Belfast Telegraph

Cardiff beat Hull to keep pressure on Wolves

Cardiff kept the pressure on Championship leaders Wolves with a 1-0 victory over Hull.

Bluebirds captain Sol Bamba scored a decisive header after 57 minutes to maintain their six-match unbeaten run.

Wolves had opened up a seven-point lead at the top of the table on Friday but Neil Warnock's side closed the gap.

Hull remain 19th, just five points clear of the relegation zone after Nigel Adkins' first defeat since taking charge.

Kenneth Zohore was still missing for Cardiff, while Danny Ward had undergone knee surgery and Omar Bogle was only fit enough to start on the substitutes' bench.

Neil Warnock therefore handed a start to Anthony Pilkington, who had not played a single minute of Championship football this season before the first whistle.

It was Hull who had the early chances to break the deadlock. Cardiff goalkeeper Neil Etheridge spilled a Kamil Grosicki free-kick, but Michael Hector failed to capitalise with a weak effort.

Nouha Dicko then snuck in behind the Cardiff defence and poked an effort against the post from a narrow angle and the hosts survived.

Lee Tomlin looked like he was going to be the man to find Cardiff's creative spark when he stung the hands of Allan McGregor after linking up with Junior Hoilett down the left flank.

He saw another shot sail over the crossbar after 42 minutes as a lacklustre first half came to a close.

But the deadlock was finally broken 12 minutes into the second period thanks to Cardiff captain Bamba.

Tomlin found himself in space and swung an inch-perfect cross onto the head of Pilkington, who flicked the ball on. Bamba was the first to sense danger and got goal-side of Ola Aina to head past McGregor and send Cardiff into the lead.

Cardiff had won all 11 matches in which they had scored the first goal and they never looked like surrendering their hard-fought advantage.

Hull did have an opportunity to even things up, but defender Ondrej Mazuch only found the gloves of Etheridge after substitute Jarrod Bowen's effort was blocked.

And the Bluebirds held on to continue their march towards the Premier League thanks to Championship veterans Warnock and Bamba.

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