Blackburn Rovers suffered their third successive home defeat on Friday as Cardiff romped to victory.
Josh King, scoring his first for Rovers, cancelled out Mark Hudson’s first half header before Cardiff turned the screw late in the second half.
Former Rovers striker Craig Bellamy restored the Bluebird’s lead before a quick fire double from Mason and Kim Bo-Kyung put the game to rest giving Cardiff a four point cushion at the top of the table.
As for Rovers it is now just one win in eight games under Henning Berg and their hopes of an instant return to the Premier League look to be fading rapidly.
Cardiff started the game with purpose spraying the ball around freely forcing Blackburn into a number of basic errors. The away side dominated and Craig Noone came close to opening the scoring with a curling effort but his shot went narrowly wide.
With 30 minutes on the clock Cardiff’s dominance finally paid off. Blackburn partially cleared a free-kick and the ball fell kindly for Craig Noone whose pinpoint cross was met by City captain Mark Hudson and the defender powered a header home from six yards out to give the away side a much deserved lead.
Craig Bellamy almost doubled the score, his burst of pace left Scott Dann for dead and the striker rattled the crossbar with a fierce left footed strike.
Blackburn’s best chance of the half fell to Jordan Rhodes, but the striker’s effort was deflected wide for a corner as the home side were booed off the field at the half way mark.
After the interval the boos were short lived, Colin Kazim-Richards replaced Marcus Olsson and the Turk created Blackburn’s equaliser, winning a fifty fifty ball half way inside Cardiff’s half the substitute neatly threaded a through ball into the path of Josh King and the on loan Manchester United striker outpaced his opponents before firing a tidy finish through the legs of the onrushing David Marshall.
Rovers were level for less than five minutes as Craig Bellamy combined with Heidar Helguson before lashing the ball past Robinson to retain Cardiff’s lead in front of their travelling fans.
Berg’s men were not disheartened by the goal and should have levelled the scores again 10 minutes later. Dickson Etuhu’s speculative volley wrong footed Marshall following a slight deflection and the keeper gifted Jordan Rhodes the opportunity to square the ball to Formica six yards out, and with the goal at his mercy the Argentine failed to find the net blasting his effort against the crossbar. A miss Rovers would later regret.
Blackburn continued to search for an equaliser and when Jordan Rhodes was pulled to the ground on the edge of the area Blackburn were incensed it was a foul, but the referee waved away the protests and you have to think what might have been if the free-kick had been awarded, especially when you consider the defender at fault, Mark Hudson, had already been booked.
A huge turning point in the game which cued the floodgates to open as Blackburn conceded twice in the dying minutes. First Mason evaded Hanley and chased his own flick on before unleashing a composed finish past Robinson and then substitute Kim Bo-Kyung dispossessed Scott Dann and fired a left footed drive into the corner of the goal which put the game to rest.
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