The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Stephen Thirkill

NIGEL Clough is well aware one game does not de­fine a sea­son but the Bur­ton Al­bion boss knows his side must be sharper if they want to defy the odds again this cam­paign.

The Brew­ers were beaten by a soli­tary late goal af­ter Ken­neth Zo­hore hit a screamer with just three min­utes to go.

Al­bion, who are the pre-sea­son favourites to be rel­e­gated, wasted a num­ber of chances to hit the front in the clos­ing stages of the first half.

And Clough knows his side can­not avoid to throw points away if they are to stay in the Cham­pi­onship for an­other sea­son.

He said: “A draw would have been a fair re­sult.

“They put us un­der pres­sure but we missed our chances in the first half and didn’t get the goal.

“They were strong in the sec­ond half, it was a great fin­ish that beat us in the end.

“We had bril­liant sit­u­a­tions and chances and didn’t take them.

“We threw peo­ple in the way of crosses and shots, the ef­fort that we showed is typ­i­cal of this team. It is now what we do in the next 45 games.

“They did not test us too much in front of goal, but it was a bril­liant goal that beat us but that is what you get at this level.

“The dif­fer­ence in the benches makes the dif­fer­ence and we will keep search­ing for more qual­ity in front of goal.”

Zo­hore, who was the Blue­birds’ top scorer last sea­son, had been de­nied an open­ing goal af­ter just seven min­utes when he was flagged by the assistant ref­eree.

And the City faith­ful were left scream­ing for a penalty af­ter Lee Tomlin went down un­der a Jake Bux­ton chal­lenge in the box on 17 min­utes.

Jack­son Irvine mean­while raced through on goal be­fore fir­ing an ef­fort over the bar as Al­bion reg­is­tered their first dan­ger mo­ment on 40 min­utes.

A minute later it was Zo­hore’s turn to be waste­ful when he fired just wide of Stephen By­wa­ter’s goal.

Marvin Sordell then made a mess of a great chance to put the Brew­ers ahead two min­utes be­fore the half­time break.

Ju­nior Hoi­lett saw a shot de­flected nar­rowly wide five min­utes af­ter the restart.

By­wa­ter then pulled off a won­der­ful save to keep out Sol Bamba out sec­onds later.

The vis­i­tors saw an­other penalty ap­peal turned away on 70 min­utes when they felt Bux­ton had tugged at Zo­hore’s shirt.

But the dead­lock was fi­nally bro­ken with three min­utes to go when Zo­hore found space on the edge of the box and curled a cracker in­side the far post to seal the three points for the vis­i­tors.

Cardiff City boss Neil Warnock said: “This is not an easy place to come and we had to bat­tle for vic­tory. It is very pleas­ing to start the sea­son with a win.

“We were not at our best but Zo­hore was a hand­ful to­day for Bur­ton and he de­served to get the win­ner.

“It is a long sea­son ahead in what is go­ing to be a very tight league and this is a great way to start.

“I thought we were solid de­fen­sively and were not re­ally trou­bled by Bur­ton.

“It is very early days and we will get bet­ter as we de­velop and the sea­son goes on.

“The lads de­serve plenty of credit for stick­ing to their task un­til the end and they got their re­wards.”

PIC­TURES: PSI/Richard Holmes

CHEERS: Ken­neth Zo­hore is mobbed af­ter scor­ing Cardiff’s win­ner

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