Championship
Cardiff0Preston1

Cardiff City 0-1 Preston North End

Kenneth Zohore and Chris Maxwell challenge for the ball
Kenneth Zohore and Chris Maxwell challenge for the ball

Cardiff City failed to move back into the Championship top two as they were beaten for the third successive game at home by Preston North End.

Skipper Tom Clarke bundled the winner in stoppage time to deservedly extend the visitors' unbeaten run to nine.

The Bluebirds were well short of their best and can now only look on when leaders Wolves face second-placed Bristol City on Saturday.

Preston rise to seventh and are just a point outside the play-off berths.

Cardiff had never lost three successive games in Neil Warnock's tenure as manager before this game, but he endured a miserable night where he presided over his 1,400th game as a manager.

The decisive moment of the match came in the last minute of normal time, with Clarke heading home from three yards after Neil Etheridge saved a point-blank effort from a corner.

The visitors were the better side in the first period, though that is a relative statement after a stale 45 minutes that were extremely short on quality. The hosts, especially, looked a pale imitation of the side that until recently had been sweeping all before them in the Championship.

In a half without a shot on target, Preston's best opportunity came when Nathaniel Mendez-Laing came within a few inches of conceding a penalty after a foul right on the edge of the area, before the visitors saw another claim waved away after Lee Peltier looked to have handled the ball.

Jordan Hugill also hooked over, with Lee Tomlin and Joe Ralls missing half chances for the hosts, who were missing the injured Aron Gunnarsson and could only include talisman Junior Hoilett among their substitutes.

Tomlin angled a header towards goal shortly after the break, with Chris Maxwell finally saving the first effort on target in the match, but the second half continued like the first, with scarce incident and lots of long balls.

Preston, who were ninth in the table before kick-off, looked more than comfortable, but seemed to have squandered their best chance with 15 minutes remaining when Etheridge palmed away Tom Barkhuizen's low effort with Bruno Ecuele Manga tackling Hugill and preventing what would have been a tap-in.

However, Clarke had the final say as Cardiff's miserable festive period continued, despite sub Rhys Healey forcing Maxwell to save at the death.

Preston manager Alex Neil told the BBC: "It wasn't a game for the football purist, it was a rough, scrappy match.

"But if there was any football being played, it was coming from us.

"I thought if anyone was going to win it, we deserved to."

Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock told BBC Radio Wales: "I can't fault the effort, they are trying their hardest, but I was disappointed with the result.

"We lacked a little bit of quality in certain areas. We are lacking in midfield but we only have two fit.

"It was a sloppy goal, I thought our goalkeeper should have had it really, but these are things that happen when things are going against you.

"I think it is up to me now to lift the lads."

Line-ups

Cardiff

  • 25Etheridge
  • 18PatersonBooked at 90mins
  • 5Ecuele Manga
  • 14Bamba
  • 2PeltierBooked at 22mins
  • 7TomlinSubstituted forHealeyat 76'minutes
  • 8Ralls
  • 20Damour
  • 12FeeneySubstituted forHoilettat 64'minutes
  • 10ZohoreSubstituted forBogleat 83'minutes
  • 19Mendez-Laing

Substitutes

  • 13Pilkington
  • 15Halford
  • 16Connolly
  • 28Murphy
  • 30Bogle
  • 33Hoilett
  • 37Healey

Preston

  • 22Maxwell
  • 5Clarke
  • 23Huntington
  • 20Davies
  • 3CunninghamSubstituted forWoodsat 84'minutes
  • 12GallagherSubstituted forHarropat 68'minutes
  • 4PearsonBooked at 48mins
  • 29BarkhuizenBooked at 27mins
  • 8BrowneBooked at 36mins
  • 7HorganSubstituted forRobinsonat 69'minutes
  • 9HugillBooked at 90mins

Substitutes

  • 1Rudd
  • 10Harrop
  • 15Woods
  • 19Welsh
  • 25O'Connor
  • 27Mavididi
  • 37Robinson
Referee:
James Linington
Attendance:
17,751

Match Stats

Home TeamCardiffAway TeamPreston
Possession
Home41%
Away59%
Shots
Home11
Away16
Shots on Target
Home3
Away4
Corners
Home4
Away7
Fouls
Home12
Away15

Live Text

Match ends, Cardiff City 0, Preston North End 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Cardiff City 0, Preston North End 1.

Attempt blocked. Bruno Ecuele Manga (Cardiff City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by David Junior Hoilett with a headed pass.

Corner, Cardiff City. Conceded by Chris Maxwell.

Attempt saved. Rhys Healey (Cardiff City) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

Attempt blocked. Rhys Healey (Cardiff City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Callum Paterson.

Attempt missed. David Junior Hoilett (Cardiff City) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses the top right corner. Assisted by Lee Peltier with a headed pass.

Booking

Callum Paterson (Cardiff City) is shown the yellow card.

Booking

Jordan Hugill (Preston North End) is shown the yellow card.

Corner, Cardiff City. Conceded by Jordan Hugill.

Goal!

Goal! Cardiff City 0, Preston North End 1. Tom Clarke (Preston North End) header from very close range to the centre of the goal following a corner.

Attempt blocked. Tom Barkhuizen (Preston North End) left footed shot from very close range is blocked.

Attempt saved. Paul Huntington (Preston North End) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Josh Harrop with a cross.

Corner, Preston North End. Conceded by Callum Paterson.

Callum Robinson (Preston North End) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Callum Paterson (Cardiff City).

Attempt blocked. Paul Huntington (Preston North End) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Josh Harrop with a cross.

Corner, Preston North End. Conceded by Sol Bamba.

Callum Robinson (Preston North End) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Callum Paterson (Cardiff City).

Substitution

Substitution, Preston North End. Calum Woods replaces Greg Cunningham.

Substitution

Substitution, Cardiff City. Omar Bogle replaces Kenneth Zohore.

Attempt saved. Bruno Ecuele Manga (Cardiff City) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by David Junior Hoilett with a cross.

Foul by Greg Cunningham (Preston North End).

Rhys Healey (Cardiff City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Attempt saved. Paul Huntington (Preston North End) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Josh Harrop with a cross.

Corner, Preston North End. Conceded by Sol Bamba.

Corner, Preston North End. Conceded by Bruno Ecuele Manga.

Attempt saved. Tom Barkhuizen (Preston North End) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Josh Harrop.

Substitution

Substitution, Cardiff City. Rhys Healey replaces Lee Tomlin.

Corner, Preston North End. Conceded by Nathaniel Mendez-Laing.

Attempt missed. Jordan Hugill (Preston North End) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Callum Robinson with a cross.

Alan Browne (Preston North End) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Kenneth Zohore (Cardiff City).

Substitution

Substitution, Preston North End. Callum Robinson replaces Daryl Horgan.

Substitution

Substitution, Preston North End. Josh Harrop replaces Paul Gallagher.

Hand ball by Alan Browne (Preston North End).

Attempt blocked. Kenneth Zohore (Cardiff City) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Joe Ralls.

Foul by Tom Clarke (Preston North End).

David Junior Hoilett (Cardiff City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Wolves24174345192655
2Bristol City24138339241547
3Cardiff25145635231247
4Derby24136538211745
5Leeds24133837271042
6Sheff Utd24132939291041
7Preston25101052823540
8Middlesbrough2411583223938
9Aston Villa2410863224838
10Ipswich24113103733436
11Fulham249873331235
12Brentford2481063732534
13Nottm Forest24101133341-831
14Sheff Wed247983029130
15Millwall257992727030
16Norwich2486102430-630
17Reading2476112932-327
18QPR2569102635-927
19Hull2458113741-423
20Barnsley2457122536-1122
21Burton2455141743-2620
22Sunderland24310112842-1419
23Bolton2447132343-2019
24Birmingham2445151235-2317
View full Championship table

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