Cardiff book play-off place with win over relegated Hull


A fine performance and a thumping three nil win over Hull City saw Cardiff book their place in the Championship play-offs.

For Hull it was the final act of their demoralising season and confirmed their demotion to League One. Nottingham Forest’s defeat to Stoke and Swansea’s win against Reading means that both South Wales clubs are still in with a chance of returning to the Premier League.

Cardiff needed only a draw to seal their position in the top six but showed their hunger to win from the very start. With just five minutes played Robert Glatzel unleashed a vicious shot from twenty yards only for it to be parried away by George Long the Hull keeper.

Cardiff played with real confidence. There was some lovely interplay in midfield and they used the wings well. It was really only a matter of when they would score.

On nineteen minutes Junior Hoilett chested the ball down and made a fine solo run down the left into the box before smashing it into the bottom corner. It was a powerful demonstration of the Bluebirds’ intent and ability.

Hull should have had a penalty. Mallik Wilks turned inside Joe Bennett, the left back stuck his leg out and there was definitely contact. Nothing was given. The Tigers can feel aggrieved not to have been back on equal terms.

Both side then had good chances, Wilks and Tom Eaves linking well for Hull. But Cardiff broke away from their attack and again worked down the wing. From the ensuing corner Sean Morison made it two nil with a firm header to give Neil Harris’ team control of the match.

Hull started much more brightly in the second half. Wilks came close, a swivel and a volley to the bottom corner only for the shot to be saved by the Cardiff keeper Alex Smithies.

The Tigers roared, but not for long and you just knew they didn’t have enough to compete. Cardiff made sure of the win in the 82nd minute. Bennett’s free kick was bounced off the keeper only for the substitute Danny Ward to follow up.

In his programme notes the Cardiff manager Neil Harris said, ‘Now is the time for calm heads, to play with freedom and to deliver quality again when it’s needed.’ At the final whistle there were no wild celebrations only commiserations to Hull.

Harris and his men know they have won nothing yet, only a difficult game against Fulham on Monday night. Now indeed is the time for ‘calm heads.’

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