Championship leaders Cardiff City dropped points at home for only the second time this season as Ipswich stood firm in a flat goalless draw.

Guirane N'Daw struck Cardiff's post with a thunderous 30-yard drive as the visitors started brightly.

Craig Bellamy wasted the home side's best chance when his hesitation in front of goal allowed Ipswich to clear.

The visitors came close to grabbing victory with the final move when Frank Nouble's shot went inches wide.

A well-organised Ipswich side rarely looked troubled by the hosts, who had previously scored in every home game this season.

Their unblemished record on their own patch was only ended in mid-December by Peterborough, and another side battling against relegation managed to frustrate Malky Mackay's pacesetters.

Ipswich arrived in the Welsh capital with the worst away defensive record in the Championship, having conceded 27 goals in 13 outings.

But Cardiff has been a happy hunting ground for the Tractor Boys over recent seasons and they started showing the confidence of their four unbeaten visits and their recent rival under new manager Mick McCarthy.

N'Daw capitalised on time and space to begin to dictate in midfield, and Cardiff were fortunate to see his long-range drive crash against the post with goalkeeper David Marshall beaten.

Peter Whittingham, returning from a knee injury, did more than most to try to stir Cardiff from their first-half slumber.

His teasing, curling cross was inches away from Craig Noone at the far post and then a trademark free-kick threatened the top corner.

Noone turned provider early after the break when his reverse pass allowed Bellamy to beat Ipswich's offside trap.

But a moment's hesitation by the Wales striker was enough to allow Luke Chambers to track back and clear.

Ben Turner and Aron Gunnarsson headed over for the home side but they failed to create a clear chance against Town's stubborn back four.

And late Ipswich pressure saw Marshall pushing away another shot from N'Daw before Nouble failed to keep his effort on target as Cardiff were caught on the break seconds before the final whistle.

Cardiff boss Malky Mackay:

"We were playing against a team who are right at the top of the form table with a new manager and some new players coming in.

"They'd only lost two in 10 so if we had not worked as hard as them then we'd have been beaten.

"For us to come out with another clean sheet, our fourth in five games, on the back of 13 points out of 15, I'm delighted."

Ipswich manager Mick McCarthy:

"It was probably a fair result overall. I would have taken it before and I'm happy with it now.

"On reflection we might have got all three points. In open play I think we probably had the better chances in the second half.

"I'm still looking behind me. Whatever we've done so far it can change so quickly. We'd lost two on the bounce and I didn't want to lose three league games on the bounce."

Lineup, Bookings (2) & Substitutions (6)

Cardiff

  • 01 Marshall
  • 03 Taylor
  • 05 Hudson
  • 06 Turner
  • 12 Connolly
  • 07 Whittingham
  • 11 Conway (Helguson - 86' )
  • 16 Noone (Smith - 68' )
  • 17 Gunnarsson
  • 15 Gestede (Mason - 46' )
  • 39 Bellamy

Substitutes

  • 32 Lewis
  • 02 McNaughton
  • 08 Cowie
  • 13 Kim Bo-Kyung
  • 14 Smith
  • 20 Mason
  • 22 Helguson

Ipswich Town

  • 01 Loach
  • 03 Cresswell
  • 04 Chambers
  • 20 Smith
  • 24 Orr Booked
  • 07 Edwards
  • 08 N'daw
  • 11 Martin (Nouble - 80' )
  • 19 Hyam Booked
  • 16 McGoldrick (Murphy - 65' )
  • 25 Mclean (Chopra - 61' )

Substitutes

  • 12 Lee-Barrett
  • 02 Hewitt
  • 06 Kisnorbo
  • 17 Drury
  • 10 Chopra
  • 27 Murphy
  • 35 Nouble
Ref: Mathieson
Att: 22,724

Match Stats

Shots

8 6

On target

3 2

Corners

10 4

Fouls

9 15

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +3:07 Full time

Full Time The final whistle is blown by the referee.

90:00 +0:51

The ball is crossed by Craig Bellamy, Joe Mason takes a shot. Bradley Orr gets a block in. Corner taken by Craig Bellamy, save made by Scott Loach. Inswinging corner taken by Peter Whittingham from the right by-line, save by Scott Loach.

90:00 +0:51 Booking

Booking The referee shows Bradley Orr a yellow card.

90:00 +0:42

Bradley Orr challenges Craig Bellamy unfairly and gives away a free kick.

89:02

The assistant referee signals for offside against Michael Chopra. David Marshall takes the indirect free kick.

87:26

Free kick awarded for a foul by Joe Mason on Bradley Orr. Free kick taken by Scott Loach.

85:27 Substitution

Substitution (Cardiff) makes a substitution, with Heidar Helguson coming on for Craig Conway.

85:27

Frank Nouble gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Ben Turner. David Marshall takes the indirect free kick.

83:53

Carlos Edwards takes a shot. Blocked by Andrew Taylor. Outswinging corner taken by Carlos Edwards.

83:20

Foul by Frank Nouble on Ben Turner, free kick awarded. David Marshall takes the free kick.

81:46

Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Carlos Edwards.

79:20

The assistant referee flags for offside against Joe Mason. Free kick taken by Scott Loach.

79:20 Substitution

Substitution Frank Nouble on for Lee Martin.

77:45

Peter Whittingham delivers the ball from the free kick left-footed from left channel, Daryl Murphy manages to make a clearance.

77:45 Booking

Booking Luke Hyam booked.

77:36

Luke Hyam concedes a free kick for a foul on Joe Mason.

76:55

Aron Gunnarsson produces a header from deep inside the six-yard box that clears the bar.

74:11

Tommy Smith takes a shot. Guirane N'Daw gets a block in. Inswinging corner taken by Peter Whittingham from the right by-line played to the near post, Daryl Murphy manages to make a clearance. Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Craig Conway by Michael Chopra. Direct free kick taken by Peter Whittingham.

69:36

Daryl Murphy challenges Andrew Taylor unfairly and gives away a free kick. David Marshall takes the free kick.

67:17

The ball is sent over by Craig Bellamy, Header from deep inside the area by Ben Turner goes harmlessly over the crossbar. Ben Turner concedes a free kick for a foul on Daryl Murphy. Free kick taken by Guirane N'Daw.

67:17 Substitution

Substitution Tommy Smith replaces Craig Noone.

67:17

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Craig Conway by Bradley Orr.

63:36

Andrew Taylor concedes a free kick for a foul on Scott Loach. Free kick taken by Scott Loach.

63:36 Substitution

Substitution David McGoldrick goes off and Daryl Murphy comes on.

63:36

The ball is crossed by Aron Gunnarsson, clearance by Bradley Orr. Craig Bellamy takes a inswinging corner from the left by-line to the near post,

59:50

Clearance by Tommy Smith.

59:50 Substitution

Substitution Michael Chopra replaces Aaron Mclean.

59:50

The ball is sent over by Craig Conway, clearance by Luke Hyam. Corner taken right-footed by Craig Bellamy,

58:05

Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Lee Martin from the right by-line, Headed effort from deep inside the area by Tommy Smith misses to the left of the goal.

57:08

Unfair challenge on Aaron Cresswell by Craig Noone results in a free kick. Lee Martin crosses the ball from the free kick right-footed from left wing, save by David Marshall.

56:30

The referee blows for offside against Craig Bellamy. Aaron Cresswell takes the free kick.

55:08

Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Peter Whittingham from the right by-line to the near post, clearance by Luke Hyam.

54:11

Mark Hudson takes a shot. Scott Loach makes a comfortable save. Unfair challenge on Ben Turner by Aaron Mclean results in a free kick. Peter Whittingham takes the indirect free kick.

53:15

Craig Bellamy takes a inswinging corner from the left by-line to the near post, David McGoldrick manages to make a clearance.

51:33

Foul by Matthew Connolly on Lee Martin, free kick awarded. Aaron Cresswell crosses the ball from the free kick left-footed from left channel.

46:49

Craig Bellamy gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Luke Chambers. Free kick crossed by Aaron Cresswell, Mark Hudson manages to make a clearance. Unfair challenge on Mark Hudson by David McGoldrick results in a free kick. David Marshall takes the indirect free kick.

45:01

The second half begins.

45:01 Substitution

Substitution Joe Mason on for Rudy Gestede.

45:00 +2:11 Half time

Half Time The players leave the pitch at half time.

44:55

Foul by Bradley Orr on Craig Conway, free kick awarded. Free kick crossed by Craig Bellamy, inswinging corner taken left-footed by Peter Whittingham from the right by-line, save by Scott Loach. Clearance made by David McGoldrick.

43:46

The ball is swung over by Aaron Cresswell.

41:26

Guirane N'Daw concedes a free kick for a foul on Craig Conway. Peter Whittingham has a direct shot on goal from the free kick.

41:10

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Ben Turner by David McGoldrick. Indirect free kick taken by Peter Whittingham.

40:00

Peter Whittingham fouled by Luke Hyam, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Andrew Taylor.

38:19

Rudy Gestede concedes a free kick for a foul on Tommy Smith. Free kick taken by Scott Loach.

36:53

Craig Noone produces a cross. Inswinging corner taken by Craig Bellamy, Lee Martin makes a clearance.

33:15

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Aaron Mclean by Ben Turner. Free kick taken by Lee Martin. Lee Martin has a shot on goal from outside the area which misses right.

31:11

The offside flag is raised against David McGoldrick. David Marshall takes the free kick.

27:41

Shot on goal by Craig Conway from just inside the area clears the crossbar.

23:14

Aron Gunnarsson gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Bradley Orr. Guirane N'Daw has an effort direct from the free kick. Effort from inside the six-yard box by David McGoldrick goes wide left of the target.

22:22

A cross is delivered by Andrew Taylor, Rudy Gestede takes a shot.

14:17

Guirane N'Daw produces a left-footed shot from a long way out and strikes the post.

13:13

Handball decision goes against Lee Martin. David Marshall takes the indirect free kick.

6:16

The referee blows for offside against Craig Bellamy. Scott Loach takes the indirect free kick.

5:07

Foul by Aaron Cresswell on Craig Noone, free kick awarded. David Marshall takes the indirect free kick.

4:45

Lee Martin decides to take the corner short.

2:26

David McGoldrick is ruled offside. David Marshall restarts play with the free kick.

0:10

Lee Martin challenges Craig Noone unfairly and gives away a free kick. Craig Bellamy takes the free kick. Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Craig Bellamy, clearance by Luke Hyam.

0:00

The game kicks-off.

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