Cardiff City 1 Leicester City 1 match report: Malky Mackay backs Cardiff spirit in battle to go up to Premier League

Championship leaders held in Wales

Click to follow
The Independent Football

Malky Mackay, the Cardiff manager, was relieved at seeing his side escape with a late point following another stuttering display on their journey towards what they hope will be promotion to the Premier League.

The home side required a header from substitute Rudy Gestede three minutes into added time to cancel out Michael Keane's opener for Leicester. But Mackay praised the Championship leaders for salvaging an unlikely point to extend their lead to four points with a game in hand over second-placed Hull.

Mackay, whose side have picked up just five points from their last five matches, said: "To get a goal is relief when you are a goal down with a few minutes to go. But it was just reward for the way the team kept fighting to the end. We had a never-say-die attitude to knocking on the door.

"There are no givens in this division and I don't expect any between now and the end of the season. You only need to look at the results in other areas to see that everyone is cutting each others' throats. It's a dangerous division.

"But what pleases me about my team is they fight to the very end no matter what. We're still picking up points. You've got to work for every point and we've added another towards our total with one game less," he added.

Vincent Tan, Cardiff's Malaysian billionaire owner, watched on as the Welsh side laboured for long spells of this hard-fought contest. The hosts suffered a blow when captain Mark Hudson failed to return at the start of the second half following an ankle injury.

That unsettled the home side who had David Marshall to thank when the Scotland goalkeeper produced a reflex save to thwart Chris Wood from close-range. Cardiff substitute Kevin McNaughton clipped the top of the crossbar with a speculative cross before Keane broke the deadlock in the 72nd minute.

Less than 60 seconds earlier, the Manchester United loanee hit the post from Andy King's corner before nodding home past Marshall from Sean St Ledger's cross.

But the Foxes were denied in the dying seconds as Gestede rose highest to power Andrew Taylor's centre beyond Kasper Schmeichel, which Leicester manager Nigel Pearson labelled as "cruel" on his players.

Pearson added: "We deserved to win the game as we were much the better side. It was a bit cruel on the players bearing in mind how late it was but this is never an easy place to come to."

Cardiff City (4-5-1): Marshall; Connolly, Hudson (McNaughton, 46), B Nugent, Taylor; Conway (Gestede, 70), Whittingham, Smith, Gunnarsson, Noone (Bellamy, 46); Campbell.

Leicester City (4-4-2): Schmeichel; St Ledger, Morgan, Keane, Schlupp; Dyer, Drinkwater, King, Wellens (Kane, 63); D Nugent, 81), Wood (Waghorn,89).

Referee N Miller (Co Durham).