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Sky Bet Championship

Ninian Park (ATT 11,772) 22nd September 2007 - Kick off 12:45 Ref: A Hall

Cardiff Cardiff City vs Preston North End Preston


Fowler double not enough for win

Cardiff twice throw away lead

By Carla Hilton.   Last Updated: 22/09/07 3:47pm

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Fowler: Brace on the day

Fowler: Brace on the day

Cardiff fans were left seething as the home side twice threw away the lead to draw 2-2 with Preston.

Both Cardiff and Preston have endured disappointing starts to the Championship season, Cardiff with seven points from six games prior to Saturday's encounter at Ninian Park and Preston sitting third bottom with just four points.

It was the home fans who were left seething, though, as Cardiff twice threw away the lead to finish with just a point for their efforts.

The Bluebirds had a great chance to take the lead early in the game when Paul Parry's cross in from the right found the head of Joe Ledley. His effort was on target but tipped over the crossbar by Andy Lonergan.

The home side enjoyed the better of possession in the first half and it didn't take long before they found the back of the net.

Ledley was involved again as he sent a beautiful ball in from the right to Robbie Fowler at the far post, who finished with a great header to net his first for the club and put City in front inside the half hour mark.

Continuing to press, Cardiff were by far the better side in the first half and had another good chance to go ahead after a dangerous chip from Parry went just wide of the left post, catching Lonergan unaware.

The Bluebirds played the much more controlled football, as Preston struggled to fend off City's attack.

Preston started the second half with an early free kick awarded for a handball 30 yards out. Darren Carter's forceful shot hit the wall and was eventually cleared but it was a much more promising start for Preston, who had struggled to make any sort of impact in the first half.

Half-time chat

Lilywhites manager Paul Simpson must have made quite an impact on his players during the half-time talk, because minutes later they equalised.

Callum Davidson's first goal in 18 months was impressive to say the least.

Completely unmarked his shot from outside the area went straight into the bottom right corner of the net.

Celebrations were short lived though for the visitors. The third goal in the game came just after the hour mark with Fowler again proving his worth and finding his way through the Preston defence. His second effort was a low header from Ledley's corner; a scrambled goal but a goal none the less.

Lasting 80 minutes before being taken off as a substitute, Fowler left the pitch to a roar of applause following his impressive goalscoring contribution.

Steven Thompson was brought on to freshen up Cardiff's attack as they looked to build on their lead in the final few minutes.

Davidson delight

But deep in stoppage time Stephen McPhail conceded a free kick for shirt pulling. The free-kick, 30 yards out, cleverly found the feet of Davidson, who again produced an absolute screamer into the bottom left corner.

There were distressing scenes in the final minutes as Roger Johnson was stretchered off just before the full time whistle.

His injury was picked up in an accidental clash with goalscorer Davidson and certainly made the fans much quieter in what was a sad note to end a thrilling encounter.

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Sky Bet Championship

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


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