Championship
CardiffCardiff City0Nottm ForestNottingham Forest1

Cardiff City 0-1 Nottingham Forest: James Garner goal gives Forest victory

By Michael PearlmanBBC Sport Wales at the Cardiff City Stadium
Match action, players challenge for a header
Since Mick McCarthy's first game in charge of Cardiff, only Norwich and Barnsley (30 points) have won more Championship points than Cardiff City (29 points).

Nottingham Forest ended a run of six games without a win to put a huge dent in Cardiff City's play-off aspirations.

James Garner's 29th-minute strike in a crowded penalty area proved decisive as Forest produced an excellent defensive display in south Wales.

Kieffer Moore's second-half effort from close-range was as close as the hosts came to finding an equaliser.

The victory sees Forest rise to 16th in the Championship, while Cardiff are eighth, four points off the play-offs.

This success means Forest have earned consecutive away league victories against Cardiff for the first time, having also won 1-0 last season.

It is all the more surprising considering that the Bluebirds would have enjoyed the international break, buoyed by their win over Swansea City, but they were without skipper Sean Morrison, who sustained an Achilles injury at the Liberty Stadium.

The derby victory reignited Cardiff's hopes of a play-off spot, with Forest seemingly the ideal opponents according to the form book.

Cardiff had won 10 of their last 12 league meetings with Forest, with Chris Hughton's side winless in six heading into the international break and once again looking nervously over their shoulder at the relegation places.

Hughton made three changes with Joe Worrall making a welcome return from a cracked rib, with the defender soon in action as Cardiff produced a fine move after eight minutes, but Brice Samba was able to save Leandro Bacuna's shot.

Cardiff again came close on 20 minutes but Tom Sang headed over from Joe Ralls' fine cross.

The missed chances buoyed the visitors and after Sammy Ameobi's shot was blocked, they found the breakthrough when Cyrus Christie's pinpoint cross found Garner, with the Manchester United youngster lashing home unmarked.

Cardiff created little in the first half, with Curtis Nelson heading over and Harry Wilson shooting wide, but they did come close to an equaliser on the stroke of half-time when Will Vaulks hammered a half-volley from 25 yards that fizzed just wide of the upright.

The Bluebirds' intensity did improve after the break, but Moore's shot from just six yards out was incredibly blocked by a Forest defender, while Bacuna and Aden Flint both missed the target with half-chances.

Cardiff made a trio of attacking changes with 20 minutes remaining and changed their formation, but Samba saved from Marlon Pack on an afternoon where Cardiff looked short on inspiration.

However, they would have expected to level on 84 minutes when Josh Murphy's cross found Flint unmarked four yards out, but he headed over the bar.

Ciaron Brown also saw a late header saved as Cardiff bombarded Forest with set-pieces, but the visitors held firm.

Cardiff City manager Mick McCarthy told BBC Sport Wales:

"It was the classic game of two halves, they were better than us in the first half and managed to get the goal and probably deserved it.

"We didn't get going, but we had a great reaction in the second half and we were the best side but couldn't manage to get the goal.

"I know Chris' teams are hard to break down, they are a tough nut to crack, and we knew if they scored the first goal it would be tough, as it would for them if we got the first goal.

"The second-half reaction was good, we weren't at our best in the first half, but give Forest credit for that - we couldn't get going. We weren't at the standard we've been at."

Nottingham Forest manager Chris Hughton said:

"It was certainly a good win from a tough game. We expected nothing less coming here, they have a way of playing and they're in really good form at the moment so you know you will have to be strong and resolute.

"There were minimal chances and for us, we had that one piece of quality for the goal. We restricted them to one good chance that Flint had at the end.

"It was a tough game and performance, and when you win these games, sometimes it's an even better feeling.

"We had to battle, every player had to be resolute and we had to concentrate."

Line-ups

Cardiff

Formation 3-4-2-1

  • 1Phillips
  • 16Nelson
  • 5Flint
  • 30BrownBooked at 37mins
  • 28Sang
  • 21PackBooked at 14mins
  • 6VaulksSubstituted forColwillat 84'minutes
  • 8RallsSubstituted forWilliamsat 71'minutes
  • 23WilsonSubstituted forMurphyat 71'minutes
  • 7BacunaSubstituted forOjoat 71'minutes
  • 10MooreSubstituted forM Harrisat 84'minutes

Substitutes

  • 11Murphy
  • 12Smithies
  • 15Williams
  • 19Watters
  • 27Ojo
  • 29M Harris
  • 33Hoilett
  • 38Ng
  • 40Colwill

Nottm Forest

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 30Samba
  • 2ChristieBooked at 26mins
  • 4Worrall
  • 26McKenna
  • 24Blackett
  • 22Yates
  • 37Garner
  • 11Ameobi
  • 18Ribeiro DiasBooked at 87minsSubstituted forColbackat 87'minutes
  • 17Mighten
  • 7GrabbanBooked at 55minsSubstituted forTaylorat 72'minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Ribeiro
  • 6Mbe Soh
  • 8Colback
  • 12Smith
  • 15Freeman
  • 25Murray
  • 27Krovinovic
  • 28Knockaert
  • 33Taylor
Referee:
Gavin Ward

Match Stats

Home TeamCardiffAway TeamNottm Forest
Possession
Home51%
Away49%
Shots
Home18
Away8
Shots on Target
Home3
Away1
Corners
Home6
Away4
Fouls
Home15
Away13

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Cardiff City 0, Nottingham Forest 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Cardiff City 0, Nottingham Forest 1.

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Marlon Pack (Cardiff City) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Josh Murphy following a set piece situation.

  4. Post update

    Jonathan Williams (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Jack Colback (Nottingham Forest).

  6. Post update

    Foul by Curtis Nelson (Cardiff City).

  7. Post update

    Lyle Taylor (Nottingham Forest) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  8. Substitution

    Substitution, Nottingham Forest. Jack Colback replaces Cafú.

  9. Booking

    Cafú (Nottingham Forest) is shown the yellow card.

  10. Post update

    Aden Flint (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  11. Post update

    Foul by Cafú (Nottingham Forest).

  12. Post update

    Attempt missed. Ciaron Brown (Cardiff City) header from the right side of the six yard box misses to the left. Assisted by Josh Murphy with a cross following a corner.

  13. Post update

    Corner, Cardiff City. Conceded by Ryan Yates.

  14. Post update

    Marlon Pack (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  15. Post update

    Foul by Sammy Ameobi (Nottingham Forest).

  16. Post update

    Attempt missed. Aden Flint (Cardiff City) header from the centre of the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Josh Murphy with a cross.

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, Cardiff City. Rubin Colwill replaces Will Vaulks.

  18. Substitution

    Substitution, Cardiff City. Mark Harris replaces Kieffer Moore.

  19. Post update

    Offside, Nottingham Forest. Lyle Taylor tries a through ball, but Cafú is caught offside.

  20. Post update

    Offside, Nottingham Forest. Cyrus Christie tries a through ball, but Sammy Ameobi is caught offside.

Around the BBC iPlayer bannerAround the BBC iPlayer footer

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Norwich39259557282984
2Watford39239756263078
3Swansea38209945301569
4Brentford371911765392668
5Barnsley39198125043765
6Reading391891253421163
7Bournemouth3817111058382062
8Cardiff3916101355381758
9Middlesbrough39168154742556
10Millwall391316103936355
11Stoke391413124442255
12QPR381411134243-153
13Luton38148163143-1250
14Bristol City39154203952-1349
15Blackburn391210175043746
16Nottm Forest391112163138-745
17Preston39136204050-1045
18Derby391110182942-1343
19Huddersfield37119174152-1142
20Birmingham391011182950-2141
21Coventry38912173251-1939
22Rotherham35105203848-1035
23Sheff Wed38108202848-2032
24Wycombe3979232661-3530
View full Championship table

Top Stories

Elsewhere on the BBC