Cardiff 1 Barnsley 1 – match report: Stephen Foster equaliser denies Bluebirds

Cardiff 1 Barnsley 1: Last-minute equaliser stuns hosts, but Bluebirds remain on track for Premier League

By
Andrew Gwilym, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

21:08 GMT, 9 April 2013

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UPDATED:

21:08 GMT, 9 April 2013

Stephen Foster grabbed a dramatic last-gasp equaliser to earn Barnsley a valuable point and hold up Cardiff's promotion push.

The hosts had looked set to move a step closer to the Barclays Premier League when centre-half Ben Turner guided home Kim Bo-Kyung's corner just before the hour mark.

The Welsh side also hit the post through Craig Bellamy, but they were punished for failing to capitalise on their dominance when Foster's deflected shot trickled over the line with what was effectively the last kick of the match.

Late drama: Foster is mobbed (middle) after scoring the equaliser for Barnsleyequaliser for Barnsley

Late drama: Foster is mobbed (middle) after scoring the equaliser for Barnsley

Match facts

Cardiff: Marshall, McNaughton, Turner, Barnett, Taylor, Smith (Conway 80), Kim (Whittingham 68), Gunnarsson, Mutch, Bellamy, Mason Mason (Helguson 58).

Subs not used: Lewis, Gestede, Noone, Nugent.

Booked: Gunnarsson, Barnett.

Scorer: Turner 59.

Barnsley: Steele, Wiseman, Hassell, Foster, Kennedy, Mellis (Dagnall 70) , Dawson, O'Brien (Cywka 61) , Perkins, Harewood (Scotland 67) , O'Grady.

Subs: Alnwick, Scotland, Dagnall, Jones, Cywka, Rose, Patterson.

Booked: O'Grady.

Scorer: Foster 90.

Referee: Fred Graham (Essex)

Attendance: 22,584.

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Despite the setback, Cardiff's
promotion still appears a formality as they now lead third-placed
Watford by nine points with five games remaining.

Barnsley, though, will not care about
spoiling the party after stealing a point which moves them two clear of
the drop zone, despite being penned in their own half for much of the
game.

The tone of the contest was set
during a confident start from the hosts, which saw Tommy Smith, Bellamy
and Aron Gunnarsson all got away shots on goal, although Luke Steele was
only required to save the first of those efforts.

Bellamy came close to rewarding the
bright opening in the 18th minute – Steele diverting his shot against
the post after the Wales international retrieved Smith's fizzing ball
across the box.

Barnsley were happy to drop deep and
look to hit on the break, but it took almost half an hour for them to
threaten the Cardiff goal; Marlon Harewood had the ball in the net but
was correctly called back for offside.

Jordan Mutch, Kim and Gunnarsson were
enjoying the run of midfield, and Steele made an excellent save to tip
the former Birmingham man's stinging drive round the post.

The midfield trio linked beautifully
again on 37 minutes, and it took a brave Foster block to deny Gunnarsson
as he prepared to pull the trigger.

The extent of Cardiff's dominance was
such it appeared a case of when, not if, they would open the scoring,
but the Tykes gave them a real scare early in the second half.

The Bluebirds were slow to react to a
short corner and Bobby Hassell just failed to make a telling contact
with David Perkins' pin-point cross.

Cardiff responded to the wake-up call
and a lovely touch from Mutch set up Kim for the Korean to fire across
goal, while Leon Barnett could not adjust in time after Steele punched
poorly in his own six-yard box.

Going up Cardiff will hope they can still gain promotion with the remaining five games

Going up Cardiff will hope they can still gain promotion with the remaining five games

Going up Cardiff will hope they can still gain promotion with the remaining five games

Going up Cardiff will hope they can still gain promotion with the remaining five games

The pressure had to tell, and the goal finally came from an unlikely source.

Kim whipped a dangerous corner into
the six-yard box and Turner stuck out a leg to guide the ball just
inside the post for his first goal of the season.

The lead was almost doubled three
minutes later. Mutch had a shot blocked by Hassell, while Barnett and
Gunnarsson had efforts cleared off the line from the resulting corner.

With a single-goal lead, Cardiff were
far from out of sight, and Harewood spurned Barnsley's best chance of
the night with a tame effort from Stephen Dawson's astute pass.

Substitute Heidar Helguson wasted a
wonderful chance to wrap up the three points in stoppage time, and it
proved costly as Foster's shot took a big deflection to leave David
Marshall stranded and level the scores.