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Coca Cola Championship
Saturday 21st November 2009
Before the game Cardiff were arguably an automatic promotion spot candidate. This result shows how far Barnsley FC have come, and can go this season. It was more or less the last kick of the game, and well positioned freekick for the reds, which impressive loanee Carl Dickinson despatched to great delight all round (apart from the Welsh!) and three more points on the table see us closing the points gap to the play off positions but not moving any higher in the league, we are looking like good bets to feature somewhere near the play offs come the end of the season, rather than the anticipated relegation dog fight.
Such is the tranformation in the team, its belief and churning out hard working results where needed since Mark Robins to the Oakwell reigns.
Dickinson's left-footed 20-yard free kick deflected off Ex red Michael Chopra to leave Cardiff keeper David Marshall wrong-footed and beaten.
Ross McCormack had gone closest for the uninspiring Bluebirds as the division's top-scorers failed to find the net at a very wet Oakwell.
Dickinson's winner inspired Barnsley's first win over Cardiff in ten meetings. They are always tight affairs, but Cardiff have sneaked a few victories 1-0, most famously at Wembley for the FA cup semi final.
Carl Dickinson on loan at Oakwell from Stoke, powered in an unstoppable drive after Cardiff captain Mark Hudson had been penalised for a needless handball following a challenge with Barnsley's Brazilian striker Anderson De Silva.
Mark Robins admitted afterwards he did not want Dickinson to take the free-kick but luckily for the Tykes boss, the 22-year-old did not hear his manager's pleas as he crashed home his first goal of his career - with a little help from Barnsley old boy Chopra.
It was no more than we deserved after we enjoyed the better possession.
It was a bitter blow for Cardiff as Dave Jones' men were desperate to respond positively from their south Wales derby defeat to Swansea City.
The visitors started well as McCormack went close with a 25-yard drive before the Scottish striker narrowly missed the target after diverting Chris Burke's cross dangerously close to Luke Steele's goal.
Cardiff also had a penalty appeal turned down when Hudson was bundled over in the box by Rob Kozluk at the back post after the Cardiff centre-back tried to get to Peter Whittingham's corner.
Referee Kevin Wright ignored the muted protests for a seemingly innocuous challenge
But Barnsley had probably the greatest opening of the first-half when Daniel Bogdanovic missed a relatively straight-forward tap-in his seventh goal of the season.
Dickinson's low inswinging left-wing cross isolated the Cardiff rearguard but Maltese international Bogdanovic could not convert the fast cross.
Cardiff were already without striker Jay Bothroyd, midfielder Stephen McPhail and defenders Anthony Gerrard and Adam Matthews but Jones was dealt another injury blow in the 21st minute.
Full-back Kevin McNaughton, in his first start of the season after an ankle injury.
The Tykes looked more likely to end their Cardiff hoodoo with a long awaited victory, and a bit of revenge for the semi final defeat.
Collace then fired over before Dickinson's late, late show stole the points for Barnsley as Cardiff did not just suffer successive defeats but slipped to six points adrift of the Championship's top two clubs.
And while the win did not move Barnsley up a place in this early Championship table, a victory over one of the promotion contenders will boost morale as the Yorkshiremen continue their improvement.
Barnsley manager Mark Robins said:
"I thought it was a thoroughly deserved win. I thought we were excellent and although the conditions were difficult, we coped with everything Cardiff threw at us.
"We kept a clean sheet and took three points against a side who are challenging in the top four at the moment so credit to my players who stuck a their task and were outstanding again today.
"We scored a good goal but, to be fair, I was trying to get Dickinson off the ball but he has hit it and with the aid of a deflection it has gone in the net - and we can't ask for any more than that.
"I just wanted someday else to take. It was his first career goal which is why I didn't want him to take it! But credit to him, he deserved it.
"Now we can't rest on our laurels. The players keep setting the standards, they are confident and are playing against opposition that were well fancied where as we were written off so the pundits may be thinking again."
Cardiff City manager Dave Jones said:
"It is disappointing to lose any game and to lose it with virtually the last kick of the game is hard to swallow.
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