Cardiff City Outclass Preston, & Cling On To Win!
Cardiff City produced a spirited performance to defeat Preston North End, and subject the Lilywhites to relegation courtesy of an entertaining game which belied the 0-1 final scoreline.
City dominated proceedings for the vast majority of the game, taking the lead early on when Bellamy sprung the offside trap and squared for PETER WHITTINGHAM to chip home. There were plenty more chances as the Bluebirds pressed on with Seyi Olofinjana and Dekel Keinan missing headers when they should have at least hit the target.
Preston were full of endeavour, but lacked quality upfront, especially when Iain Hume was withdrawn injured. They did however spurn 2 glorious chances just before half-time as first Chris Brown hit the post, then a follow-up shot by Nathan Ellington unluckily hit his own man just a yard out. 1-3 would have been a more realistic scoreline.
The second half was a similar affair, at least to begin with as Bellamy continued to terrorise the PNE back-line. Bellers went close twice, while Whittingham's snap-shot, and a blocked McPhail effort all threatened to increase our lead. Chris Burke had the best chance of all after a great move, but his shot was superbly saved by on-loan Everton keeper Turner.
Preston needed to score, and threw everything at us in the last quarter. However, too often they lofted high aimless balls which substitute Hudson and co were happy to head clear. A little more tact and quality would surely have seen Preston score, and they always looked capable - but the Bluebirds held on until the end. Treacey went closest, and looked PNE's best bet to unlock Cardiff, but it was not to be.
A hard fought, and deserved victory for Cardiff City. It was all about the win here, and while news from Carrow Road was intermittently good and bad - a late winner means nothing really changed at the top of the table. For Preston North End, they now face League One football next season after we condemned them to relegation. Two games remain for the Bluebirds to overhaul Norwich City, we need the Canaries to slip up somewhere....