Thompson inflicts a painful end on Cardiff

Cardiff City 1 Burnley 1
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The Independent Football

This could be Steve Thompson's final contribution of the season, but it will be one he will cherish after his late equaliser punched a small dent in his former club Cardiff City's promotion hopes.

Cardiff were on course to trim Queen's Park Rangers' advantage at the Championship summit to just three points until Thompson rose highest to divert Ross Wallace's 82nd-minute corner past Tom Heaton and salvage a point for Burnley.

Thompson is set for a groin operation next month to cure a long-standing problem, but the 32-year-old striker, who left the Welsh capital in 2008, did not let his injury concerns affect him as his leveller haunted his ex-Cardiff team-mates and manager Dave Jones.

"Thommo is a happy man," beamed the Burnley manager, Eddie Howe. "He did ever so well when he came on and took his goal really well. His all-round game, professionalism and attitude have been first-class and his performances have been excellent – it's just a shame he has this operation over his head at the beginning of March.

"Steve has an infection in his groin and he needs to get it sorted. But we are delighted the surgeons can't get together until then because he would have to go under the knife as soon as possible.

"The goal is a great reward for Steve. He has pushed himself through the pain barrier and he will be delighted to have scored against his former club. It's special for him. It's surprising how often that happens in football. It was a great delivery from the corner and it was a good finish."

Thompson's effort was nothing less than Howe's side deserved for a composed display despite falling behind to Michael Chopra's first-half goal. Chopra had already struck Lee Grant's crossbar in the seventh minute before the striker beat the offside trap in added time at the end of the first period to slam Jay Bothroyd's cross past the Burnley goalkeeper. But Thompson had the final say when he went through the pain barrier to flick home Wallace's set-piece with eight minutes remaining.

For Cardiff, Jones said: "We are disappointed with the goal we conceded and it was the only time we switched off in the match."

Cardiff City (4-4-2): Heaton; Quinn (Blake, 67), Hudson, Keinan, McNaughton; Whittingham, Olofinjana, Ramsey, Burke (Koumas, 78); Chopra (Bellamy, 67), Bothroyd. Substitutes not used Marshall, McPhail, Parkin, Emmanuel-Thomas.

Burnley (4-1-4-1): Grant; Mears, Duff, Carlisle, Fox; Wallace, Cork, Marney (Alexander, 90), Rodriguez (Thompson, 74); Eagles; Iwelumo (Austin, 67). Substitutes not used Jensen, Alexander, Elliott, Bartley, Bikey.

Referee R East (Wiltshire).