Brighton missed the chance to go top of the league, as they were held to a 0-0 draw in South Wales. After Newcastle slipped up Friday night against Nott’m Forrest, a win for the Seagulls would have put them top, but a frustrating day at the office means they remain second, but cut the gap to the Magpies to just 1 point.
Arun Gunnarsson had the opening chance after he cut inside from the right, but his curling effort was comfortably saved by David Stockdale. Jiri Skalak went close for the Albion in the first half, when his free-kick was struck against the wall, but managed to have a second chance with a volley, which went just wide of Ben Amos’s left-hand post. A quite dull affair in the first half, the second was no different, with Sol Bamba going close with a header, but would of been disappointed that he didn’t hit the target from 4 yards out. Gaetan Bong received a neadless yellow card, when he blocked off the run of Junior Hoilett, the first of his 2 bookings. Dale Stephens deflected shot from a Steve Sidwell lay-off nearly caught out Amos, but he managed to get to it and keep the ball with 2 Albion players closing in. Brighton did have the ball in the back of the net, but it wasn’t given as Shane Duffy was alleged to of fouled Bamba, before Glenn Murray prodded home the ball from the Irishman’s knock down. Sam Baldock’s quick snapshot nearly got the better of Amos, but the Cardiff stopper was quick to get down to the low-shot. Bong received his marching orders for a reckless challenge on Kadeem Harris, which could of seen him get a straight red. Harris had a chance late on, but his shot sailed over the bar and the points were shared; neither team really deserved to win and was a fair result.
Stockdale (7); A 12th clean sheet of the season, and not many will come as easy as this one; very little to do and any action he did take was routine.
Bruno (7); A quiet afternoon defensively and offensively; rarely troubled with attacks from Cardiff, but not many opportunities arose to get forward in support of Skalak.
Duffy (6); Rightly penalised for a foul on Bamba before Murray put the ball into the net, but an easy afternoon for him, especially after his last trip to Cardiff, where he scored 2 own goals and got sent off earlier in the season.
Dunk (6); Never looked troubled by the presence of Gounongbe; carried the ball forward often with Cardiff dropping off constantly. Did pick up his 8th booking of the season, and is closing in on a 2 game ban.
Bong (3); No complaints with either booking; appalling 2nd tackle and could of seen a straight red for it. Didn’t find his passing range yet again, and should take the time off this weekend to get back his form.
Skalak (6); A surprise includement in the starting XI; not a bad nor a good afternoon for the Czech international.
Sidwell (6); Did well against main threat Whittingham, and was business as usual in the centre of the park.
Stephens (6); Good hassle against Gunnarsson, which kept him busy for much of the afternoon, but a decent shift nonetheless.
Murphy (6); Been the threat in recent games, and Cardiff cottened on to it; closing him down quick and making him work for every blade of grass.
Murray (6); Needed to drop off into midfield sometimes to collect the ball, but it was mostly scraps in attacking areas.
Baldock (6); Had a tough afternoon against Bamba, who didn’t give an inch all game.
Knockaert (6); Gave a couple of good moments as he tried to influence the game to gain the win.
Pocognoli (N/A); Late replacement for Baldock, after Bong’s sending off.
CCFC - BHAFC; (Bong; OFF – 90);
Att; 16,168 (Brighton fans unknown)