Matthew Connolly (19 mins)
, Nov 17, 2012
Ground: Cardiff City Stadium , Kickoff: 15:00 , Att 21,578
Bellamy on bench Craig Bellamy is likely to be among the Cardiff substitutes against Middlesbrough this weekend having missed the last four games while defender Matt Connolly is expected to be available again.
Bellamy flew to the USA to work with specialists on the ankle injury sustained during Cardiff's 2-1 win against Watford and was given the go-ahead to resume full training with the Bluebirds ahead of the clash with in-form Boro.
Kevin McNaughton was substituted in the victory over Hull with a thigh strain and is unlikely to feature. If that proves to be the case he will be replaced by Connolly in what could be the only change to the XI that beat Steve Bruce's men.
Jordon Mutch has resumed full training after two months on the sidelines with a foot injury while Don Cowie (knee) is making good progress. Tommy Smith (hamstring) is still a couple of weeks away from a return to action.
Stephen McPhail played 90 minutes for the development side on Tuesday night and could come into the reckoning.
Middlesbrough boss Tony Mowbray faces an anxious wait over midfielder Josh McEachran.
The 19-year-old, on loan for the season from Chelsea, limped out of England Under-21s' 2-0 win over Northern Ireland at Bloomfield Road on Tuesday night with an ankle problem and will be assessed over the next 48 hours.
Mowbray will also await news over defender Jonathan Woodgate and midfielder Kevin Thomson.
Woodgate failed to return after half-time in Friday night's 3-1 victory over Sheffield Wednesday after suffering a calf injury, while Thomson has been missing for some time with a similar problem.
Cardiff vs Middlesbrough
Last modified 17:18 17/11/12
Conn trick sinks Boro Cardiff recorded a ninth straight home win to climb above opponents Middlesbrough and into the npower Championship automatic promotion places with a 1-0 win at the Cardiff City Stadium.
Recalled defender Matthew Connolly bagged the only goal of an injury-ravaged match as Boro slipped to a first league defeat in nine.
Connolly headed home Peter Whittingham's cross after 20 minutes in a fixture which saw five players substituted because of injury.
In spite of their impressive home record, the Bluebirds approached the game with two defeats from their last three outings and Malky Mackay made one change with Connolly coming in for injured full-back Kevin McNaughton. Tony Mowbray also shuffled his pack with three changes from Boro's 3-1 success over Sheffield Wednesday.
In a frantic opening recalled Boro midfielder Seb Hines was booked for a rash challenge on Craig Noone before City were forced into a tactical reshuffle when centre-half Ben Turner limped off to be replaced by 18-year-old debutant Ben Nugent.
The home side edged ahead just before the 20-minute mark when former Arsenal man Connolly found space at the back post to head home his fourth goal of the season from Whittingham's right-wing cross.
Bluebirds boss Mackay was required to make a second change of the afternoon in the 26th minute minute when left-back Andy Taylor came off with a knock picked up early on to be replaced by Joe Ralls.
Middlesbrough captain Grant Leadbitter tested Cardiff goalkeeper David Marshall from long range before Boro were pressed into a substitution of their own on the half-hour mark when Richard Smallwood replaced injured Belgian midfielder Faris Haroun.
And Mowbray's men were almost on level terms moments after the switch.
Cardiff substitute Ralls fouled Emanuel Ledesma 18-yards from goal and the Argentinean midfielder picked himself up to strike a powerful, dipping drive which cannoned off the crossbar with goalkeeper Marshall beaten.
The visitors had another good opportunity to restore parity on the stroke of half-time.
Lukas Jutkiewicz's blocked shot rebounded into the path of Scott McDonald but the Australian striker fired over from inside the Bluebirds' six-yard box.
Boro made the stronger start to the second half and McDonald was again in the thick of the action driving straight at Marshall before heading wide from 12 yards.
Cardiff hit back and almost doubled their advantage when Whittingham's low free-kick from the right travelled through a crowded penalty area and almost caught out Boro keeper Jason Steele.
Mowbray introduced Marvin Emnes on the hour-mark as his side continued to search for an equaliser while Cardiff threw on Craig Bellamy in place of the injured Aron Gunnarsson.
Nicky Bailey then replaced injured Boro full-back George Friend before Emnes pressed Marshall into action with a snapshot from 12 yards which was tipped past the post.
|Player rating out of ten||Player name||Substitution||Did they score?||Player's disciplinary record||Rating|
|3||Andrew Taylor(sub 25)|
|6||Ben Turner(sub 13)|
|17||Aron Gunnarsson(sub 60)|
|21||Joe Ralls(sub 25)|
|31||Ben Nugent(sub 13)|
|39||Craig Bellamy(sub 60)|
|Player rating out of ten||Player name||Did they score?||Player's disciplinary record||Substitution||Rating|
|4||George Friend(sub 70)|
|38||Faris Haroun(sub 29)|
|17||Lukas Jutkiewicz(sub 59)|
|9||Marvin Emnes(sub 59)|
|10||Nicky Bailey(sub 70)|
|33||Richard Smallwood(sub 29)|