CardiffCardiff City1MiddlesbroughMiddlesbrough0

Cardiff City 1-0 Middlesbrough: Ashley Fletcher own goal hands Bluebirds win

By Gareth VincentBBC Sport Wales
Ashley Fletcher of Middlesbrough heads the ball into his own net from a corner
Ashley Fletcher joined Middlesbrough from West Ham United for £6.5m in July 2017

Cardiff City remain unbeaten at home in the Championship this season after Ashley Fletcher's own goal handed them victory over Middlesbrough.

Fletcher headed into his own net after just two minutes and Middlesbrough struggled to find a response.

Neil Warnock's team should really have extended their lead, with Omar Bogle going closest when he hit the woodwork.

But the visitors' lack of threat meant Fletcher's error was enough to secure Cardiff's third win of the season.

Both sides had come into this game on the back of four-game unbeaten streaks in the league, but it was Cardiff who played with more purpose.

It helped that they were gifted what proved to be the only goal, when Fletcher diverted Josh Murphy's left-wing corner beyond Darren Randolph despite being under little pressure at the near post.

Things ought to have got worse for Middlesbrough as a smart Cardiff move ended with Joe Bennett squaring invitingly for Joe Ralls only for the midfielder to miss his kick.

Bogle, who started up front for Cardiff with Robert Glatzel ruled out due to illness, tested Randolph from distance before the break.

Neil Warnock kept faith with Alex Smithies in goal despite the return to fitness of Neil Etheridge.

In truth it did not matter who was between the posts for the hosts as Jonathan Woodgate's team laboured going forward.

Bogle wasted a chance to double Cardiff's lead early in the second period when he prodded wide from Ralls' through ball.

Middlesbrough then conjured their first genuine opportunity, as a corner routine ended with George Saville shooting over.

With the game opening up, Junior Hoilett crossed for Bogle to head against the bar before Callum Paterson's effort drifted over.

Saville saw a tame effort blocked as Cardiff deservedly held on for victory.

Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock told BBC Sport Wales:

"It would be nice if we could score one or two chances and have a nice easy last 20 minutes but that's not us I'm afraid.

"It was a good performance. I said to the lads - that's more like us, really. Against a good team we didn't give them much of a look-in. We were dominant all over.

"Robert (Glatzel) went down sick this morning. I was disappointed because he scored three goals against Middlesbrough in pre-season.

"I would imagine they got a bit of a lift when they saw his name wasn't on the team sheet.

"Josh Murphy had sickness and stomach cramps. There was no point in risking him. I said to the doctor, make sure they are isolated, we don't want it spreading."

Middlesbrough head coach Jonathan Woodgate said:

"I said before the game you have to match Cardiff physically and I thought we did that thought the game, but we didn't show enough quality on the ball.

"We didn't create enough chances for our forwards - they were basically starved of the ball.

"We will be back training on Monday. We will be working hard and we move on to the next game.

"I have scored an own goal at the Bernabeu. It happens. We move on and get on with it. Hopefully he (Ashley Fletcher) will score a couple of goals against Sheffield Wednesday."



Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 12Smithies
  • 2Peltier
  • 4Morrison
  • 5Flint
  • 3Bennett
  • 7Bacuna
  • 8RallsBooked at 87mins
  • 20Whyte
  • 13Paterson
  • 11MurphySubstituted forHoilettat 45'minutes
  • 27BogleSubstituted forWardat 66'minutes


  • 1Etheridge
  • 6Vaulks
  • 16Nelson
  • 17Tomlin
  • 19Mendez-Laing
  • 23Ward
  • 33Hoilett


Formation 3-5-2

  • 23Randolph
  • 6Fry
  • 4AyalaBooked at 79mins
  • 5Shotton
  • 2Dijksteel
  • 17McNair
  • 8ClaytonSubstituted forWingat 77'minutes
  • 22SavilleSubstituted forBrowneat 73'minutes
  • 21JohnsonBooked at 77minsSubstituted forTavernierat 81'minutes
  • 9Assombalonga
  • 11Fletcher


  • 7Tavernier
  • 10Browne
  • 16Howson
  • 26Wing
  • 27Bola
  • 36Walker
  • 42Pears
Darren Bond

Match Stats

Home TeamCardiffAway TeamMiddlesbrough
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Cardiff City 1, Middlesbrough 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Cardiff City 1, Middlesbrough 0.

  3. Post update

    Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Aden Flint.

  4. Booking

    Joe Ralls (Cardiff City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  5. Post update

    Marcus Browne (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Joe Ralls (Cardiff City).

  7. Post update

    Offside, Middlesbrough. Daniel Ayala tries a through ball, but Britt Assombalonga is caught offside.

  8. Post update

    Attempt missed. Callum Paterson (Cardiff City) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Joe Ralls with a cross following a set piece situation.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Anfernee Dijksteel (Middlesbrough).

  10. Post update

    David Junior Hoilett (Cardiff City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  11. Post update

    Foul by Anfernee Dijksteel (Middlesbrough).

  12. Post update

    Joe Bennett (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  13. Post update

    Patrick McNair (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Joe Ralls (Cardiff City).

  15. Substitution

    Substitution, Middlesbrough. Marcus Tavernier replaces Marvin Johnson.

  16. Booking

    Daniel Ayala (Middlesbrough) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  17. Post update

    Foul by Daniel Ayala (Middlesbrough).

  18. Post update

    Leandro Bacuna (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, Middlesbrough. Lewis Wing replaces Adam Clayton.

  20. Booking

    Marvin Johnson (Middlesbrough) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.