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Sky Bet Championship

Ewood Park (ATT 12,460) 7th December 2012 - Kick off 19:45 Ref: S Hooper

Blackburn Blackburn Rovers vs Cardiff City Cardiff

Blackburn 1

J King (51)

ft

Cardiff 4

M Hudson (30)
C Bellamy (55)
J Mason (84)
B Kim (85)

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Cardiff moved four points clear at the top of the Championship table after a 4-1 win at Blackburn

Last Updated: 07/12/12 10:58pm

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Craig Bellamy: Celebrates his strike against Blackburn at Ewood Park

Craig Bellamy: Celebrates his strike against Blackburn at Ewood Park

Mark Hudson, Craig Bellamy, Joe Mason and Kim Bo-Kyung were on target as Cardiff moved four points clear at the top of the Championship table after a 4-1 win at Blackburn on Friday night.

Having earlier collected a fifth booking of the season to rule himself out of City's next game against Peterborough, captain Hudson headed the visitors into a 30th minute lead from Craig Noone's cross.

Bellamy, who counts Rovers among his vast collection of former clubs, struck the crossbar towards the end of a first half where Blackburn produced a woeful 45 minutes - a worryingly familiar theme of their recent outings.

One of Rovers' few bright sparks, on-loan Manchester United forward Josh King, brought them level in the 51st minute, only for Bellamy to restore Cardiff's advantage four minutes later.

Substitutes Mason and Kim completed Blackburn's misery, leaving Henning Berg to survey a fourth defeat from eight games in charge that leaves his side 15 points behind the leaders after 21 games and, perhaps more significantly, four shy of the play-off places ahead of the weekend fixtures.

The visitors started the brighter and after Jason Lowe's yellow-card challenge on Bellamy in the 29th minute and an associated bout of handbags, Peter Whittingham punted the resulting free-kick hopefully forward. Rovers could only clear as far as Noone and his left-footed delivery from the right was planted past Paul Robinson by Hudson.

As Rovers pressed forward, Bellamy raced clear of a vacant backline and clipped against the bar.

Kazim-Richards was introduced for Markus Olsson as Berg looked to spark fresh impetus at the break and the change proved to be inspiredas the Turkey international controlled a Rhodes' flick on and released King to slot under onrushing Cardiff goalkeeper David Marshall.

Moments later Kazim-Richards saw a rasping 20-yard effort deflected behind, but no sooner had Blackburn briefly assumed the ascendancy they were behind once more.

Again a long, hopeful free-kick was not dealt with and Bellamy finished emphatically after cleverly exchanging headers with Helguson.

In the 63rd minute Mauro Formica spurned a glorious opportunity for a second equaliser. Marshall saved magnificently after Etuhu's shot deflected off King's back but, when Rhodes selflessly cut the loose ball across, the Argentinian attacker should have done far better than to blaze against the top of the bar with the goal at his mercy.

Bellamy departed to applause from all sides of the ground and replacement Mason made the points safe six minutes from time, catching Grant Hanley flat-footed to slip Helguson's header on beyond Robinson.

Fellow replacement Kim then got in on the act, sweeping home Helguson's return ball after capitalising on a terrible pass from Scott Dann that served to sum up Blackburn's evening.

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Table

Sky Bet Championship

Sky Bet Championship
Pos Team P Pts
1 Bournemouth 24 48
2 Ipswich Town 23 44
3 Middlesbrough 24 43
4 Derby County 23 42
5 Watford 24 41
6 Brentford 24 40
7 Norwich City 24 37
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 24 37
9 Blackburn Rovers 24 35
10 Nottingham Forest 24 31
11 Charlton Athletic 23 31
12 Cardiff City 24 31
13 Sheffield Wednesday 23 31
14 Birmingham City 24 31
15 Bolton Wanderers 24 29
16 Reading 24 29
17 Fulham 23 28
18 Huddersfield Town 24 28
19 Rotherham United 24 26
20 Leeds United 23 24
21 Millwall 24 23
22 Wigan Athletic 23 20
23 Brighton and Hove Albion 23 20
24 Blackpool 24 14

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