift counter attack.

Kenny Jackett's side were firmly on top in the second-half and the impressive Marshall was again called into action minutes later this time tipping Henry's free-kick round the post.

His opposite number was keen to prove his worth as the game began to open up in the final 20 minutes and Forde kept them in it with a brilliant parry to deny Noone.

Mackay introduced Helguson in place of Gestede 13 minutes from time as the Bluebirds used all their experience to hold on for a vital three points.

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Table

Sky Bet Championship

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