Tag Archives: malky

Wolves 1 Cardiff 2 – match report: Fraizer Campbell scores both goals for Championship leaders

Wolves 1 Cardiff 2: Campbell bags brace for leaders as Molineux misery continues

By
Neil Moxley

PUBLISHED:

16:10 GMT, 24 February 2013

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UPDATED:

22:06 GMT, 24 February 2013

Frazier Campbell’s headed double ensured Cardiff would have something to crow about this weekend as Dean Saunders’ nightmare start as Wolves manager showed little sign of ending.

Former Manchester United trainee Campbell pounced in each half to extend his side’s advantage over the Championship’s chasing pack to eight points on an afternoon when rivals Swansea grabbed the limelight at Wembley.

Campbell, a 650,000 signing from Sunderland in January, took his tally to five goals in as many games for his new club on a weekend when Cardiff increased their lead at the top of the division following Hull City’s demise at Bolton.

Brace: Fraizer Campbell scored two goals as the Championship leaders won at Molineux

Brace: Fraizer Campbell scored two goals as the Championship leaders won at Molineux

MATCH FACTS

Wolverhampton: Ikeme, Batth (Ebanks-Blake 46), Johnson, Gorkss, Doherty (Foley 78), Doumbia (Doyle 46), Henry, O'Hara, Robinson,
Sako, Sigurdarson.

Subs Not Used: De Vries, Edwards, Ward, Davis.

Booked: Doherty.

Goals: Sako 70.

Cardiff: Marshall, Connolly, Hudson (McNaughton 75), Turner, Taylor, Conway, Whittingham, Cowie (Kim 80), Gunnarsson, Bellamy, Campbell (Helguson 82).

Subs Not Used: Lewis, Noone, Mutch, Mason.

Booked: Whittingham.

Goals: Campbell 20, 67.

Att: 20,930

Ref: Stuart Attwell (Warwickshire).

Championship table, fixtures and results

Cardiff manager Malky Mackay said he was not surprised by his signing’s impact. ‘Fraizer needed to get football back into his life,’ said Mackay. ‘The quality of the boy I remember scoring goals for Hull City has not diminished. He needed us and we needed him.

‘Did I expect him to hit the ground running Yes, I did.’

Saunders’ use of a five-man defence backfired in the first half, with Cardiff establishing a grip in the 20th minute. Aron Gunnarsson’s long throw was flicked on by Ben Turner and Campbell headed home from inside the six-yard box.

Saunders brought on Kevin Doyle and Sylvan Ebanks-Blake at half-time, but Craig Bellamy’s inswinging cross in the 67th minute left Wolves keeper Carl Ikeme stranded in no man’s land after leaving his line and Campbell finished at the far post.

Bakary Sako’s deflected free-kick three minutes later made a game of it and Ebanks-Blake sidefooted a shot into the ground and over the bar with the goal gaping following Sako’s 70-yard run late on.

Lead: Campbell heads past Wolves goalkeeper Carl Ikeme

Lead: Campbell heads past Wolves goalkeeper Carl Ikeme

Saunders, yet to win in eight games
since arriving at Molineux but hoping to sign Reading striker Simon
Church on loan, said: ‘We made two catastrophic mistakes. We conceded a
goal from a long throw — and I walked them through how to defend it
yesterday. As a manager, it’s the sort of thing that keeps you awake at
night.’

Hope: Bakary Sako scored for Wolves with 20 minutes to play at Molineux

Hope: Bakary Sako scored for Wolves with 20 minutes to play at Molineux

Bristol City 4 Cardiff 2 – match report

Bristol City 4 Cardiff 2: Woolford at the double to help rampant Robins hit four more

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UPDATED:

15:20 GMT, 25 August 2012

Martyn Woolford bagged a brace and Sam Baldock crowned his debut with a goal as Bristol City sealed an enthralling derby win over Cardiff.

Derek McInnes' side fired four past Crystal Palace in midweek and they delighted the Ashton Gate faithful once more with the help of some generous Cardiff defending.

Midfielder Stephen Pearson opened the scoring before Woolford took his personal tally to three goals in two games.

At the double: Two-goal hero Martyn Woolford (L) celebrates with Jonathan Stead after scoring the second goal for Bristol City

At the double: Two-goal hero Martyn Woolford (L) celebrates with Jonathan Stead after scoring the second goal for Bristol City

MATCH FACTS

BRISTOL CITY: Heaton, Wilson, Fontaine, Carey, Cunningham, Woolford, Skuse, Pearson, Adomah (Davies, 84), Stead (Baldock, 64), Taylor (Elliott, 74).
Subs not used: Carey, Foster, Wilson, Morris.
Goals: Pearson 32, Woolford 45, 70, Baldock 87

CARDIFF: Marshall, McNaughton, Taylor, Hudson, Connolly, Whittingham, Cowie, Gunnarsson (Mason, 46), Mutch (Ralls, 80), Smith (Velikonja, 75), Helguson.
Subs not used: Lewis, Nugent, Kiss, Earnshaw.
Booked: Velikonja
Goals: Mason 57, Helguson 82

Ref: Jones
Att: 14,368

Cardiff kept their hosts honest as Joe Mason and Heidar Helguson responded in kind each time Woolford found the net.

But on-loan West Ham forward Baldock rounded off a lively cameo to ensure the Robins sat top of the npower Championship table ahead of today's three o'clock kick-offs.

Mark Wilson came into the Bristol City defence, with Richard Foster dropping to the bench where new signings Steven Davies and Baldock were named.

Matthew Connolly and Tommy Smith went straight into the Cardiff line-up following their moves from QPR this week, but there was no place for Craig Bellamy or Ben Turner in Malky Mackay's matchday squad.

The visitors were the brighter side in the opening exchanges, with Jordon Mutch to the fore and fellow midfielder Peter Whittingham produced a rasping 13th-minute drive to draw a fine save from former Bluebirds loanee Tom Heaton in the Bristol City goal.

On song: Woolford was too hot to handle for Cardiff

On song: Woolford was too hot to handle for Cardiff

The Robins' first clear opening came in the 25th minute when Ryan Taylor headed a cross from strike partner Jon Stead into the side netting and the latter had a hand when they took the lead.

Shortly after the half hour Cardiff needlessly ceded possession and Stead made them pay – feeding Albert Adomah, whose low cross left Pearson with a simple finish.

Cardiff almost found an immediate response when Aron Gunnarsson headed against the bar from Whittingham's corner before Heaton punched to safety.

But Bristol City doubled their advantage ahead of half-time. Stead was involved once more, playing in Woolford as the Cardiff defence was again found wanting.

Following some presumably unpleasant half-time discussions, Mackay's men came back into the contest in the 57th minute.

Fine introduction: Sam Baldock had a debut to remember after scoring the fourth for the rampant Robins

Fine introduction: Sam Baldock had a debut to remember after scoring the fourth for the rampant Robins

Football League blog

A Whittingham corner again caused problems and substitute Mason was on hand to convert Helguson's flick on.

McInnes introduced Baldock in place of Stead after 64 minutes and he was immediately at the heart of more confusion in the Cardiff defence – firing a shot past the post at the end of an attack that began when a clearance was drilled into his back.

Moments after Whittingham drove wide on the angle, Bristol City's two-goal cushion was restored. The lively Baldock found space inside the area to rattle the upright and Woolford tucked away the rebound.

Cardiff hit back for a second time in fortuitous circumstances when full-back Kevin McNaughton scuffed a shot into the path of Helguson and the ex-Watford and QPR striker prodded home his second of the season from close range.

But as the Bluebirds pushed for an equaliser they were left badly exposed at the back, and three minutes from time Greg Cunningham's through ball allowed Baldock to round goalkeeper David Marshall and seal the points.

Cardiff striker Kenny Miller close to joining Vancouver Whitecaps

Cardiff striker Kenny Miller close to joining Vancouver Whitecaps

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UPDATED:

21:42 GMT, 15 July 2012

Canada calling: Kenny Miller could be of to Vancouver

Canada calling: Kenny Miller could be of to Vancouver

Cardiff City striker Kenny Miller is close to joining Vancouver Whitecaps after Malky Mackay began looking to strengthen his forward line.

The Bluebirds boss hopes to bring in Liverpool's Craig Bellamy, and is also looking at Cerezo Osaka midfielder Kim Bo-kyung, who is available for 2.5m.

Miller has been at Cardiff since 2011 following an unsuccessful stint in Turkey with Bursaspor.

Meanwhile, Fulham are also keen on Cardiff's Peter Whittingham.

Peter Whittingham transfer ruled out by Cardiff City

Whittingham is going nowhere, says Cardiff boss Mackay as West Ham plot raid

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UPDATED:

11:53 GMT, 21 May 2012

Cardiff manager Malky Mackay has ruled out a summer move for star midfielder and West Ham target Peter Whittingham.

The Hammers – who demolished the Bluebirds 5-0 on aggregate in their Championship play-off semi-final – had an approach for Whittingham rejected in January.

Wanted man: Whittingham (left) had a good season for Cardiff

Wanted man: Whittingham (left) had a good season for Cardiff

But despite Sam Allardyce'e men now being able to offer the 27-year-old Premier League football following their Wembley win over Blackpool, Mackay is adamant the former Aston Villa man is going nowhere.

'I totally believe Peter Whittingham will be a Cardiff City player next season,' he told Wales Online.

'He has only just signed a new contract and he has two years left on that, so I don’t expect him to be going anywhere.

Late drama: West Ham won the Championship play-off final

Back in the big time: West Ham won the Championship play-off final

'We have had no interest in him and, anyway, I’m not in the business of giving away our best players.

'As I have said from the moment I arrived here, I’m about adding to my squad and making it stronger, not making it weaker by selling our important players.'

Whittingham signed a new deal at the club last summer to tie him to Cardiff until 2014.

Cardiff can beat West Ham – Malky Mackay

Mackay confident Cardiff can put play-off ghosts to rest against West Ham

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UPDATED:

15:29 GMT, 2 May 2012

Malky Mackay is adamant Cardiff will have no hangover from their previous Championship play-off heartaches as they prepare for Thursday night's semi-final first leg against West Ham at Cardiff City Stadium.

The Bluebirds lost out to Blackpool in a thrilling Wembley final two seasons ago, before being downed by Reading at the last-four stage last term.

The club, then under the guidance of former boss Dave Jones, had to watch as Welsh rivals Swansea took the tag of being the first side from the principality to make it to the promised land of the Premier League.

Here we go: Malky Mackay celebrates reaching the play-offs with Cardiff

Here we go: Malky Mackay celebrates reaching the play-offs with Cardiff

Football League blog

But, given the major overhaul that took place last summer following Mackay's arrival, there are many in the squad who were not involved in those previous disappointments.

And manager Mackay points to Cardiff's run to the Carling Cup final as proof that they can handle the pressure.

'That's in the past, you have to take the individual games on their own merit,' he said.

'Last year losing Craig Bellamy against Reading didn't help and against Blackpool the year before they lost a striker who had got a lot of goals for them just 10 minutes in – Jay Bothroyd.

'And Charlie Adam had one of those days where he put the ball in the top corner from 30 yards.

'That's the kind of thing you need to go for you to win a final.

Party time: Cardiff beat Crystal Palace to seal sixth place in the Championship

Party time: Cardiff beat Crystal Palace to seal sixth place in the Championship

'But as far as we're concerned this is a group that has got to a Carling Cup final and taken a club like Liverpool all the way to penalties.

'That shows there's a strength in character here to enable us to handle a two-legged semi-final.'

Former Hammers' defender Mackay, who helped the London club secure promotion via the play-offs in 2005, insists Sam Allardyce's side will start favourites having narrowly missed out on automatic promotion to Southampton.

But the Scot does not believe that means his side have to emerge victorious on home soil if they are to stand a chance of reaching Wembley.

'We have to win the tie. It is not about winning a home game,' he said.

Tough task: Cardiff will take on an in-form West Ham side in the play-offs

Tough task: Cardiff will take on an in-form West Ham side in the play-offs

'Will it be cagey I don't know, I'm not going to second guess how West Ham are going to play.

'Each of us have been better away from home so it will be interesting.

'But it's a 180-minute game of football. Nothing will be decided until 6.15pm on Monday.

'When you get to this stage it is about who is the calmest on the day, who gets that bit of luck, but also who tactically gets it right over the 180 minutes.

'But we are looking forward to it because it's something we've worked towards all season.'

Cardiff 1 Watford 1: Malky Mackay slams "horror" tackle

Cardiff 1 Watford 1: Mackay slams 'horror' tackle after Nosworthy strike seals point

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UPDATED:

21:42 GMT, 9 April 2012

Malky Mackay slammed the 'horrendous' tackle that resulted in Cardiff winger Craig Conway being forced off with a suspected broken ankle.

Conway was sent to hospital in Cardiff on Monday night for X-rays after the challenge by Watford midfielder Jonathan Hogg, and Mackay was fuming following the draw with his former club which kept his side in the final play-off place.

The Cardiff manager said: 'We have sent him for an X-ray and we hope he has not broken his ankle. I thought it was an appalling and horrendous challenge. It was a scissors tackle.

Late show: Nyron Nosworthy (centre) celebrates his equaliser for Watford

Late show: Nyron Nosworthy (centre) celebrates his equaliser for Watford

MATCH FACTS

Cardiff: Marshall, McNaughton, Taylor, Hudson, Turner, Whittingham, Cowie, Conway (Lawrence 38), Gunnarsson, McPhail (Kiss 56), Miller, Lawrence (Earnshaw 79).

Subs Not Used: Heaton, Harris.

Booked: Turner, Marshall, Kiss.

Goals: Miller 45.

Watford: Kuszczak, Dickinson, Taylor, Doyley, Nosworthy, Eustace, Buaben (Iwelumo 78), Murray, Assombalonga (Garner 46), Hogg, Deeney.

Subs Not Used: Loach, Bennett, Whichelow.

Booked: Assombalonga, Hogg, Nosworthy, Doyley.

Goals: Nosworthy 82.

Att: 21,259

Ref: Darren Deadman (Cambridgeshire).

'It was a sending-off for me. I'm disappointed for Craig because he started the game really well.'

The injury added to another
frustrating afternoon at home for Cardiff. Kenny Miller scored his first
goal in 17 appearances – his 150th in his league career – with a
close-range header on the stroke of half-time to put Cardiff ahead.

Mackay said: 'The crowd haven't been
on Kenny's back because they have seen the amount of work he has done
for the team, so it was great to see him score.'

Miller also crashed an effort against
a post after the interval and Cardiff skipper Mark Hudson missed a
sitter from three yards.

But Cardiff's inability to hold on to
a lead struck again when Nyron Nosworthy stabbed home with eight
minutes left to leave the Welsh side without a home win in six matches.

Mackay said: 'If I had been offered me four points from six over the weekend, I'd have been happy.'

Watford manager Sean Dyche said: 'Once we settled, we were excellent and created enough to win the match.

'My players kept believing and that showed immense character.'

Cardiff 0 Hull 3: Promotion dreams hang in the balance as Bluebirds are mauled by Tigers

Cardiff 0 Hull 3: Promotion dreams hang in the balance as Bluebirds are mauled by Tigers

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UPDATED:

22:10 GMT, 13 March 2012

Malky Mackay still insists reaching the Carling Cup final was a positive experience but his Cardiff side are starting to look like a marathon runner who has hit the wall.

Two soft goals at the start of each half saw them fall further behind in the race for promotion. And it is clear that his small squad are running on empty.

This was the 44th game of their season and seven players have appeared in more than 35 of them.

Easy does it: Hull forward Aaron Mclean scores the third

Easy does it: Hull forward Aaron Mclean scores the third

MATCH FACTS

Cardiff: Marshall, McNaughton, Hudson, Turner, Taylor, Cowie (Conway 67), Whittingham, Lawrence, Gunnarsson, Mason, Miller (Earnshaw 73).

Subs Not Used: Heaton, Kiss, Blake.

Booked: Lawrence, Gunnarsson.

Hull: Mannone, Rosenior, Chester, Hobbs, Dawson, Evans, McKenna, Stewart (Dudgeon 66), Koren, Mclean, King (Fryatt 87).

Subs Not Used: Gulacsi, Cairney, Cullen.

Booked: Rosenior.

Goals: McNaughton 6 og, Chester 47, Mclean 55.

Attendance: 20,366

Referee: Graham Scott

The night could not have started worse
for Cardiff. After six minutes Andy Dawson sent over an inswinging
corner that confused Kevin McNaughton so badly that he dived full length
in his own six-yard box to attempt a headed clearance — but instead
only managed to turn it into his own net.

The irony was that Cardiff had only
put their season back on track by winning at Bristol City on Saturday
thanks to two own goals. But Mackay certainly would not have seen the
funny side of lady luck getting even. Against a side who had gone nine
league games without defeat it made a difficult night even tougher.

Since signing goalkeeper Vito Mannone
from Arsenal on loan in January Nicky Barmby’s team had conceded only
three goals — and two of them were against Ipswich on Saturday.

The former Italian Under 21 goalkeeper
certainly was not going to be worried by a Peter Whittingham free kick
which nestled in his outstretched arms.

Battle: Cardiff players Mark Hudson and Ben Turner challenge the Hull defence

Battle: Cardiff players Mark Hudson and Ben Turner challenge the Hull defence

The big worry for Mackay was where a
goal would come from. His veteran striker Kenny Miller had turned into
the Championship’s answer to Fernando Torres having played 1,035 minutes
before last night without scoring. The Scot looked as short of
confidence as Torres too, getting through on goal with 17 minutes gone
before lifting his shot yards wide.

Barmby has been one of the season’s
success stories as a manager since he took over in November when Nigel
Pearson walked out to go back to Leicester.

His side defended well and had a good
balance, with the experience of Slovenian captain Robert Koren pulling
the strings. They had luck on their side too. When Andy Turner rose to
head home Whittingham’s corner before the break it was disallowed for
shirt pulling.

Whatever Mackay said at half time was
undone within 90 seconds as Koren opened up the defence with a perfect
pass for defender James Chester to race forward and score.

For Hull’s third, Koren again did the
damage, helping Aaron McLean spring the offside trap and though David
Marshall saved his first effort, the ball fell kindly for the former
Peterborough striker to score his first league goal since December.

Cardiff 0 West Ham 2: Nolan and McCartney on strike for Hammers

Cardiff 0 West Ham 2: Nolan and McCartney on strike for Hammers

By
Sportsmail Reporter

Last updated at 3:10 PM on 4th March 2012

Kevin Nolan reminded West Ham fans just how valuable he is to their promotion push with the opening goal of a scrappy game in south Wales.

Nolan, who returned from a three-match ban at the Cardiff City Stadium, coolly slotted past David Marshall in the Cardiff goal two minutes before half-time to hand the visiting Hammers an advantage they never surrendered.

It was a rare moment of quality in a match that lacked the fervour and intensity of the home side's previous outing in the Carling Cup final defeat to Liverpool seven days ago.

Hammer time! West Ham celebrate their second with goalscorer McCartney (second left)

Hammer time! West Ham celebrate their second with goalscorer McCartney (second left)

Match facts

Cardiff: Marshall, McNaughton, Hudson, Turner, Taylor, Whittingham, Cowie, Gunnarsson, Mason, Miller, Gestede (Vuckic 35).

Subs not used: Heaton, Kiss, Conway, Blake.

West Ham: Green, O'Brien, Tomkins, Faye, McCartney, Collison, Nolan, Noble, Lansbury (O'Neil 75), Vaz Te, Maynard (Cole 63).

Subs not used: Boffin, Baldock, Potts.

Goals: Nolan 43, McCartney 77.

Attendance: 23,872

Referee: Chris Foy (Merseyside).

In fact, after a bright start, the after-effects of that memorable evening at Wembley seemed to tell in Cardiff's display.

They began the second half sluggishly
and were fortunate not to find themselves three down inside an hour
after Marshall saved well from Nicky Maynard and Mark Hudson backtracked
to prevent Ricardo Vaz Te from tapping in.

The Bluebirds briefly looked like staging a comeback as Peter Whittingham struck the inside of a post from a free-kick.

But they were finished off in the 77th minute with George McCartney beating Marshall from a tight angle.

Cardiff manager Malky Mackay made one
change to the side which so valiantly took Liverpool to penalties, with
goalkeeper Tom Heaton dropping to the bench to make way for Marshall.

The Hammers were boosted by Nolan's return, while Henri Lansbury came into the side for Julien Faubert.

The hosts started the game well and
Kenny Miller went within a whisker of firing a 20-yard effort into the
bottom corner after 13 minutes.

For all Cardiff's early possession, however, West Ham should have taken the lead midway through the first half. Lansbury crossed from the right, Jack Collison nodded the ball across goal and Maynard lashed over.

Opener: Nolan fires home the east Londoners' first

Opener: Nolan fires home the east Londoners' first

Opener: Nolan fires home the east Londoners' first (and below)

Aron Gunnarsson's 25-yard drive
skidded past the left-hand post before the visitors sneaked into the
lead on the stroke of half-time.

Cardiff dallied on the edge of their
own area and Maynard capitalised to feed Nolan, who opened his body up
beautifully to curl a sidefooted effort around Marshall.

West Ham could have made it two after
52 minutes when Nolan won possession in midfield and fed Maynard, but
after hesitating in the box he poked the ball narrowly wide.

It was a worrying passage of play for
Cardiff and Kevin McNaughton cut a relieved figure when his headed
back-pass gifted Maynard a free shot on goal, only for Marshall to get
down well to deny the ex-Bristol City striker.

Cardiff were rocking, but out of nowhere they almost got themselves back on level terms.
Gunnarsson's long throw picked out Hudson, but the City skipper could only head over the bar.

By George! McCartney salutes the fans after doubling the Hammers' lead

By George! McCartney salutes the fans after doubling the Hammers' lead

The Bluebirds went even closer five
minutes later as Whittingham curled a delightful free-kick onto the
left-hand post with Robert Green beaten.

However, with 13 minutes left, the Hammers put themselves out of sight.
McCartney broke down the left and when his cross was not properly
cleared by the Cardiff defence, he fired the rebound beyond Marshall
from an acute angle.

Miller struck the bar from a close-range header in stoppage time, but the game was gone for the home side.

Leicester 2 Cardiff 1: Gallagher at the double to hit Bluebirds" promotion hopes

Leicester 2 Cardiff 1: Gallagher at the double to hit Bluebirds' promotion hopes

Paul Gallagher scored a goal in each half as Cardiff saw their promotion challenge falter at the King Power Stadium.

Malky Mackay's Carling Cup finalists suffered back-to-back league defeats for the first time this season as they followed up last week's 3-1 loss at home to Blackpool with a largely abject display.

Only the inspired form of Cardiff goalkeeper David Marshall kept Leicester at bay until Gallagher – who replaced the suspended Neil Danns in the Foxes' only change – opened the scoring with a penalty four minutes before half-time.

Done deal: Paul Gallagher scores Leicester's second goal from the spot

Done deal: Paul Gallagher scores Leicester's second goal from the spot

MATCH FACTS

Leicester: Schmeichel, Peltier, Mills, St. Ledger, Konchesky, Gallagher (Howard 90), Drinkwater, Wellens, Dyer (Marshall 71), Beckford, Nugent.

Subs Not Used: Logan, Delfouneso, Morgan.

Goals: Gallagher 41 pen, 71.

Cardiff: Marshall, McNaughton, Turner, Gerrard, Taylor, Whittingham, Cowie, Gunnarsson (Kiss 7), Conway, Vuckic (Gestede 46), Miller, Kiss (Mason 65).

Subs Not Used: Parish, Blake.

Booked: Kiss, Cowie.

Goals: Whittingham 77 pen.

Att: 21,375

Ref: Mark Halsey (Lancashire).

Kenny Miller thought he had levelled moments after, only to be denied by the offside flag.

In a quieter second half, Gallagher found the decisive goal with a superb free-kick before Peter Whittingham reduced the arrears from the spot.

Leicester move to within six points of the play-offs, while Cardiff remain fourth but slip five points behind second-placed Southampton.

The hosts started impressively as Jermaine Beckford came within inches of finding the decisive touch on Daniel Drinkwater's cross, before Gallagher sliced wide from Lee Peltier's knockdown.

Cardiff then suffered a setback in the seventh minute as Aron Gunnarsson hobbled off with a suspected groin injury to make way for Filip Kiss, and Mackay's men continued to struggle in finding an answer to Leicester's early momentum.

Beckford engineered space on the right-wing for Gallagher to cross and Richie Wellens aimed an overhead kick, which took a deflection to force a fine save from David Marshall in the Cardiff goal.

Gallagher's delivery was becoming an increasing problem for the visitors and centre backs Sean St Ledger and Matt Mills both went close following set pieces from the former Blackburn man.

Marshall was called into action with half an hour gone to save from Beckford on the angle following some clever interplay with strike partner David Nugent, and moments later the ex-Leeds forward shot wide when Anthony Gerrard misjudged a searching ball from Gallagher.

Wellens produced an excellent half-volley from 30 yards for Marshall to push over at full stretch but, when the midfielder was felled by Kiss, Leicester had the lead they deserved in the 41st minute.

The infringement came from another Gallagher corner and the winger proved himself to be just as effective from the penalty spot, finding the bottom corner.

Cardiff appeared to have found an immediate response, but Miller's delicate lob over Kasper Schmeichel from debutant Haris Vuckic's flick on was ruled out for offside.

It was to be Vuckic's last contribution as he made way for Rudy Gestede at the interval, but the Bluebirds had Marshall to thank once more in the 51st minute as he plunged to his right to tip around the post when Lloyd Dyer teed up Nugent.

Beckford continued to probe industriously and found Marshall in his way following a jinking run after the hour.

However, there was nothing the former Norwich keeper could do in the 71st minute when Gallagher capitalised on a foul by Don Cowie on Dyer to plant a sumptuous 25-yard free-kick into the top corner.

Cardiff were offered a lifeline when Schmeichel fumbled Whittingham's corner and Peltier fouled Gestede in the ensuing panic.
Whittingham stroked home from the spot.

Cardiff 1 Crystal Palace 1: Tom Heaton did his homework

Heaton admits studies paid off after keeper earns Cardiff place in Wembley final

Tom Heaton credited homework and guesswork for the penalty saves that took his Cardiff side to Wembley.

The former Manchester United keeper emerged as the hero for Malky Mackay’s side as he saved from Jermaine Easter and Sean Scannell in a shoot-out won 3-1 by the hosts.

Heaton said: ‘It would have been a travesty if we had lost.

Hero: Tom Heaton celebrates after Cardiff beat Crystal Palace on penalties

Hero: Tom Heaton celebrates after Cardiff beat Crystal Palace on penalties

‘I did my homework so I knew where some of the players may put the penalties, but obviously there’s a bit of guesswork, too. Going into the game we knew we had to keep a clean sheet and we did that.

‘But some of the football we played and the chances we created were fantastic.

‘Getting to the final is massive, it’s something to look forward to — but we want to win the game. Who do we want to face in the final, Manchester City of Liverpool Either.

'We'll look forward to the game but we'll try to win the game. We won't just be there for the day out.

Spot on: Heaton saves from Jermaine Easter (above) and Sean Scannell (below)

Spot on: Heaton saves from Jermaine Easter (above) and Sean Scannell (below)

Spot on: Heaton saves from Crystal Palace's Jermaine Easter (above) and from Sean Scannell (below)

'[There are] two great teams in the other semi-final but I think we've got enough about us in this team with the players and the management that we can go and get a result.'

Mackay said: ‘We’ve been at this stage before in this competition and the boys who took the penalties had nerves of steel.

‘Tom Heaton has been our cup keeper and, with some of the blame on him after the goal in the first leg, maybe there was a bit of justice tonight.’

Speaking on the BBC, former Liverpool defender Alan Hansen said: ‘Plaudits to Crystal Palace, they battled well but Cardiff were the better team.

‘Mackay kept faith with Heaton, but ultimately he’s the hero.’

Meanwhile, Cardiff boss Mackay reflected on a 'fine night's work' after watching his Cardiff side book a place in the Carling Cup final.

Oops: Anthony Gardner (right) scored an own goal to level the tie

Oops: Anthony Gardner (right) scored an own goal to level the tie

He said: 'I was delighted with the way we went about our business. I was very proud of them. We started the game on fire.

'The early goal calmed everything down and allowed us to probe. It calmed the crowd down and let them attack the game. It was a fine night's work.

'When Aron Gunnarsson hit the bar with the last header of the tie you do think it may be one of those evenings.

'It's obviously a lottery when it goes to penalty kicks but I had great belief in their ability and spirit to keep going.

'I'm delighted for the group of players, I'm delighted for the football club tonight.

'You look all the way through the competition, from Oxford when we had 10 players missing through international duty to tonight where it was always going to be tough, we've shown character and spirit.

'Tonight another little bit of history has been made for this football club.

'It's terrific for everyone at the football club and everyone should embrace it.'

Thought he'd won it: Gunnarsson heads the ball against the crossbar

Thought he'd won it: Gunnarsson heads the ball against the crossbar

Mackay reserved special praise for Heaton, who made the most of his moment in spotlight to capture the headlines.

Heaton has played second fiddle to first-choice stopper David Marshall for much of Cardiff's league campaign but has started six of the Bluebirds' seven Carling Cup clashes.

And Mackay was pleased the former Manchester United man, who was blamed for Palace's goal in the first leg at Selhurst Park a fortnight ago, took his chance once again.

'He knew this was his competition, I told him that all the way through,' he said.

'He probably had a little bit of criticism after the goal in the first leg but I'm delighted for him tonight.

'He's someone who's got great character about him and he's one of the leaders in the dressing room and he thoroughly deserves the accolades tonight.'

Palace boss Dougie Freedman expressed his pride at the way his players dealt with the dismissal of McCarthy to force the match to penalties.

End of the road: Crystal Palace players look dejected after their defeat

End of the road: Crystal Palace players look dejected after their defeat

Freedman was left devastated after Sean Scannell and Jermaine Easter were thwarted from the spot by Heaton before Parr blazed over, but he paid tribute to the 'never-say-die' mentality evident amongst his matchday squad.

He said: 'It was a fantastic physical effort. I felt we were asked a lot of questions which we answered. We dug in and I felt we grew into the game.

'The sending-off was disappointing but the response – you could not ask much more as a manager.

'The pride we've shown and the desire to work hard for each other and the commitment to each other was second to none and I'm really proud of that.

'I'm disappointed short-term, but long-term I think we can take a lot from that. We can take a lot from the challenge and the way we responded to it.

'I thought we were prepared and up for the challenge and we came close tonight.

'I think we won a lot of hearts tonight. It was a great cup tie and overall it was a very well-played game. It just wasn't to be.

'With the physical output we had to put out in the game, it's difficult to compose yourself and slot the penalties.'