The Bluebirds overcame Sky Bet Championship pace-setters Middlesbrough to record a 1-0 victory under the Cardiff City Stadium floodlights.
As Cardiff City returned home after over three weeks away from CCS, Peter Whittingham had the first effort of the match. From his position on the left, Whitts fired a low shot towards Dimitrios Konstantopoulous's near post, which the ‘Boro stopper did well to keep hold of.
City then sprung into life after the ten minute mark as Whittingham’s superb lofted pass was headed down by Alex Revell to his strike partner, Joe Mason. After Mason crossed the ball in, Craig Noone picked it up outside the box and hit a curling effort towards the far post.
The visiting 'keeper was again on hand to keep out both Noone and Matthew Connolly though, as City's centre-half was next to try his luck on a venture up the field.
CHANCES BOTH WAYS
Middlesbrough first troubled David Marshall’s goal on twenty-five minutes. ‘Boro winger Albert Adomah popped up in a central position, heading a pin-point cross goalwards, only for Scotland’s number one to push the ball to safety.
The match opened up as half-chances fell at both ends, with Whittingham the orchestrator of the majority of the Bluebirds attacking play. However, at the other end, Chelsea loanee Tomáš Kalas was proving to be a useful attacking outlet for the visitors. The right-back whipped several dangerous crosses in, which were well dealt with by Lee Peltier and his fellow City defenders.
Once the referee had blown the half-time whistle, the Bluebirds again carved out the first opportunity after the interval. Aron Gunnarsson chested the ball to Revell inside the box, and when the former Rotherham United man dinked it back to him, the Iceman put his effort over the bar.
Adomah was looking Boro’s most lively performer, and he seemed all set to give the visitors the lead as he then raced through on goal. Marshall did superbly to stay big though, using his large frame to keep the ball out.
Both Diego Fabbrini and Daniel Ayala also had chances to break the deadlock, but Marshall was in terrific form and soon stepped up with another top save. Adomah raced down the right flank and played the ball inside to the on-rushing Grant Leadbitter, whose effort at the front post was magnificently kept out by City’s ‘keeper.
Then, with just four minutes of normal time remaining, the deadlock was finally broken, as the Bluebirds secured a fine victory. After Middlesbrough struggled to deal with a dangerous ball inside their own six-yard box, Mason was unlucky not to score, before ‘Boro left-back George Friend diverted the ball past Konstantopoulous to the delight of the Bluebirds' home support.
FINAL SCORE: CARDIFF CITY 1-0 MIDDLESBROUGH
Scorers: George Friend OG ‘86
Cardiff City: Marshall; Peltier, Morrison, Connolly, Fábio; Noone, Dikgacoi, Gunnarsson (O’Keefe 80), Whittingham; Mason (Malone 89), Revell (Ameobi 76).
Subs not used: Moore, Tamaș, Pilkington, Kennedy.
Middlesbrough: Konstantopoulos; Kalas, Ayala, Amorebieta, Friend; Adomah (Kike 89), Clayton, Leadbitter (Forshaw 80), Downing; Fabbrini (Nsue 84), Nugent.
Subs not used: Mejías, Gibson, De Pena, Stephens.