Cardiff City stretched their unbeaten run to seven games and maintained their play-off push with a hard fought win at Barnsley.

On-loan midfielder Liam Lawrence netted the only goal of the game after 69 minutes, scoring with a header from Andrew Taylor's cross.

Peter Whittingham had gone close with a free-kick for the visitors during a dour opening 45 minutes.

Barnsley had plenty of possession but created very little in a scrappy game.

Chances were few and far during the opening 25 minutes with David Button safely gathering Kenny Miller's scuffed shot before Barnsley's Michael Tonge dragged a 20-yard effort wide.

Mackay hails 'hard-earned' win

The hosts were beginning to look the more likely to break the deadlock and Frank Nouble tested David Marshall when he escaped down the left, but his effort was easily snaffled by the Cardiff keeper.

But Barnsley could not sustain their pressure and Aron Gunnarsson stung the palms of Button with a low drive before Peter Whittingham curled a free-kick just wide.

Cardiff's first opening came within 30 seconds of the restart when Don Cowie exchanged passes with Miller but his left-footed effort was no concern for Button

Nouble then headed over a Jim O'Brien cross for the hosts from eight yards out but Barnsley could not convert their pressure into chances.

And it was Cardiff who broke the deadlock on 69 minutes with Lawrence, on-loan from Portsmouth, scoring his first goal for the Bluebirds.

Left-back Taylor advanced down the left and delivered an inviting cross for Lawrence to nod back across goal and into the bottom corner.

Ben Turner somehow poked over from close range as the Bluebirds continued to press, but they saw out the remaining time with ease.

The victory sees Cardiff move two points off seventh-placed Middlesbrough with three games to go while Barnsley are only eight points above the relegation zone.

Lineup, Bookings (2) & Substitutions (6)

Barnsley

  • 25 Button
  • 06 Foster
  • 14 Wiseman
  • 15 McNulty
  • 23 Collins
  • 05 Doyle
  • 08 O'Brien
  • 11 Perkins
  • 28 Tonge (Gray - 75' )
  • 21 Nouble (Davies - 75' )
  • 24 Noble-Lazarus (Cotterill - 59' )

Substitutes

  • 07 Dawson
  • 17 Cotterill
  • 09 Davies
  • 18 Higginbotham
  • 27 Gray

Cardiff City

  • 01 Marshall
  • 02 McNaughton Booked
  • 03 Taylor
  • 05 Hudson
  • 25 Turner
  • 07 Whittingham
  • 08 Cowie (McPhail - 55' )
  • 13 Lawrence Booked
  • 17 Gunnarsson (Blake - 82' )
  • 09 Miller
  • 20 Mason (Earnshaw - 86' )

Substitutes

  • 22 Heaton
  • 23 Blake
  • 27 Harris
  • 37 McPhail
  • 10 Earnshaw
Ref: Geoff Eltrigham
Att: 9,122

Match Stats

Shots

3 7

On target

1 4

Corners

5 8

Fouls

11 10

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +4:00 Full time

Full Time The game is over, as the referee blows his whistle.

90:00 +2:42

Robert Earnshaw is ruled offside. David Button takes the indirect free kick.

90:00 +1:44

Unfair challenge on Robert Earnshaw by Stephen Foster results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Stephen McPhail.

90:00 +0:53

The free kick is swung in right-footed by Nathan Doyle, Peter Whittingham makes a clearance.

90:00 +0:53 Booking

Booking Liam Lawrence goes into the book.

90:00 +0:36

Mark Hudson gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Andy Gray.

89:39

Corner taken short by Liam Lawrence.

88:52

Robert Earnshaw challenges Jimmy McNulty unfairly and gives away a free kick. Nathan Doyle restarts play with the free kick.

85:28 Substitution

Substitution Robert Earnshaw replaces Joe Mason.

83:41

The assistant referee signals for offside against Joe Mason. Scott Wiseman takes the indirect free kick.

82:47

Free kick awarded for a foul by Kenny Miller on Stephen Foster. Nathan Doyle restarts play with the free kick.

82:20 Booking

Booking Booking for Kevin McNaughton for dissent.

81:14

Unfair challenge on David Cotterill by Kevin McNaughton results in a free kick. Indirect free kick taken by David Button.

81:14 Substitution

Substitution Darcy Blake on for Aron Gunnarsson.

81:14

Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Peter Whittingham from the right by-line,

78:08

The assistant referee flags for offside against Andy Gray. Indirect free kick taken by David Marshall.

76:37

Foul by Jimmy McNulty on Joe Mason, free kick awarded. Peter Whittingham takes the free kick.

74:50 Substitution

Substitution Michael Tonge goes off and Andy Gray comes on.

74:50 Substitution

Substitution (Barnsley) makes a substitution, with Craig Davies coming on for Frank Nouble.

74:07

Inswinging corner taken by Peter Whittingham, Shot from deep inside the area by Ben Turner clears the bar.

73:20

Peter Whittingham takes a inswinging corner from the right by-line played to the near post, Stephen Foster makes a clearance.

70:31

Stephen Foster gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Mark Hudson. Indirect free kick taken by David Marshall.

69:51

Corner taken right-footed by Jim O'Brien, clearance made by Mark Hudson.

68:33

Assist by Andrew Taylor.

68:33 Goal scored

Goal! - Liam Lawrence - Barnsley 0 - 1 Cardiff Liam Lawrence finds the back of the net with a headed goal from inside the box. Barnsley 0-1 Cardiff.

65:29

A cross is delivered by Scott Wiseman, David Marshall makes a save.

57:59 Substitution

Substitution David Cotterill on for Reuben Noble-Lazarus.

57:59

Corner taken left-footed by Reuben Noble-Lazarus from the right by-line to the near post, Jimmy McNulty challenges Andrew Taylor unfairly and gives away a free kick. David Marshall takes the free kick.

55:46

Liam Lawrence decides to take a short corner.

54:58 Substitution

Substitution Stephen McPhail replaces Don Cowie.

54:10

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Jim O'Brien by Don Cowie. Nathan Doyle restarts play with the free kick.

51:35

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Ben Turner by Michael Tonge. David Marshall takes the indirect free kick.

47:48

Jim O'Brien delivers the ball, Headed effort from deep inside the penalty area by Frank Nouble misses to the left of the goal.

47:16

Aron Gunnarsson gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Lee Collins. Jimmy McNulty crosses the ball in from the free kick, clearance made by Ben Turner.

46:14

Foul by Joe Mason on Jimmy McNulty, free kick awarded. Indirect free kick taken by David Button.

45:17

Don Cowie takes a shot. Save by David Button.

45:01

The second half has started.

45:00 +1:17 Half time

Half Time The referee blows for half time.

45:00 +0:06

Aron Gunnarsson fouled by Stephen Foster, the ref awards a free kick. Direct effort from the free kick comes in from Peter Whittingham.

43:28

Michael Tonge gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Peter Whittingham. Free kick crossed left-footed by Peter Whittingham from left channel, Jimmy McNulty manages to make a clearance.

35:57

Mark Hudson fouled by Jimmy McNulty, the ref awards a free kick. David Marshall takes the free kick.

35:27

Corner taken by Michael Tonge from the left by-line, Mark Hudson manages to make a clearance.

35:07

Aron Gunnarsson takes a shot. Save by David Button.

34:08

Stephen Foster fouled by Kenny Miller, the ref awards a free kick. David Button takes the free kick.

32:32

Free kick awarded for a foul by Lee Collins on Liam Lawrence. Direct free kick taken by Peter Whittingham.

31:33

Corner taken right-footed by Liam Lawrence, Ben Turner has a headed effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the right of the target.

24:08

Frank Nouble takes a shot. Save by David Marshall.

23:38

Short corner worked by Peter Whittingham.

22:28

Frank Nouble is ruled offside. Mark Hudson takes the free kick.

21:08

Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Reuben Noble-Lazarus.

15:54

Corner taken left-footed by Reuben Noble-Lazarus from the right by-line to the near post, Ben Turner manages to make a clearance.

15:14

Michael Tonge produces a left-footed shot from just outside the box that goes wide left of the goal.

14:33

Jim O'Brien challenges Peter Whittingham unfairly and gives away a free kick. David Marshall takes the indirect free kick.

14:20

The ball is crossed by Jim O'Brien, Ben Turner makes a clearance.

12:18

Inswinging corner taken by Liam Lawrence, Mark Hudson takes a shot. Save made by David Button.

6:43

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Don Cowie by David Perkins. Free kick crossed by Peter Whittingham, clearance by Stephen Foster.

5:37

Aron Gunnarsson gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on David Perkins. Nathan Doyle takes the free kick.

4:14

The assistant referee flags for offside against Don Cowie. David Button restarts play with the free kick.

1:21

Unfair challenge on Frank Nouble by Ben Turner results in a free kick. Free kick taken by David Button.

0:48

Kevin McNaughton crosses the ball, Stephen Foster makes a clearance.

0:00

The referee starts the match.

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