Championship
Cardiff2Preston1

Cardiff City 2-1 Preston North End

Lex Immers
Lex Immers of Cardiff City gets above Tom Clarke of Preston North End as he looks to head at goal

Cardiff City turned up the pressure on their play-off rivals with a hard-fought victory over Preston North End.

The visitors saw their own promotion aspirations take a hit as Cardiff scored twice from the spot.

Anthony Pilkington gave the Bluebirds the lead with a cool penalty on the stroke of half time and he repeated the trick with ten minutes remaining.

Callum Robinson scored a consolation goal for Preston who slip to 10th, while Cardiff move up to seventh.

Cardiff were also able to reduce the gap on rivals Sheffield Wednesday and Derby County and leapfrogged Birmingham City.

Anthony Pilkington
Anthony Pilkington slots home the penalty in the first period

The hosts were worthy of their win and enjoyed the better chances in a first half that failed to produce fireworks.

Pilkington came closest for Cardiff, firing over from a free-kick shortly after he saw a point-blank range header sensationally saved by former Manchester United goalkeeper Anders Lindegaard,

Preston failed to test reported Everton target David Marshall in the Cardiff goal in the first period and paid the price when Pilkington slotted home the penalty in first half stoppage time after Paul Huntington's infringement on him.

Pilkington was again denied by Lindegaard as he looked to double Cardiff's advantage shortly after the break, though Preston looked more of a threat when they switched their formation and began playing four at the back.

Anthony Pilkington
Cardiff striker Anthony Pilkington celebrates after opening the scoring

The visitors had come to south Wales in fabulous form, four successive victories their best streak of the campaign, but they never fully fired against Russell Slade's men.

There was more than an hour on the clock before they finally stretched the Cardiff defence, Adam Reach beating Marshall after a fine cross, but he was adjudged to be offside.

But when Greg Cunningham sent Wales forward Tom Lawrence sprawling, Pilkington was again Cardiff's man of the moment, smashing the ball past Lindegaard to put the result beyond doubt.

Lee Peltier
Lee Peltier of Cardiff City and Greg Cunningham of Preston North End compete for the ball

Robinson's consolation set-up a potential grandstand finish, firing home a right-footed shot from the centre of the box after Cunningham's superb cross.

However, Cardiff held firm for an important victory on a weekend where several of their rivals slipped up.

Cardiff are unbeaten in seven home games against Preston, winning four and drawing three.

The Bluebirds have lost only once at home in the Championship all season and are now only three points outside of the play-off positions.

Line-ups

Cardiff

  • 1Marshall
  • 2PeltierBooked at 69mins
  • 5Ecuele Manga
  • 16Connolly
  • 28Malone
  • 37LawrenceSubstituted forAmeobiat 90+3'minutes
  • 22O'Keefe
  • 17Gunnarsson
  • 8RallsBooked at 75mins
  • 13PilkingtonSubstituted forDikgacoiat 82'minutes
  • 27ImmersSubstituted forZohoreat 90+4'minutes

Substitutes

  • 14Macheda
  • 15Dikgacoi
  • 21Moore
  • 26Zohore
  • 36Oshilaja
  • 38Ameobi
  • 39Saadi

Preston

  • 1Lindegaard
  • 15Woods
  • 5Clarke
  • 23HuntingtonSubstituted forRobinsonat 45'minutes
  • 6Wright
  • 3CunninghamBooked at 81mins
  • 16BrowneBooked at 85mins
  • 12GallagherSubstituted forPearsonat 84'minutes
  • 11JohnsonSubstituted forHugillat 63'minutes
  • 32Reach
  • 14Garner

Substitutes

  • 2Vermijl
  • 4Pearson
  • 8Kilkenny
  • 19Welsh
  • 25Hugill
  • 37Robinson
  • 40Hudson
Referee:
Brendan Malone
Attendance:
15,566

Match Stats

Home TeamCardiffAway TeamPreston
Possession
Home47%
Away53%
Shots
Home16
Away7
Shots on Target
Home7
Away2
Corners
Home2
Away2
Fouls
Home12
Away8

Live Text

Match ends, Cardiff City 2, Preston North End 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Cardiff City 2, Preston North End 1.

Substitution

Substitution, Cardiff City. Kenneth Zohore replaces Lex Immers.

Substitution

Substitution, Cardiff City. Sammy Ameobi replaces Tom Lawrence.

Attempt missed. Callum Robinson (Preston North End) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left from a direct free kick.

Greg Cunningham (Preston North End) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Lee Peltier (Cardiff City).

Goal!

Goal! Cardiff City 2, Preston North End 1. Callum Robinson (Preston North End) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Greg Cunningham with a cross.

Offside, Cardiff City. Scott Malone tries a through ball, but Lex Immers is caught offside.

Booking

Alan Browne (Preston North End) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Alan Browne (Preston North End).

Stuart O'Keefe (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Preston North End. Ben Pearson replaces Paul Gallagher.

Tom Clarke (Preston North End) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Lex Immers (Cardiff City).

Substitution

Substitution, Cardiff City. Kagisho Dikgacoi replaces Anthony Pilkington.

Booking

Greg Cunningham (Preston North End) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Greg Cunningham (Preston North End).

Tom Lawrence (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Goal!

Goal! Cardiff City 2, Preston North End 0. Anthony Pilkington (Cardiff City) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom left corner.

Penalty conceded by Paul Gallagher (Preston North End) after a foul in the penalty area.

Penalty Cardiff City. Tom Lawrence draws a foul in the penalty area.

Offside, Cardiff City. Joe Ralls tries a through ball, but Anthony Pilkington is caught offside.

Booking

Joe Ralls (Cardiff City) is shown the yellow card.

Alan Browne (Preston North End) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Stuart O'Keefe (Cardiff City).

Attempt missed. Stuart O'Keefe (Cardiff City) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left following a corner.

Attempt blocked. Stuart O'Keefe (Cardiff City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Joe Ralls with a cross.

Corner, Cardiff City. Conceded by Calum Woods.

Attempt blocked. Anthony Pilkington (Cardiff City) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is blocked. Assisted by Tom Lawrence with a cross.

Foul by Bailey Wright (Preston North End).

Anthony Pilkington (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt missed. Aron Gunnarsson (Cardiff City) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Joe Ralls.

Booking

Lee Peltier (Cardiff City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Callum Robinson (Preston North End) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Lee Peltier (Cardiff City).

Attempt saved. Callum Robinson (Preston North End) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Joe Garner.

Offside, Preston North End. Callum Robinson tries a through ball, but Joe Garner is caught offside.

Substitution

Substitution, Preston North End. Jordan Hugill replaces Daniel Johnson.

Attempt saved. Anthony Pilkington (Cardiff City) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Scott Malone with a cross.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Burnley341811553272665
2Hull33197748192964
3Middlesbrough32197644172764
4Brighton331612545341160
5Derby341512745301557
6Sheff Wed341413750351555
7Cardiff34131384538752
8Birmingham33149103932751
9Ipswich33149104140151
10Preston341212103332148
11QPR341014104140144
12Reading331110123836243
13Wolves341110134247-543
14Brentford34127154753-643
15Nottm Forest331012113230242
16Huddersfield34109154446-239
17Leeds32814103035-538
18Blackburn32813113130137
19Bristol City34910153153-2237
20Fulham34812145156-536
21MK Dons3488182848-2032
22Rotherham3485213859-2129
23Bolton34413173256-2425
24Charlton34510193065-3525
View full Championship table

Top Stories

Get Inspired Activity Finder

Run by the BBC and partners

Find ways to get active near you: