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Match Report: Middlesbrough 0-2 Cardiff City (Middlesbrough fan's perspective)

Wednesday 11th April 2012
Middlesbrough again slipped up on home soil as play-off rivals Cardiff took advantage of some poor early defending to win at The Riverside.

The home side made three changes to the side that drew at Brighton last week. Scott McDonald started his first game since picking up a knee ligament injury at Leicester in February, while Adam Hammill and Kevin Thompson were also recalled to the starting line-up.

Cardiff lost striker Kenny Miller to injury only 6 minutes in after he collided with Boro keeper Jason Steele. His replacement almost had an immediate impact; Joe Mason cut in from the right and hit a rasping drive from the edge of the box which cannoned back off the underside of the bar.

It only took 11 minutes for the Bluebirds to take the lead however as centre-back Ben Turner rose highest to head in Liam Lawrence's left-wing corner.

Boro striker Lukas Jutkiewicz then wasted a glorious chance to equalise when he headed Joe Bennett's cross just wide. The Teessiders were made to pay for their wastefulness in the 19th minute when Mason collected a Peter Whittingham pass before turning Joe Bennett inside out and firing in to the bottom corner.

Barry Robson almost hit back immediately for Mowbray's men, but his powerful long-range effort was acrobatically tipped-over by Cardiff keeper David Marshall.

Seb Hines' header from an Adam Hammill corner failed to test Marshall and Jutkiewicz dragged a shot aimlessly wide as Boro continued to fail to impress in front of goal.

Mason came close again for Cardiff shortly before the interval but Steele got down well to deny the youngster with his legs.

The home side started brightly in the second half and nearly pulled a goal back shortly after restart when Hammill's side footed effort came back off the post.

Marshall then held a Nicky Bailey effort and Scott McDonald's strike went over as Boro searched for a route back in to the game. Hammill tested Marshall again and Jutkiewicz's header came back off the bar as the Teessiders started to feel that it just wasn't going to be their day.

The hosts again hit the woodwork when Malaury Martin's free-kick evaded everyone in the box and rebounded off the post and the visitors held out to leap-frog Middlesbrough into the play-off spots as Tony Mowbray's side's winless run continues.
Matthew Nixon

Total articles: 28

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