KENNY MISSES HIS MAIN MAN
CARDIFF ..........1 MILLWALL ......0
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.”
MY BALL: Cardiff City’s Andrew Taylor competes with Millwall’s Darius Henderson