Championship
Cardiff1Middlesbrough0

Cardiff City 1-0 Middlesbrough: Ashley Fletcher own goal hands Bluebirds win

Ashley Fletcher of Middlesbrough heads the ball into his own net from a corner
Ashley Fletcher joined Middlesbrough from West Ham United for £6.5m in July 2017

Cardiff City remain unbeaten at home in the Championship this season after Ashley Fletcher's own goal handed them victory over Middlesbrough.

Fletcher headed into his own net after just two minutes and Middlesbrough struggled to find a response.

Neil Warnock's team should really have extended their lead, with Omar Bogle going closest when he hit the woodwork.

But the visitors' lack of threat meant Fletcher's error was enough to secure Cardiff's third win of the season.

Both sides had come into this game on the back of four-game unbeaten streaks in the league, but it was Cardiff who played with more purpose.

It helped that they were gifted what proved to be the only goal, when Fletcher diverted Josh Murphy's left-wing corner beyond Darren Randolph despite being under little pressure at the near post.

Things ought to have got worse for Middlesbrough as a smart Cardiff move ended with Joe Bennett squaring invitingly for Joe Ralls only for the midfielder to miss his kick.

Bogle, who started up front for Cardiff with Robert Glatzel ruled out due to illness, tested Randolph from distance before the break.

Neil Warnock kept faith with Alex Smithies in goal despite the return to fitness of Neil Etheridge.

In truth it did not matter who was between the posts for the hosts as Jonathan Woodgate's team laboured going forward.

Bogle wasted a chance to double Cardiff's lead early in the second period when he prodded wide from Ralls' through ball.

Middlesbrough then conjured their first genuine opportunity, as a corner routine ended with George Saville shooting over.

With the game opening up, Junior Hoilett crossed for Bogle to head against the bar before Callum Paterson's effort drifted over.

Saville saw a tame effort blocked as Cardiff deservedly held on for victory.

Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock told BBC Sport Wales:

"It would be nice if we could score one or two chances and have a nice easy last 20 minutes but that's not us I'm afraid.

"It was a good performance. I said to the lads - that's more like us, really. Against a good team we didn't give them much of a look-in. We were dominant all over.

"Robert (Glatzel) went down sick this morning. I was disappointed because he scored three goals against Middlesbrough in pre-season.

"I would imagine they got a bit of a lift when they saw his name wasn't on the team sheet.

"Josh Murphy had sickness and stomach cramps. There was no point in risking him. I said to the doctor, make sure they are isolated, we don't want it spreading."

Middlesbrough head coach Jonathan Woodgate said:

"I said before the game you have to match Cardiff physically and I thought we did that thought the game, but we didn't show enough quality on the ball.

"We didn't create enough chances for our forwards - they were basically starved of the ball.

"We will be back training on Monday. We will be working hard and we move on to the next game.

"I have scored an own goal at the Bernabeu. It happens. We move on and get on with it. Hopefully he (Ashley Fletcher) will score a couple of goals against Sheffield Wednesday."

Line-ups

Cardiff

  • 12Smithies
  • 2Peltier
  • 4Morrison
  • 5Flint
  • 3Bennett
  • 7Bacuna
  • 8RallsBooked at 87mins
  • 20Whyte
  • 13Paterson
  • 11MurphySubstituted forHoilettat 45'minutes
  • 27BogleSubstituted forWardat 66'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Etheridge
  • 6Vaulks
  • 16Nelson
  • 17Tomlin
  • 19Mendez-Laing
  • 23Ward
  • 33Hoilett

Middlesbrough

  • 23Randolph
  • 6Fry
  • 4AyalaBooked at 79mins
  • 5Shotton
  • 2Dijksteel
  • 17McNair
  • 8ClaytonSubstituted forWingat 77'minutes
  • 22SavilleSubstituted forBrowneat 73'minutes
  • 21JohnsonBooked at 77minsSubstituted forTavernierat 81'minutes
  • 9Assombalonga
  • 11Fletcher

Substitutes

  • 7Tavernier
  • 10Browne
  • 16Howson
  • 26Wing
  • 27Bola
  • 36Walker
  • 42Pears
Referee:
Darren Bond
Attendance:
23,141

Match Stats

Home TeamCardiffAway TeamMiddlesbrough
Possession
Home47%
Away53%
Shots
Home10
Away11
Shots on Target
Home2
Away0
Corners
Home3
Away8
Fouls
Home10
Away12

Live Text

Match ends, Cardiff City 1, Middlesbrough 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Cardiff City 1, Middlesbrough 0.

Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Aden Flint.

Booking

Joe Ralls (Cardiff City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Marcus Browne (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Joe Ralls (Cardiff City).

Offside, Middlesbrough. Daniel Ayala tries a through ball, but Britt Assombalonga is caught offside.

Attempt missed. Callum Paterson (Cardiff City) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Joe Ralls with a cross following a set piece situation.

Foul by Anfernee Dijksteel (Middlesbrough).

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

Foul by Anfernee Dijksteel (Middlesbrough).

Joe Bennett (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Patrick McNair (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Joe Ralls (Cardiff City).

Substitution

Substitution, Middlesbrough. Marcus Tavernier replaces Marvin Johnson.

Booking

Daniel Ayala (Middlesbrough) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Daniel Ayala (Middlesbrough).

Leandro Bacuna (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Substitution

Substitution, Middlesbrough. Lewis Wing replaces Adam Clayton.

Booking

Marvin Johnson (Middlesbrough) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Marvin Johnson (Middlesbrough).

Gavin Whyte (Cardiff City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Marcus Browne (Middlesbrough).

Joe Bennett (Cardiff City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Substitution

Substitution, Middlesbrough. Marcus Browne replaces George Saville.

Anfernee Dijksteel (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by David Junior Hoilett (Cardiff City).

Foul by Anfernee Dijksteel (Middlesbrough).

Joe Bennett (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Joe Ralls.

Substitution

Substitution, Cardiff City. Danny Ward replaces Omar Bogle.

Attempt missed. Callum Paterson (Cardiff City) header from the centre of the box is just a bit too high following a corner.

Corner, Cardiff City. Conceded by Ryan Shotton.

Foul by Daniel Ayala (Middlesbrough).

Callum Paterson (Cardiff City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Attempt missed. George Saville (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Britt Assombalonga.

Ashley Fletcher (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Joe Ralls (Cardiff City).

Omar Bogle (Cardiff City) hits the bar with a header from the centre of the box. Assisted by David Junior Hoilett with a cross.

Attempt missed. Daniel Ayala (Middlesbrough) header from the left side of the box misses to the left. Assisted by George Saville with a cross following a corner.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Leeds8521134917
2Swansea8521125717
3Preston8512147716
4QPR85121412216
5Nottm Forest8431116515
6Bristol City8431139415
7Charlton8422118314
8Sheff Wed8413117413
9West Brom7340118313
10Blackburn841398113
11Birmingham841379-213
12Fulham8332127512
13Cardiff8332910-112
14Hull8233111109
15Middlesbrough823389-19
16Millwall8233611-59
17Brentford822456-18
18Derby8152811-38
19Wigan8224813-58
20Reading8215911-27
21Luton82151216-47
22Barnsley8125412-85
23Stoke8026717-102
24Huddersfield7016513-81
View full Championship table

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