KENNY MISSES HIS MAIN MAN

CARDIFF ..........1 MILL­WALL ......0

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Simon Tait

MILL­WALL boss Kenny Jack­ett ad­mit­ted he was dis­ap­pointed to lose striker Chris Wood and with a bit of steel up front the Lions might have got some­thing at Cham­pi­onship lead­ers Cardiff City.

As it was an early goal from young French striker Rudy Gest­ede, mak­ing his first start of the sea­son, en­sured Malky Mackay's men re­main five points clear, but the vis­i­tors wasted a glut of chances that might have seen them emerge from the Welsh cap­i­tal with a point or even bet­ter.

Mill­wall will have to get used to life with­out the prolific Wood, their top-scorer dur­ing his loan spell, with the West Brom man headed to Leicester, although Jack­ett was at least pleased with the num­ber of chances his side cre­ated here.

“The pos­i­tive for us was the num­ber of chances we cre­ated,” said Jack­ett.

“We got a lot of qual­ity crosses in against a good Cardiff side. You do need to fin­ish them off, but if we can cre­ate those chances it is a pos­i­tive for us.We went down fight­ing at least.

“We have to get over the loss of Chris Wood. We tried very hard to sign Chris, I don't think we could have done any more. I think it was about op­por­tu­nity for him and money might have been one of the things.

“He's made his de­ci­sion. He did well for us and I thank him.We are dis­ap­pointed, but there were a num­ber of fac­tors. He quite rightly had a lot op­por­tu­ni­ties.”

Cardiff started the brighter and got what proved to be the win­ner early on via a lovely sweep­ing move.

Peter Whit­ting­ham found Craig Noone on the right and he did bril­liantly to leave Shane Lowry for dead and cut the ball in­side where Gest­ede was wait­ing to fire home.

The dan­ger­ous look­ing Noone went close to dou­bling his side's lead on 22 min­utes as his shot fizzed past the up­right.

The main prob­lem for Jack­ett’s men was that with­out Wood, they dis­played a lack of com­po­sure when the chances did come their way. That was ev­i­dent on 56 min­utes as James Henry surged for­ward on the break, but fired hor­ri­bly over from dis­tance.

Henry forced a good save from Mar­shall from a free­kick too, but the Lions's fight-back lacked a sense of con­vic­tion.

In­deed Cardiff might have added to the lead as they saw things out, Bel­lamy chipped over when through and Noone forced a good save from former Blue­bird David Forde in the vis­i­tors' goal.

Cardiff boss Malky Mackay sent in his as­sis­tant David Ker­slake af­ter the game and he was con­tent with the way the Blue­birds had gone about their busi­ness.

The vic­to­ry­made it nine points from nine in the space of a fes­tive week to en­sure it was a very happy Christ­mas.

“We knew we had a tough month coming into the fes­tive pe­riod, but we have ap­plied our­selves and are de­lighted with the re­sults,” said Ker­slake.

“I thought we started ex­cep­tion­ally well. We came out at a really high tempo and got the early goal.

“Mill­wall are a de­cent side, they are a hard team to break down. They got them­selves back into and they are no pushover.

“To­wards the end we started to keep the ball a bit bet­ter than we had.

“I thought we saw the game out really well. We are go­ing along really well right now, but we will just take each game as it comes now.

“That game is fin­ished now and we look to pre­pare as we al­ways do for the next one.”

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Im­ages

MY BALL: Cardiff City’s An­drew Tay­lor com­petes with Mill­wall’s Dar­ius Hen­der­son

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