Match Report | Middlesbrough 2-0 Cardiff City
The Bluebirds fell to a 2-0 defeat against Play-Off chasing Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium on Wednesday evening.
Steve Morison made two changes to the side which faced Sheffield United last time out, with Will Vaulks and Rubin Colwill replacing Joel Bagan and Joe Ralls in the starting eleven.
City's first chance of the evening fell to Ollie Denham, who found himself free at the back post from a Tommy Doyle free-kick. The defender met the ball well, but Luke Daniels was equal to his downward header.
After 28 minutes, Chris Wilder's men were able to make the breakthrough, with Marcus Tavernier firing home from range. The 23-year-old found the far corner from the edge of the area to give the hosts the lead.
Max Watters, making his second consecutive start, looked lively up front, and saw a low shot saved by Daniels after some neat build-up play from Rubin Colwill.
The Bluebirds almost found a leveller moments before the half-time whistle. Colwill's cross found Jordan Hugill, who struck a fierce effort which flew narrowly over the crossbar.
Boro found a second goal nine minutes into the second period, with Riley McGree's effort finding the back of the net. The American's strike took a wild deflection off Curtis Nelson, who was helpless to prevent the ball from spinning past Dillon Phillips and across the goal line.
Watters had two chances to get the Bluebirds back into the match, forcing Daniels into a strong save with his first effort, which was tipped over the crossbar by the Boro keeper. Minutes later, the striker clipped a cross into the box which struck the woodwork before bouncing away to safety.
The lively Isiah Jones was denied by Nelson late in the half, with the defender sliding in well to block the winger's effort.
At the other end, substitute Mark Harris had an headed effort on target held by Daniels, before Doyle saw his close-range shot deflected deep into injury time.
The final whistle confirmed that Boro would take three points, lifting them to seventh in the Championship table. The Bluebirds are back in action on Saturday, April 30th, taking on Birmingham City in our final home fixture of the season.
FINAL SCORE: MIDDLESBROUGH 2-0 CARDIFF CITY
Middlesbrough: Daniels, Dijksteel, Bamba, McNair, Bola, Tavernier, Howson, McGree, Jones, Watmore (Connolly 76'), Balogun (Sporar 61').
Subs Not Used: Lumley, Hall, Peltier, Payero, Coburn.
Cardiff City: Phillips, Drameh, Nelson, Denham, Ng, Wintle, Vaulks, Doyle, Colwill, Hugill (Collins 80'), Watters (Harris 63').
Subs Not Used: Luthra, Flint, McGuinness, Semenyo, King.