Cardiff 3 Blackpool 0: Bluebirds keep pressure on at the top
18:58 GMT, 29 September 2012
A brace by defender Matthew Connolly helped Cardiff maintain their 100 per cent home record in the npower Championship with a 3-0 victory over Blackpool, who have now recorded just one win in their last five matches.
Both sides looked to attack in the early stages, but it was the Bluebirds who broke the deadlock with a Matthew Connolly strike from close range in the 17th minute.
Not this time: Blackpool's Nathan Eccleston tries to get past Andrew Taylor
CARDIFF: Marshall, McNaughton, Taylor, Hudson, Connolly, Whittingham, Noone, Gunnarsson, Smith (Mason 25), Helguson (Cowie 81), Bellamy (Kim Bo-Kyung 72).
Subs Not Used: Lewis, Turner, Kiss, Velikonja.
Goals: Connolly 17, 57, Whittingham 27
BLACKPOOL: Gilks, Crainey, Evatt, Baptiste, Broadfoot, Robertson (Osbourne 59), M Phillips, Sylvestre (Delfouneso 58), Angel, K Phillips, Dicko (Eccleston 61).
Subs Not Used: Halstead, Eardley, Gomes, Ferguson
Booked: Crainey, Evatt
Referee: Carl Boyeson
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Peter Whittingham doubled the lead
10 minutes later with a free-kick from the edge of the area, before
Connolly sealed the three points for the hosts by heading home a Craig
Blackpool, who were without Thomas
Ince and Gary Taylor-Fletcher for the trip to South Wales, made seven
changes from the side that lost to Huddersfield earlier in the week, but
Ian Holloway's men produced a toothless performance.
It was the home side who carved out
the more threatening chances early on, with Craig Bellamy having the
first real attempt at goal in the fifth minute.
However, his low drive from the
right-hand side of the penalty area was collected comfortably at the
near post by Blackpool goalkeeper Matt Gilks.
In an end-to-end first 15 minutes,
Blackpool also created their fair share of chances, including a
long-range effort from Matt Phillips, but they were unable to apply the
finish when it mattered.
It was the Bluebirds who broke the
deadlock after 17 minutes as Connolly met a Bellamy cross to fire the
ball into the back of the net from the edge of the six-yard box.
Cardiff doubled their lead just 10
minutes later when Peter Whittingham fired a sensational free-kick into
the bottom-left corner of the goal from 18 yards.
Kevin Phillips had the chance to
reduce the deficit for Blackpool in the 32nd minute, but the striker's
effort from close range cleared the crossbar.
Wales international Bellamy forced
Gilks into a superb diving save on the stroke of half-time, sparing
Blackpool the misery of going in at the break three goals down.
Falling for it: Blackpool's Scott Robinson (left) takes the ball past Aron Gunnarsson
However, the Tangerines' reprieve did
not last long, as, shortly after half-time, defender Connolly doubled
his tally for the match by sending the home team further in front with a
headed effort from a Bellamy corner.
Holloway had used all of his
substitutes by the hour mark as he tried to salvage something from the
match, but his players continued to struggle to breach the Cardiff
Bellamy, who looked dangerous
throughout, almost grabbed a goal of his own midway through the half,
but his effort whistled over the crossbar from the edge of the area.
Matt Phillips hit the post for the
visitors in the 74th minute, before an injury time Stephen Crainey
free-kick hit the crossbar on an afternoon the Seasiders would rather