Ju­bi­lant Bamba loses his shirt on day Warnock’s luck turned

The Sunday Telegraph - Sport - - Premier League - By Tom Mor­gan at Cardiff City Sta­dium

Neil Warnock’s wife, Sharon, had told him this week his luck was about to change. As it turned out, for­tune would shine par­tic­u­larly brightly on the man­ager’s favourite son: Sol Bamba.

This blood-and-thun­der cen­tre­back, who calls Warnock his sec­ond fa­ther, won this pul­sat­ing clash in the dy­ing sec­onds de­spite be­ing off­side mo­ments ear­lier. The un­likely match­win­ner then did the dou­ble over ref­eree Martin Atkin­son by es­cap­ing a book­ing, hav­ing ripped his top off amid scenes of ju­bi­la­tion. “The ref­eree asked me if I took my shirt off and I said no,” he grinned af­ter­wards.

Brighton man­ager Chris Hughton found the scenes less amus­ing. “The hard­est thing to take is you are re­liant on good de­ci­sions by of­fi­cials and the last goal was shown to be off­side,” he said.

Brighton were left de­fend­ing for their lives af­ter Dale Stephens was sent off af­ter half an hour for a studs-up chal­lenge on Greg Cun­ning­ham. Car- diff ’s makeshift striker, Cal­lum Pater­son, had ear­lier can­celled out Lewis Dunk’s sixth-minute ef­fort.

“My wife doesn’t read tea leaves but she told me my luck would change last Thurs­day so I will have to get her a drink,” Warnock said af­ter­wards.

“We are every­body’s favourites to go down, and we need three or four play­ers in Jan­uary, but we have come a long way in 18 months.”

Warnock’s only con­cern will be a bro­ken nose for Sean Mor­ri­son, who looked dazed as he was sub­sti­tuted 10 min­utes af­ter a clash of heads.

For much of this game, Cardiff found them­selves in the un­fa­mil­iar po­si­tion of dom­i­nat­ing. But it is the third time this sea­son they have toiled against op­po­si­tion re­duced to 10 men and, af­ter Newcastle and Hud­der­s­field held out for 0-0 draws, the re­lief in se­cur­ing a sec­ond home win was pal­pa­ble.

The send­ing-off changed the game. Dunk, who may be about to win Bright- on’s first Eng­land in­ter­na­tional cap in 36 years, headed the opener in sim­i­lar style to his strike against Ever­ton a week ago, which also came from a neat de­liv­ery from Solly March.

Pater­son lev­elled for the home side from close range af­ter Kadeem Har­ris’s jink­ing run and cut-back was de­flected by Gae­tan Bong into his path.

The win­ner came af­ter a fran­tic goal­mouth scram­ble. Bamba at­tempted an over­head kick which hit a post. It was fol­lowed up by Pater­son, whose ef­fort hit the bar and then Bamba smashed home the re­bound.

De­spite their luck, Cardiff de­served this morale-boost­ing vic­tory. Warnock said: “I didn’t even re­alise it was my 100th game un­til yes­ter­day. Then it will be about my 70th birth­day. But I don’t feel it and I feel re­ally proud to be man­ager of this group.”

Trea­sure chest: Sol Bamba af­ter his win­ner

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