Cardiff’s woeful run at Blackburn continues losing 1-0 in dire game
Joe Rankin-Costello’s first goal of the season earned Blackburn a 1-0 home victory over Cardiff.
The midfielder’s second-half strike – Rovers’ only on-target attempt of the afternoon – condemned the Bluebirds to a third straight defeat on the road.
It also meant the Bluebirds are now without a win on their last nine trips to Ewood Park, stretching back to December 2012 when Craig Bellamy was on target for the visitors in a 4-1 triumph.
During the early stages, Blackburn dominated possession without penetrating the visitors’ backline while Josh Bowler shot just wide from the edge of the box following Ike Ugbo’s lay-off at the other end.
After Joe Ralls also called home keeper Leo Wahlstedt into action from 20 yards, the Blackburn faithful urged their team to show more forward momentum and, at the first-half’s midway point, Arnor Sigurdsson volleyed wide of the far post after Callum Brittain’s cross from close to the corner flag.
Moments later, Sammie Szmodics lifted a shot over from just outside the penalty area after effective harassing by Sondre Tronstad and Rankin-Costello turned another Brittain centre from the right wide of the near post.
Cardiff thought they had taken the lead in the 35th minute when Dimitrios Goutas met Ralls’ corner with a thumping header but the effort was ruled out due to Karlan Grant standing in an offside position and blocking Wahlstedt’s sight line.
Following that let-off, Szmodics found the side-netting from an acute angle and Tyrhys Dolan prodded wide with the last kick of the half following a rapid counter attack started by Dominic Hyam’s brilliant recovery tackle on Ugbo and built upon by Sigurdsson’s positive raid down the left.
After the break, Goutas again climbed highest to meet another corner – this time delivered by Ryan Wintle – only to clear the crossbar.
Rovers then forged ahead in the 53rd minute after Hayden Carter’s forward pass picked out Dolan.
With the Bluebirds’ defence standing off him, Dolan chested the ball before turning and picking out Rankin-Costello’s run in behind Mark McGuinness.
The Ewood Park Academy graduate went on to keep his composure to find the net from 15 yards despite Jak Alnwick getting a glove to his effort.
Rankin-Costello was subsequently denied a second in the 67th minute by Perry Ng’s brilliant sliding challenge as he bore down on the away goal and pulled back his right leg to shoot.
For Cardiff, sub Callum Robinson tried his luck from distance but Wahlstedt safely gathered his hopeful drive.
But the Republic of Ireland international should have then done better when he pulled a 12-yard chance wide after good probing down the left by Ng and Wahlstedt went on to make a superb save to push Ollie Tanner’s diagonal drive wide of his far upright and safeguard the three points.
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