Cardiff City 2 Wolverhampton 3: Cardiff lack home comfort as Wolves climb to third

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The Independent Online

Wolves marched into third place in the Championship last night with a gutsy victory that shows they may just have the legs for this most demanding of courses. Mick McCarthy's men courageously fought back from a half-time deficit to pile further torment on Cardiff.

This was the fourth home league defeat out of six for the Welshmen who are starting to look a rather easy touch in their supposedly hostile backyard. McCarthy would have been especially pleased that his young side not only had the gumption to come back but also to overcome the sight of the names of Messrs Robbie Fowler and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink on the first-half scoresheet.

Fowler was put clear on goal in the ninth minute, courtesy of a most glorious dummy by his striking partner, but failed even to hit the target. In the 25th minute he was able to make amends from the penalty spot after Karl Henry crudely capsized Paul Parry.

Twelve minutes previous, the visitors had taken the lead when Michael Kightly applied the tap-in to Andy Keogh's centre following some neat footwork from Jay Bothroyd. That was well worked, but not nearly as well-worked as Hasselbaink's side-footed piece of footballing simplicity in the 29th minute. First Parry danced on the flank; then Fowler cut it back; then the Dutchman nonchalantly pushed it past Wayne Hennessey. "Conceived in the Premiership, executed in the Championship," summed up McCarthy. "Fowler's touch was sublime."

Unfortunately for Dave Jones his defenders are currently operating many rungs below that level. If Kightly's second goal on the 66th minute was easily conceded then Jody Craddock's winner eight minutes later was an absolute give-away. The centre-half rose above non-existent markers to head home Bothroyd's corner, and although Cardiff pushed the excellent Hennessey was equal to their efforts.

Cardiff City (4-4-2): Oakes; McNaughton, Purse, Loovens, Capaldi; Parry, McPhail, Rae, Ledley (Sinclair, 83); Fowler (Thompson, 67), Hasselbaink (MacLean, 74). Substitutes not used: Forde, Johnson.

Wolverhampton (4-4-2): Hennessey; Foley, Craddock, D Ward, Collins, Kightly, Olofinjana, Henry, Gibson (S Ward, 46); Bothroyd (Potter, 89), Keogh (Eastwood, 50). Substitutes not used: Little, Stack.

Referee: P Taylor (Hertfordshire).

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