Report: Cardiff City 1-0 Wednesday
The Cardiff City Stadium
2/12/12 - 3pm
Wednesday battled hard against high-flying Cardiff City on Sunday but their efforts could not prevent a sixth defeat on the spin on boss Dave Jones's return to his former club.
Craig Conway struck the winner ten minutes from time to make it ten wins from as many home matches for the Bluebirds, who moved to the top of the Championship following the win and kept Wednesday in the bottom three.
The visitors, who went into the match on the back of five straight defeats and with questions over the future of Jones at the Hillsborough helm, put up good resistance to the Cardiff pressure for the most part, and even had chances to nick a goal at the other end, but could not hold out for a point.
Jones made a number of changes to the side that got thrashed 4-1 on home soil against Watford in midweek. Chris O'Grady returned to the attack while David Prutton was a shock inclusion in midfield, as was Danny Mayor.
The Bluebirds, with the carrot of a place at the top of the table hanging in front of them with three points, started well and Andrew Taylor fired an effort over Chris Kirkland's bar early on.
Wednesday's response came from a set-piece following a foul on O'Grady in a dangerous position at the edge of the box but defender Miguel Llera directed his effort straight into the Cardiff wall.
The hosts went on to enjoy the bulk of the possession and Wednesday had to be well organised at the back. Martin Taylor, who has come in for his fair amount of criticism for his performances following his switch from Watford, had arguably his best game in an Owls shirt as he led the visitors' back line well for the most part.
Wednesday had to be on-song at the back - City were ploughing forward in numbers in search for the opener and Jordon Mutch tested Kirkland with one effort.
The hosts were being limited to half-chances and long-range efforts, however, and Jones will have pleased at the way his side limited his former club going into the half-time interval.
The Owls also had to contend with the loss of Mamady Sidibe through injury, with the on-loan Stoke City man coming off just after the half-hour mark to be replaced by Gary Madine.
The momentum continued to be firmly in Cardiff's favour of the restart with Heidar Helguson and Craig Bellamy causing the Owls' defence plenty of problems with their pace and experience.
The duo carved out an early chance in the second half but they could not test Kirkland.
As the match wore on Wednesday could well sense a chance to hit their hosts, pushing more men forward in search of that decisive goal, on the break and they were unfortunate not to do just that.
Mayor put Madine in but last season's top-scorer saw his shot comfortably saved by Cardiff goalkeeper David Marshall. It was a good opportunity for Wednesday and one they should have done better with given chances were at a premium.
The Bluebirds, now playing in red as their home colour, were still a threat and substitute Rudy Gestede almost made the perfect introduction when he came on to replace Helguson but directed his header wide.
Wednesday only had ten minutes to hold out when City grabbed a cruel winner. Conway was given the time at the edge of the box to drill home for the hosts and leave the Owls with nothing to show for their efforts.
The visitors did have a couple of chances from corner kicks late on, with Kirkland coming forward on one occasion and heading towards goal only for the referee to blow for a foul.
Full-Time: Cardiff 1-0 Wednesday
Cardiff: Marshall, Taylor, Hudson, Turner, Connolly, Whittingham, Conway, Bo-Kyung (Mason 60), Mutch (Gunnarsson 79), Helguson (Gestede 70), Bellamy. Subs: Lewis, McNaughton, Cowie, Gunnarsson, Lappin, Gestede, Mason.
Wednesday: Kirkland, Buxton, Taylor, Llera, Antonio, Lines, Mayor (J Johnson 64), Helan, Prutton, O'Grady (Rodri 86), Sidibe (Madine 33). Subs: Bywater, D Jones, J Johnson, McCabe, Lee, Madine, Rodri.
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