Whittingham sinks Tykes
A first-half Peter Whittingham strike was enough to secure the three points for Cardiff as they beat Barnsley.
By Elliot Ball
Last Updated: 16/09/08 10:48pm
A first-half Peter Whittingham strike was enough to secure the three points for Cardiff as they beat Barnsley 1-0 at Oakwell.
After suffering FA Cup semi-final heartbreak to the Bluebirds last season, it was a case of deja vu for Barnsley.
The Tykes lost 1-0 last April and they were undone again by a solitary goal at the hands of their Coca-Cola Championship high-flying opponents.
Cardiff winger Whittingham capped a brilliant display with the only goal after half an hour to give the Bluebirds their second league win of the season and subject the sorry Tykes to their fifth defeat.
Despite an improved second half display from the hosts, Cardiff were worthy of the three points and could have extended their lead in the first half through Whittingham and Roger Johnson - who struck the crossbar with a header.
Barnsley winger Jamal Campbell-Ryce, making his first start of the season after an elbow injury, provided glimpses of his electric pace early on with a few probing runs but it was Whittingham who went closest to breaking the deadlock after 10 minutes.
The former Aston Villa midfielder picked up the ball on the right following a swift counter-attack before curling a shot just wide of Luke Steele's goal.
It was from an almost identical situation that City took the lead as Whittingham found his range with a shot into the top corner after a poor defensive header from Darren Moore.
City almost doubled their lead after a decisive passing move sliced open the Tykes defence 15 minutes before half-time but Paul Parry's low shot was kept out by a finger-tip save by Steele.
Johnson came even closer to a goal as his towering header crashed off the upright with Steele flat-footed.
Despite starting the second half with more urgency the home side continued to struggle to maintain any pressure and goalkeeper Tom Heaton looked much the same spectator as he did during the first 45 minutes.
Campbell-Ryce looked the most likely to create an opening for Barnsley but more often than not his crosses were easily dealt with by Darren Purse and Johnson.
However, another Campbell-Ryce centre provided the hosts with their best opportunity of the match as Howard collected the loose ball on the edge of the penalty area and fired a shot just wide.
With time ticking down Barnsley increased the pressure and Kayode Odejayi shaved the post with a flicked header following a Stephen Foster cross from the right.
Davey introduced Diego Leon late on to add some creativity to the Reds attack but the visitors held on.