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Ninian Park (ATT 18,304) 27th September 2008 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: M Jones

Cardiff Cardiff City vs Birmingham City Birmingham

Blues stay in touch with Wolves

McFadden and Owusu-Abeyie on target in Blues success

Last Updated: 27/09/08 5:52pm

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Owusu-Abeyie: Crucial second

Owusu-Abeyie: Crucial second

Birmingham City ensured in-form Wolves stay within touching distance following a 2-1 win over Cardiff City at Ninian Park.

Earlier in the day Wolves beat Bristol City, but Blues responded with goals from James McFadden and Quincy Owusu-Abeyie putting the visitors two up.

Ross McCormack pulled one back late on to set up a frantic finale, although it proved a disappointing afternoon for The Bluebirds as City triumphed.

Cardiff were on the back foot from the off as Blues drew first blood after just five minutes.

Delicate chip

Quincy capped off some great work on the left with a delicate chip past a stranded Bluebirds defence and McFadden was left unmarked to stab in his first goal since March.

McCormack and Joe Ledley both went close for the home side in the opening 20 minutes as Cardiff started to apply some pressure, before the former rounded goalkeeper Maik Taylor but could not capitalise from a tight angle with a lack of support from his team-mates.

Blues left-back David Murphy saw a great chance to double the visitors' advantage well saved at the second attempt by Heaton, before Lee Carsley cleared Roger Johnson's header off the line at the other end.

Birmingham were looking dangerous on the break as the first half came to a close and Quincy made Cardiff pay the price for some poor finishing in the final third with a thunderbolt of his own into the bottom corner.

The visitors were quite happy to sit back and welcome Cardiff's pressure at the start of the second half as the pattern of the game continued in much the same fashion as it had for the majority of the opening 45 minutes.

Struggling

The Bluebirds were struggling to create a clear-cut chance of note and Birmingham looked more comfortable the longer the half continued, former Cardiff striker Cameron Jerome almost adding a third for the away side just after the hour mark.

Taylor saved well from Johnson's header before Whittingham lashed a volley well wide as the hosts started to look even more short of ideas going forward.

Blues defender Jaidi was putting in a commanding display at the back while Carsley continued to boss the midfield as the game entered the closing stages.

Marcus Bent came on to a chorus of boos with 15 minutes remaining having rejected a transfer to Ninian Park in favour of a last-minute switch to Birmingham, while Mark Kennedy and Eddie Johnson appeared for Cardiff.

McCormack's left-footed effort ensured a frantic finale but Birmingham held out for what proved to a battling but somewhat comfortable 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

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