Charlton Athletic 3 Cardiff City 0: Bluebirds shot down by in-form Iwelumo

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The Independent Online

Booed off the field after succumbing to struggling Queens Park Rangers in their last home appearance, Alan Pardew's side left with enthusiastic applause ringing in their ears after a comfortable victory over wobbling Cardiff lifted them back into second place in the Championship.

Cardiff, where the manager, Dave Jones, may find himself vulnerable after watching his team slide towards the more perilous end of the table, might consider themselves unfortunate, being denied what looked a clear penalty at the end of the first half, when the contest was still goalless.

But Charlton then scored twice in first-half stoppage time and a third goal 10 minutes from the end ultimately reflected the gap between the sides, in confidence if not ability although they benefited enormously from having the passing skills of Andy Reid at their disposal.

Jones insists he remains the man for the job but his plea for club chairmen across the Leagues to display more patience than is becoming customary with beleaguered managers suggests he is worried about his future.

"Twelve months ago I was being begged not to leave, now people are asking if I'm the right man," he said. "I'm not making a plea for more time. If the people [at the club] are not happy they will make the decision.

"But it is about time that clubs stuck with people and made them deliver. The League is littered with teams losing managers and having to start again."

Jones will hope that it is only yesterday's match that may be seen to have turned on the referee, Mike Jones's decision not to give a penalty against Charlton's Jonathan Fortune. The defender appeared clearly to bring down Steve Thompson, whose form after being chosen ahead of an out-of-sorts Robbie Fowler, was one of the few things that went right for Cardiff.

Cardiff then shot themselves in the foot. The defender, Sam Sodje, punished them for failing to clear their six-yard box after a deflected free-kick. Then Chris Iwelumo swept home his third goal in as many games after Darren Purse's attempt to hook away a long through-ball fell into the striker's path as he raced into the visitors' penalty area.

Any hopes of salvaging anything from the match were extinguished in the 80th minute when disorganised marking allowed Zheng Zhi a free header at the edge of the six-yard box.

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