Sean Morrison headed the winner as Cardiff’s return to blue ended with a narrow victory over Fulham – their first win in five league games.
The crowds flocked back to the Cardiff City Stadium following Vincent Tan’s decision to back down from his switch to unpopular red shirts and Cardiff’s second highest gate of the season had plenty to cheer as the change in colours brought an immediate reward. Just fourteen minutes where on the clock when Morrison met Aron Gunnarsson’s long throw and the defender’s header had enough power to cross the line despite Marcus Bettinelli’s desperate attempts to keep it out.
The hosts almost doubled the lead in similar fashion seven minutes later but Kostas Stafylidis managed to block Tom Adeyemi’s back post header after another Gunnarsson throw had caused consternation in the Fulham box. On his return to Cardiff, Ross McCormack was deployed in a deeper number ten role by Kit Symons but the visitors’ best chance fell the way of Ryan Tunnicliffe – recalled from his loan spell at Blackburn – whose rasping drive from distance was well saved by Simon Moore in the Cardiff goal.
Craig Noone looked lively out wide for Cardiff and he nearly created a second for Kenwyne Jones but Stafylidis was alive to the danger and made sure the former Sunderland striker wasn’t able to profit from the dangerous cross. The Trinidad and Tobago international limped off with a knee problem at half-time but his replacement, debutant Alex Revell, almost made an instant impact by teeing up John Brayford, only for the full back to fire wide.
McCormack forced a smart save from Simon Moore, deputising in goal for the injured David Marshall, but Fulham lacked penetration in attack even after Kit Symons had sent on Alex Kacaniklic, Sean Kavanagh and Moussa Dembele in the second half. Cardiff actually looked the likelier to score again but they couldn’t force a second to make the closing stages a little more comfortable. Adeyemi headed wide after rising majestically at a corner and Revell rifled a volley wide, but the Bluebirds hung on to record an emotional victory.
CARDIFF CITY (4-4-2): Moore; Brayford, Malone (John 81), S. Morrison, Turner; Adeyemi, Gunnarsson, Whittingham, Noone; Jones (Revell 45), Le Fondre (Harris 90). Subs (not used): Kim, Connolly, Ralls, Wilson.
GOAL: S. Morrison (14).
FULHAM (4-1-2-1-2): Bettinelli; Grimmer, Stafylidis, Hutchinson, Bodurov; Parker; Fofana (Kavanagh 61), Tunnicliffe; McCormack; Woodrow (Kacaniklic 61), Rodallega (Dembele 73). Subs (not used): Kiraly, Burn, Williams, Roberts.
REFEREE: Nigel Miller (Durham).