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Page last updated at 14:22 GMT, Sunday, 3 May 2009 15:22 UK

Sheff Wed 1-0 Cardiff

Cardiff striker Ross McCormack shows his despair after defeat at Sheffield Wednesday
Cardiff striker Ross McCormack shows his despair after defeat at Sheffield Wednesday

Cardiff City suffered heartache as they fell out of the Championship play-offs on the last day of the regular season.

Roger Johnson almost gave Cardiff a cushion when he hit the Sheffield Wednesday bar just before half-time.

But on 71 minutes Darren Purse failed to deal with Tommy Spurr's cross and Jermaine Johnson gathered to volley the Owls ahead from just outside the box.

Then came the news that Preston had retaken the lead against QPR, leap-frogging Cardiff into the play-offs.

Both sides finished on 74 points with identical goal difference, but Cardiff missed out by virtue of having scored a goal less than Preston.

Cardiff have taken only one point from their last four matches, conceding 12 goals in the process, which included a shocking 6-0 defeat at Preston last month.

Sheffield Wednesday manager Brian Laws:
"You've got to give credit to my players. Their attitude has been first class and even though we've been secure for a few weeks, they've never switched off.

"They've given everything they can and all you can ask is for them is to be honest, give your all and be honest to the other teams in the league.

"It's about 46 games, not 45 or 44, you've got to finish the job off in a professional manner."

Cardiff City manager Dave Jones:
"Ability-wise, running, strength, pace, it's all there, but maybe we just lacked that mental strength to see it through.

"I thought the team was good enough. It proved it wasn't. We'll all look at ourselves, but I thought this squad was good enough to go up, not in the play-offs but automatically.

"But the table doesn't lie. We had a fantastic record until four games ago and we'll all take responsibility."

Sheff Wed: Grant, Buxton, Hinds (Beevers 46), Wood, Spurr, McAllister (Modest 83), Potter, O'Connor, Johnson, Tudgay, Jeffers (Boden 53).
Subs Not Used: O'Donnell, Simek.

Booked: Johnson.

Goals: Johnson 71.

Cardiff: Heaton, McNaughton, Purse, Roger Johnson, Kennedy (Comminges 50), Burke (Owusu-Abeyie 74), Rae, McPhail, Whittingham, Bothroyd, Chopra (McCormack 67).
Subs Not Used: Eddie Johnson, Scimeca.

Booked: Chopra, McNaughton.

Att: 30,658

Ref: Phil Crossley (Kent).

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see also
Jones distraught as Cardiff fail
03 May 09 |  Cardiff
Championship photos
03 May 09 |  Championship
Ups and downs
03 May 09 |  Football
Preston 2-1 QPR
03 May 09 |  Championship
Burnley 4-0 Bristol City
03 May 09 |  Championship
Purse dismisses Cardiff jitters
29 Apr 09 |  Cardiff

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