Cardiff 1-1 Bolton: Match Report
Cardiff 1-1 Bolton: Match Report - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game as it happened.
Noone high after leveller
Substitute Craig Noone earned Cardiff a share of the spoils in a 1-1 draw against Bolton as the Welsh club lifted the npower Championship trophy at Cardiff City Stadium.
Play-off chasing Bolton had looked set to spoil the party when Chris Eagles gave them a 19th minute lead.
But an improved second-half effort from the champions was rewarded when Noone curled a free-kick in the 68th minute.
While Cardiff are assured of Premier League football, Bolton are among those still dreaming of promotion, and despite failing to claim all three points Dougie Freedman's side remain in the top six ahead of the final round of fixtures.
There was an exultant atmosphere among the home faithful as they turned out to celebrate the title success of Malky Mackay's side.
Members of the 1960 squad - the last to take the Bluebirds into the top flight - were introduced to the crowd before kick-off, with controversial former owner Sam Hammam also thought to be in attendance as a guest of Tan Sri Vincent Tan.
Bolton graciously gave their hosts a guard of honour as the teams came out, but their respect almost extended to giving the Welsh club the lead after just 34 seconds.
Craig Conway was afford acres of room down the right and when his ball eventually broke to Jordan Mutch just six yards out he looked certain to score, but Adam Bogdan made an outstanding save low to his right.
The champions bossed the early exchanges and almost took a fortuitous lead when Kim Bo-kyung's cross struck Lee Chung-yong and flew narrowly wide of Bogdan's near post.
But it was the visitors who grabbed the opening goal against the run of play.
Sam Ricketts skipped past Conway down the Bolton right and his pull-back was emphatically driven home by Eagles.
Cardiff huffed and puffed in search of an equaliser, but the Trotters were visibly more assured after their goal, and should have doubled their advantage just past the half-hour mark.
Eagles, featuring increasingly prominently, surged away down the left and teed up Darren Pratley at the far post, but David Marshall was out quickly to deny the former Swansea midfielder.
Craig Bellamy looked Cardiff's most potent threat as he enjoyed a good battle with Marcos Alonso, but he summed up the home side's opening half by lofting two poor crosses out of play.
After a frustrating first 45 minutes Cardiff piled on the pressure upon the resumption, although they were struggling to find an end product.
Mutch miscued a lofted effort and Conway volleyed right across goal as appeals for handball against Craig Dawson were waved away.
Mackay decided to introduce Tommy Smith and Noone off the bench, and the former should have had Cardiff level in the 65th minute.
Noone rolled a well-weighted pass across the face of goal to find Smith unmarked just six yards from goal, only for Bogdan to scramble heroically and make the save.
But the Hungarian was finally beaten just three minutes later, Noone stepping up to curl a free-kick inside his near post.
The final quarter was all Cardiff as they looked to mark their title party with a victory, and Gestede headed a good chance straight at Bogdan.
Bolton almost snatched a crucial victory when Ben Turner's back pass sold Marshall short, but the keeper did enough to prevent Pratley from pouncing.
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