Cardiff City 4-2 Watford
MALKY MACKAY`S brave Hornets finally suffered defeat yesterday at the hands of Cardiff City after a run of seven league and cup wins on the bounce. The Bluebirds claimed all three against the Goldenboys to move back up to second place after a wobble.
The home side took a three nil lead before goals from Will Buckley and Marvin Sordell put the Hornets right back in the game until and 83rd minute strike from substitute Gabor Gyepes sealed the win for Dave Jones` side.
Skipper John Eustace and fellow midfielder Don Cowie missed out meaning that Spurs` young winger Andros Townsend made his debut on loan for the Goldenboys whilst fellow loanee Andreas Weimann started on the bench.
Cardiff were able to re-call the combined talents of Jay Bothroyd and Welsh cap, Craig Bellamy. Both had missed the clash at Vicarage Road back in December.
It took the hosts just 14 minutes to make the breakthrough at the Cardiff City Stadium, talismanic forward Craig Bellamy registering his return from injury with his sixth goal for the club since joining on-loan from Manchester City.
Picked out by a long-ball from Peter Whittingham, Bellamy slammed an effort into Dale Bennett before half-volleying home at the near post.
The second came just three minutes later and through former Hornet`s loanee, Michael Chopra.
After Seyi George Olofinjana used his muscle to win the ball in midfield Jay Bothroyd picked up the attack and as Chopra buzzed between Bennett and Doyley he slipped a perfect ball into Chopra who coolly slid into the bottom right-hand corner.
It was three just after the half hour as Bothroyd himself got in on the act, crowning his return from injury with a goal as well as an assist.
Given too much time and space on the edge of the area Bothroyd cleverly controlled a bobbling pass from Whittingham before firing a half volley past Loach with ease from the edge of the area to seemingly secure the points.
However the Bluebirds had not counted on a spirited Hornets fight back. Will Buckley grabbing the Goldenboys first on the comeback trail.
A long throw from the right was flicked on to an unmarked Buckley who waited for the ball to come down before side-footing a cushioned effort home from 12 yards.
Malky Mackay`s men grabbed themselves a quick second through Marvin Sordell. It was an opportunistic strike from the young forward who curled home from the right-hand edge of the area and into the top corner taking advantage of Tom Heaton`s unfortunate slip.
Despite immense Watford pressure, with Will Buckley chief tormenter having had one disallowed and hitting the inside of the Cardiff post, it was City who grabbed the decisive final goal through Hungarian defender Gabor Gyepes.
The substitute who had replaced Lee Naylor in the first half stabbed home from loanee Jay Emmanuel-Thomas` cross at the second attempt.
Attentions switch to the F.A Cup now with League One leaders Brighton standing between Watford and the fifth round; a good chance for the Goldenboys to get back on the victory trail.
Cardiff City: Heaton; Quinn, McNaughton, Hudson, Naylor (Gyepes); Whittingham (Rae), Olofinjana, Emmanuel-Thomas, Bellamy; Bothroyd (Burke) and Chopra.
Subs not used: Marshall (gk); Keogh, Parkin and Blake.
Watford: Loach; Mariappa (c), Bennett (Hodson), Taylor, Doyley; Jenkins; Townsend (Whichelow), McGinn, Buckley, Sordell and Graham.
Subs not used: Gilmartin (gk); Walker, Deeney, Weimann and Mingoia.
Attendance: 20 059
Referee: Mr S J Tanner