Cardiff City 1-1 Blackburn Rovers
FORMER Cardiff City striker Rudy Gestede hit a late leveller for Blackburn to deny Russell Slade his first win in seven games, as it finished all-square at Cardiff City Stadium.
Sean Morrison’s 84th minute header looked to have secured all three points for the home side, but Gestede’s 90th minute equaliser meant the spoils were shared, despite a spirited home performance.
And Slade was full for praise for his side after the game. He said:“We had good periods of control tonight and when we got that goal in the 84th minute we thought it might be enough.
“The only time in the game when we haven’t defended well was in conceding that late goal.
New boy Eoin Doyle started alongside Kenwyne Jones in attack on just his second start, going close on 16 minutes only to be denied by Matt Kilgallon’s goal line block.
Slade added: “We went with two strikers today and looked to play with a higher tempo. There were good partnerships all over the pitch for us tonight.”
Cardiff produced a last-ditch clearance of their own when Sean Morrison scrambled away Josh King’s effort.
The home side again had the impressive Morrison to thank after the restart, when his brave tackle prevented King from scoring after a marvellous solo run.
Kenywne Jones saw a headed effort of his own fly just wide, after good work by Matthew Kennedy on the right, before Kennedy’s curling shot was saved by Rovers’ ‘keeper Jason Steele.
Icelandic midfielder Aaron Gunnarson almost capped off a fine Cardiff move on 66 minutes but sliced his strike past the post.
The visitors were then a whisker away from delivering the sucker-punch on 75 minutes when Chris Taylor’s cross was directed agonisingly wide by King.
Sean Morrison then looked to have won the game for Cardiff when he nodded in Peter Whittingham’s corner six minutes from time.
But the lead did not last long as King, the stand-out performer for the Gary Bowyer’s visitors saw his effort stopped on the line from Markus Olsson’s cross, only for Gestede to hammer home the equaliser.
But Bowyer will be content with a point for his side, as the play-off chasers remain 8th.
But the pressure will only increase on his opposite number Slade who watched his side turn in a better display than last week’s stalemate with Brighton, only for them to stay in 15th, just seven points above the drop zone.
“We thoroughly deserved the three points tonight but if we continue in this way and our attitude is right then we can get good results,” said Slade.
Cardiff (4-4-2): Marshall 6/10; Peltier 7, Manga 7, Morrison 8, Malone 6 (Connolly 90, 6); Noone 5, Gunnarsson 6 (Adeyemi 80, 6), Whittingham 6, Kennedy 7; Doyle 7 (Revell 72, 6), Jones 6.
Unused subs: Moore, Ralls, O’Keefe, Harriis.
Goal: Morrison (84)
Blackburn (4-4-2): Steele 6; Henley 6, Kilgallon 6, Hanley 5, Olsson 5; Taylor 6 (Brown 88, 6), Cairney 7, Evans 6 (Spearing 53, 6), Conway 5; Gestede 7, King 7.
Unused subs: Eastwood, Spurr, Duffy, Williamson, Rhodes.
Goal: Gestede (90)
Referee: Brendan Malone