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Dublin: 0°C Friday 16 April 2021

On a 6-game losing run when he took over last month, McCarthy's Cardiff now on a 6-game winning run

Kieffer Moore’s 15th goal of the season helped the Welsh side beat fellow play-off contenders Bournemouth.

Mick McCarthy (file pic).
Mick McCarthy (file pic).
Image: PA

KIEFFER MOORE’S 15th goal of the season helped Cardiff beat fellow play-off contenders Bournemouth 2-1 as Mick McCarthy’s men made it six wins in a row.

Moore’s penalty and a superb header from captain Sean Morrison saw Cardiff cruise into a 2-0 half-time lead.

Bournemouth were much better in the second half but Ireland international Shane Long’s header 23 minutes from time was not enough to stop Jonathan Woodgate losing his first game as permanent head coach.

Clear scoring chances were in short supply in the early exchanges with Junior Stanislas’ tame seventh-minute free-kick easily saved by Cardiff goalkeeper Dillon Phillips.

Two minutes later, home stopper Asmir Begovic had to come sharply off his line to slide out and stop former Bournemouth loanee Harry Wilson getting on the end of a quickly-taken free-kick.

Josh Murphy had Cardiff’s first meaningful attempt on goal when he blazed over from 22 yards.

Bournemouth’s Philip Billing and Cardiff counterpart Curtis Nelson were both shown yellow carded after a fracas on the halfway line.

Cardiff made their aerial advantage tell in the 28th minute when captain Morrison climbed highest at the near post to glance his header beyond Begovic from a Wilson corner and make it 1-0.

Moore almost extended Cardiff’s advantage six minutes later but his swiveling shot was somehow kept out by Begovic’s legs.

The Bluebirds were gifted the chance to double their lead eight minutes before half-time after Perry Ng was clumsily brought down by Diego Rico.

Top-scorer Moore stepped up to smash the resulting spot-kick high into Begovic’s left-hand corner.

Sam Surridge should have reduced the arrears in the 41st minute but failed to beat Phillips with a near-post effort from point-blank range after Rico had crossed.

Woodgate, taking charge of his first game since being given the job until the end of the season, called Long and Arnaut Danjuma off the bench for the second half.

11 minutes after the restart, Phillips made another smart save to claw away Stanislas’ low left-foot drive from eight yards.

Phillips was on hand again to acrobatically push Stanislas’ 25-yard free-kick behind for a corner.

Bournemouth got their rewards for a much-improved second-half display when Long made it 2-1 with his second goal in as many games in the 67th minute.

Long headed home from underneath the crossbar after Danjuma’s initial shot had been blocked by Morrison to send the ball spinning into the sky.

Stanislas then put another 25-yard free-kick onto the roof of the net as the home side went in search of an equaliser.

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With eight minutes remaining, Danjuma fired tamely into the arms of Phillips after being teed up by Stanislas.

Elsewhere, Brentford and Watford stepped up their bids for promotion to the Premier League with vital Championship victories.

Second placed Brentford ended a run of three successive defeats as they beat struggling Sheffield Wednesday 3-0.

Thomas Frank’s side took the lead in the 23rd minute when Bryan Mbeumo headed home from Sergi Canos’ shot.

In the 74th minute, Saman Ghoddos netted from Mbeumo’s pass.

Mads Bech Sorensen bagged Brentford’s third from a free-kick with six minutes left as they moved within seven points of leaders Norwich.

Third placed Watford are level with Brentford on 60 points after they won 3-2 at Blackburn to record a fourth consecutive victory.

The Hornets took lead in the 25th minute through Joao Pedro’s lob, with Ismaila Sarr knocking in a second from close range shortly before half-time.

Rovers pulled a goal back ahead of the break when on-loan Liverpool teenager Harvey Elliott lashed home an angled effort in the 43rd minute.

Ken Sema drilled in a third for Watford just after the hour.

Although Blackburn substitute Ben Brereton set up a tense final eight minutes when he pulled another goal back from a corner, Tony Mowbray’s men slipped to a fifth straight league defeat.

Swansea remain in the automatic promotion shake-up after a 1-0 win over Coventry at the Liberty Stadium, with in-form Ireland international Conor Hourihane registering an assist.

They broke the deadlock when Ben Cabango headed in from a corner in the 54th minute.

Steve Cooper’s men sit fourth, a point behind Watford and Brentford and with two games in hand.

Barnsley beat Stoke 2-0, while Preston and QPR shared a goalless draw.

Additional reporting by AFP and Paul Fennessy

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