Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting TANEWS to 80360, or email
Craig Bellamy rocket helps Cardiff continue hoodoo over Leeds United
Cardiff City 2, Leeds United 1
Leeds boss Neil Warnock was left to reflect on the impact an early injury to key striker Ross McCormack had on his side’s chances as they lost to Craig Bellamy-inspired Cardiff.
Former Bluebirds player McCormack twisted his ankle in the third minute following a challenge by Jordon Mutch and was carried off on a stretcher.
Cardiff went on to establish a two-goal lead through second-half strikes by Bellamy and Peter Whittingham.
And although a Rodolph Austin free-kick reply sent up a tense finish, Leeds were unable to complete the recovery.
Warnock said: “I thought we deserved a point but to lose Ross McCormack after three minutes was hard. He’s our only Bellamy.
“Ross has twisted his ankle quite severely. I don’t think there is any break but we can’t tell yet because of the swelling. I’d imagine he’ll be out for a few weeks.”
Warnock added: “It was a fantastic goal by Bellamy but we were very disappointed with the free-kick that was given.
“Michael Tonge pulled out of the tackle but he (Nicky Maynard) has gone down and the referee has given the free-kick. We should have had the wall better and were naive.”
Bellamy, back in the squad following a calf injury, stepped off the substitutes’ bench in the 64th minute and rifled home a curling free-kick to break the deadlock three minutes later.
Whittingham coolly slotted home from the spot in the 73rd minute after Leeds defender Tom Lees had scythed down Cardiff striker Maynard.
Jamaica international Austin fired home a 30-yard thunderbolt for Leeds with 13 minutes left but Malky Mackay’s side held on to secure their third Championship win of the season.
It meant Leeds have not beaten Cardiff since a 1-0 win at Ninian Park back in February 1984 and they have now failed to get the better of their Welsh rivals in 14 meetings.
New loan signing Tonge made his Leeds debut in central midfield, while Luke Varney replaced Scotland international McCormack after his early exit.
Varney’s close-range effort was blocked by Cardiff defender Kevin McNaughton soon after and Leeds teenager Sam Byram, playing in midfield, saw his header comfortably held by home goalkeeper David Marshall.
Warnock sent on striker El-Hadji Diouf for defender Adam Drury at the start of the second half.
Goalkeeper Paddy Kenny held Tommy Smith’s 25-yard effort and caught defender Mark Hudson’s close-range header as Cardiff chased the game’s opening goal, which Bellamy provided.
Tonge was booked for a nasty challenge on Maynard 20 yards from goal and Bellamy curled the subsequent free-kick beyond Kenny and into the top corner.
Cardiff doubled their advantage six minutes later when England under-21 defender Lees cut down Maynard in the area and Whittingham side-footed the resulting penalty into the bottom corner.
Leeds hauled themselves back into the game when Austin blasted home a low free-kick from 30 yards following Aron Gunnarsson’s foul on Varney.
And defender Lee Peltier almost snatched a point for the visitors in the 87th minute but headed over the bar.