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The John Smith's Stadium (ATT 15,265) 9th February 2013 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: M Brown

Huddersfld Huddersfield Town vs Cardiff City Cardiff

Table-topping Cardiff held to 0-0 draw by Huddersfield in the Championship

Last Updated: 10/02/13 9:15am

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Tommy Smith: Takes on the Huddersfield defence

Tommy Smith: Takes on the Huddersfield defence

Cardiff dropped points for only the second time in eight games as managerless Huddersfield battled for a deserved and hard-fought point.

Leaders Cardiff began the day 10 points clear at the top of the table and after their shock home defeat to Peterborough in mid-December had won six and drawn one of their subsequent seven matches.

Neither side produced a shot on goal in a cagey opening quarter of an hour before Huddersfield striker James Vaughan headed wide from six yards.

Cardiff defender Mark Hudson was off target with a header from similar distance at the other end and home midfielder Oliver Norwood fired a 25-yard free-kick over the crossbar.

Huddersfield took the game to the leaders and had a goal disallowed midway through the first half when Vaughan hooked the ball home from a corner only for referee Mark Brown to rule Cardiff goalkeeper David Marshall had been fouled.

The visitors enjoyed their best spell as half-time approached and Huddersfield goalkeeper Alex Smithies, captain for the day in the absence of Peter Clarke, was forced into a full-length save to turn away Craig Bellamy's 25-yard free-kick.

Cardiff almost snatched the lead in time added on at the end of the first half when centre-half Matthew Connolly crashed a shot from the right edge of the penalty area against the post.

The Welshmen were then dealt an injury blow as Kevin McNaughton required medical treatment after a heavy challenge and he was replaced during the interval by Ben Nugent.

Cardiff began to get on top early in the second period and Bellamy fired an angled left-footed shot just wide in the 60th minute.

Smithies then fumbled an effort from Craig Conway and Nugent headed the subsequent corner the wrong side of the post as Huddersfield were forced on to the back foot.

The home side failed to threaten Marshall in Cardiff's goal, but continued to harry their opponents, who also found clear-cut chances hard to come by.

Bellamy smashed a free-kick from the edge of the area into the wall with three minutes remaining to end a frustrating afternoon for the Welshmen, while Huddersfield were given a standing ovation by the home crowd after an entertaining stalemate.

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Table

Sky Bet Championship

Sky Bet Championship
Pos Team P Pts
1 Leicester City 42 90
2 Burnley 42 83
3 Derby County 42 75
4 Queens Park Rangers 42 73
5 Wigan Athletic 41 67
6 Reading 42 64
7 Brighton and Hove Albion 42 64
8 Ipswich Town 42 64
9 Bournemouth 42 62
10 Blackburn Rovers 42 60
11 Nottingham Forest 42 59
12 Middlesbrough 42 58
13 Watford 41 57
14 Bolton Wanderers 42 54
15 Sheffield Wednesday 42 50
16 Leeds United 42 50
17 Huddersfield Town 42 46
18 Birmingham City 41 43
19 Doncaster Rovers 42 43
20 Blackpool 42 42
21 Charlton Athletic 41 41
22 Millwall 42 40
23 Barnsley 42 39
24 Yeovil Town 42 36

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