Cardiff 1 (Turner 60)
Reds 1 (Foster 90 +5)
The Reds left it late to start playing but they snatched a vital point in their ‘game in hand’ against table-toppers Cardiff City.
Luke Steele’s palms were stung in the second minute by a long-range Smith effort moments before he was caught offside as he looked to race clear.
It was Craig Bellamy’s turn for a try from the left-hand corner of the box but he dipped his effort wide after a switch of play found the Welsh international completely free on the flank.
Bellamy was looking lively for the Bluebirds as he took advantage of confusion between Dawson and Wiseman but, thankfully, he curled his cross wide.
Leon Barnett’s sweeping pass was eventually pulled back to Gunnarsson by Bellamy but his 20-yard strike zipped past Steele’s right-hand upright as the clock ticked over ten minutes.
A slice of luck allowed McNaughton a stab at goal from the right-hand side of the box after Perkins dispossessed smith, but the defender’s effort was blocked away.
A Bellamy turn and shot was flicked onto the post by Steele at his near post as Cardiff were marauding down the right flank with Smith. The Reds needed to gain a foothold in the game with 19 on the clock.
The first shot for the Reds, aside from a Harewood goal that came well after the offside flag was raised, came through O’Brien from 25 yards on 28 minutes but he failed to test Marshall as it drifted wide.
It seemed only a matter of time but Luke Steele was doing his best to keep the score goalless as he expertly tipped away a rocket from Mutch.
After Kennedy’s free-kick deflected off the wall and out for a corner, from the resulting set-piece Perkins whipped in to the far stick and Hassell seemed to just chest the ball wide at the far stick as it came at him at pace. It was a real chance for the Reds three minutes into the second half.
On 52 minutes Bo-Kyung thumped in a low strike but it was deflected away for a corner after Cardiff jinked their way into the box down the left.
Following a half decent start to the second half, Cardiff got back into the driving seat and came forward in numbers. Mutch and Bellamy caused havoc on the edge of the box as Steele raced out but Wiseman came to the rescue to clear.
On 59 minutes Helguson replaced Joe Mason in attack for the hosts.
On the hour mark City took the lead - and it was about time. It was all Cardiff but it was a shame the goal was so messy. A corner was whipped in and Turner appeared to claim the final touch as the ball squirmed into the bottom corner.
Jim O’Brien was replaced by Tomasz Cywka out wide. Still Cardiff came forward and Mutch saw a shot deflect over the bar after being picked out in acres of space on the left.
It took the Reds 66 minutes to string more than two passes together – and when they did, it was brilliant. Harewood was eventually slipped in but he struck straight at Marshall after Perkins, Mellis and Cywka combined well.
On came Jason Scotland for Barnsley with 67 minutes gone; he was replaced by Jason Scotland who got a hot reception for his Swansea connection.
As the clock ticked down Barnsley started to play, but time wasn’t on their side and Cardiff were in no rush to let them gain any sort of momentum.
Cywka took a pot-shot from 25 yards but Marshall gathered well to say it had taken a deflection on its way through.
Stephen Foster got a good foot in after Mutch came deep to collect the ball in space before turning to thump at goal.
As five minutes of stoppage time was indicated, the Reds came forward and built up some pressure before Foster couldn’t hold onto the ball in the box after some neat build-up play.
Heidar Helguson raced clear after barging his way through Hassell but he was greeted by the magnificent Steele when he tried to beat him one-on-one.
When it seemed they were dead and buried, Cywka struck at goal and Stephen Foster stuck his leg out to deflect home. It was scrappy, but it didn’t matter.
Cardiff City: Marshall, McNaughton, Taylor, Turner, Bo-Kyung (Whittingham 68), Smith (Conway 80), Gunnarsson, Mutch, Mason (Helguson 59), Barnett, Bellamy.
Subs: Lewis, Gestede, Noone, Nugent.
Reds: Steele, Hassell, Foster, Dawson, O'Brien (Cywka 61), Perkins, Wiseman, Harewood (Scotland 67), Mellis (Dagnall 70), O'Grady, Kennedy.
Subs: Alnwick, Jones, Rose, Patterson.
Referee: F. Graham
Assistant Referees: A. Fox & M. Perry.
Attendance: 22,584 (243 Reds)