Martyn Waghorn sends home Leicester's 30th-minute winner
Martyn Waghorn boosted Leicester City's promotion hopes with a first-half goal at the Walkers Stadium which dented the visitors' play-off hopes.
The Foxes striker side-footed past David Marshall after 30 minutes following Anthony Gerrard's lapse.
Peter Whittingham had two of the the Bluebirds' best first-half chances and a great Mark Kennedy shot went wide.
Jay Bothroyd came close with a snap shot while Lloyd Dyer and Whittingham exchanged late missed chances.
The win extended Leicester's unbeaten home league run to eight games, while the visitors can lay claim to only one win from their last six Championship games as they fell to their fifth successive away league loss.
Leicester stay fifth after Swansea City drew 0-0 with Sheffield Wednesday and Cardiff boss Dave Jones's side will have been relieved to learn that Blackpool lost 3-2 at West Brom.
That left the Bluebirds clinging on to sixth spot against a background in which being wound-up over financial issues remains a possibility.
On the field, Jones's side's survival instincts were not enough even though they started promisingly.
Ross McCormack was on target, but his effort was stopped by Jack Hobbs before Whittingham narrowly missed the far post.
Waghorn, on-loan from Sunderland, scored his eighth goal of the season against the run of play after Dyer's probing ball caught Gerrard napping for the striker to react to Andy King's flick-on.
Nolberto Solano came on in an unfamiliar role at right back after Alex Bruce went off injured on 35 minutes and McCormack immediately threatened, but the Peru international made a block that proved crucial.
Darcy Blake headed wide from close range after a Whittingham cross as the visitors kept up the pressure after the break.
But in-form Fox Paul Gallacher almost put the outcome beyond doubt as he narrowly missed with a superb 30-yard effort after 67 minutes.
Home keeper Chris Weale kept Bothroyd at bay with a save from the striker's close-range effort with seven minutes remaining.
Leicester City manager Nigel Pearson: "It was a good win for us. I thought we played very well and were in control for the majority of the game.
"I know it was only 1-0 but I thought we were really comfortable. We played some good football and were very disciplined.
"We had to be at our best today because Cardiff are a very good side.
"I'm not going to spend much time looking at the league (after Leicester opened up a seven-point gap between them and seventh-placed Blackpool).
"It can be dangerous to try and second-guess what can happen. We have a tough game on Tuesday at Crystal Palace, who but for their points reduction would have been involved in the play-offs themselves.
"Things can change very quickly if you let your eye off the ball. There are still 10 or 12 teams with a chance of reaching the play-offs. It's going to be very tight until the end of the season."
Cardiff City manager Dave Jones said:
Cardiff boss Jones blasts officials
"We controlled the game for long spells. I know they had their spell, but it was a mistake that cost us and a little bit of inexperience from the throw-in.
"But I can see us starting to come back and once our returning players start to get sharper and have a few more games and a few more training sessions, then watch us go.
"The result is a big disappointment for us but I've seen some experienced players such as Stephen McPhail, Peter Whittingham and Mark Kennedy come back and show the form that is needed. That was the big light for me at the end of the tunnel.
"The players are angry and annoyed after that defeat but they shouldn't be disappointed. We have good determination but it is unfortunate we didn't come away with something."
Live text and stats
Saturday, 13 March 2010
15 Berner yellow card
33 Bruce (Solano 35)
08 Oakley (Vaughan 63)
18 Waghorn (Howard 77)
15 Gerrard yellow card
27 Matthews (Rae 71)
Ref: EvansAtt: 22,767
Attempts on target
Attempts off target
90:00+3:52 The referee blows his whistle to end the game.
90:00+3:29 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Kevin McNaughton by James Vaughan. Mark Kennedy takes the free kick.
90:00+2:47 Stephen McPhail takes a shot from just inside the penalty box which clears the crossbar.
90:00+2:32 Centre by Paul Gallagher, clearance made by Darcy Blake.
89:20 Paul Gallagher fires a strike on goal direct from the free kick.
89:20 Booking Anthony Gerrard goes into the book for unsporting behaviour.
89:11 Anthony Gerrard concedes a free kick for a foul on Steve Howard.
88:22 Unfair challenge on Bruno Berner by Darcy Blake results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Jack Hobbs.
87:33 Shot by Peter Whittingham from outside the box goes high over the target.
86:01 Lloyd Dyer sends in a cross, Kevin McNaughton makes a clearance.
83:49 Inswinging corner taken by Paul Gallagher from the left by-line, Stephen McPhail manages to make a clearance.
82:48 Jay Bothroyd takes a shot. Save made by Chris Weale.
82:37 Mark Kennedy crosses the ball, Jack Hobbs manages to make a clearance.
80:23 Centre by Nolberto Solano.
78:54 Kevin McNaughton gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on James Vaughan. Centre by Paul Gallagher, Header by Steve
Howard from deep inside the penalty area misses to the left of the goal.
78:16 Ross McCormack takes a shot from just inside the penalty box which clears the bar.
77:51 Steve Howard is caught offside. David Marshall takes the direct free kick.
77:28 Handball by Jay Bothroyd. Free kick taken by Chris Weale.
76:12 Substitution Martyn Waghorn leaves the field to be replaced by Steve Howard.
76:12 Foul by Stephen McPhail on Martyn Waghorn, free kick awarded. Jack Hobbs restarts play with the free kick.
73:25 Jack Hobbs concedes a free kick for a foul on Jay Bothroyd. The free kick is swung in left-footed by Peter Whittingham, clearance
made by Jack Hobbs.
72:47 Ross McCormack takes a shot. Save made by Chris Weale.
71:32 Free kick awarded for a foul by Nolberto Solano on Chris Burke. Mark Kennedy takes the free kick.
70:15 Substitution Gavin Rae is brought on as a substitute for Adam Matthews.
70:15 Free kick awarded for a foul by Andy King on Stephen McPhail. Direct free kick taken by David Marshall.
68:00 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Richie Wellens by Stephen McPhail. Nolberto Solano takes the direct free kick.
67:29 Jay Bothroyd challenges Jack Hobbs unfairly and gives away a free kick. Michael Morrison restarts play with the free kick.
66:22 Paul Gallagher has an effort at goal from long range that misses to the right of the goal.
66:02 The ball is swung over by Mark Kennedy, save by Chris Weale.
65:37 Nolberto Solano delivers the ball, save by David Marshall.
62:11 Substitution James Vaughan replaces Matt Oakley.
62:11 Lloyd Dyer concedes a free kick for a foul on Adam Matthews. Anthony Gerrard restarts play with the free kick.
61:51 Ross McCormack gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Bruno Berner. Direct free kick taken by Bruno Berner.
60:08 The free kick is delivered left-footed by Peter Whittingham from right wing, Bruno Berner makes a clearance.
60:08 Booking Bruno Berner is shown a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.
59:50 Foul by Bruno Berner on Chris Burke, free kick awarded.
57:50 Chris Burke takes a shot. Chris Weale makes a comfortable save.
53:58 Handball decision goes against Jay Bothroyd. Indirect free kick taken by Chris Weale.
52:56 The offside flag is raised against Martyn Waghorn. David Marshall takes the indirect free kick.
50:52 Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Peter Whittingham from the right by-line, Close range headed effort by Darcy Blake
goes wide of the left-hand upright.
50:01 Nolberto Solano sends in a cross, Kevin McNaughton makes a clearance.
45:01 The referee gets the second half underway.
45:00+3:26 The referee calls an end to the first half.
45:00+3:04 Peter Whittingham takes a shot. Comfortable save by Chris Weale.
45:00+2:33 Peter Whittingham takes the inswinging corner, Matt Oakley makes a clearance.
45:00+1:55 Martyn Waghorn concedes a free kick for a foul on Anthony Gerrard. David Marshall restarts play with the free kick.
44:18 Andy King gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Stephen McPhail. Mark Kennedy takes the free kick.
43:14 Long range shot by Mark Kennedy goes wide right of the target.
42:19 Free kick awarded for a foul by Jack Hobbs on Jay Bothroyd. Strike on goal comes in from Peter Whittingham from the free kick.
41:52 Shot from 20 yards by Richie Wellens. David Marshall makes a comfortable save.
40:05 A cross is delivered by Chris Burke, Ross McCormack takes a shot. Nolberto Solano gets a block in.
38:28 Shot by Richie Wellens. David Marshall makes a comfortable save.
36:55 Free kick awarded for a foul by Stephen McPhail on Richie Wellens. Richie Wellens takes the free kick.
35:00 Substitution (Leicester) makes a substitution, with Nolberto Solano coming on for Alex Bruce.
34:02 Effort from just outside the box by Darcy Blake goes over the bar.
30:32 The ball is swung over by Lloyd Dyer, Anthony Gerrard manages to make a clearance.
28:49 The assist for the goal came from Andy King.
28:49 GOAL - Martyn Waghorn:Leicester 1 - 0 Cardiff Martyn Waghorn finds the net with a goal from close in to the bottom right corner of the goal. Leicester 1-0 Cardiff.
27:24 Centre by Adam Matthews, Jack Hobbs manages to make a clearance.
26:16 Paul Gallagher takes a shot. Blocked by Kevin McNaughton.
22:13 Bruno Berner fouled by Ross McCormack, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Alex Bruce.
20:05 Inswinging corner taken by Paul Gallagher, clearance by Mark Kennedy.
16:50 Centre by Bruno Berner, blocked by Anthony Gerrard. Corner taken by Paul Gallagher, Jack Hobbs takes a shot. Clearance made
by Mark Kennedy. Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Paul Gallagher, Kevin McNaughton manages to make a clearance.
Andy King takes a shot. Blocked by Anthony Gerrard.
12:09 Effort from just outside the area by Darcy Blake goes over the bar.
9:42 Martyn Waghorn challenges Mark Kennedy unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Mark Kennedy.
6:57 Peter Whittingham has shot on goal from just outside the box which goes wide of the right-hand upright.
6:33 The assistant referee signals for offside against Martyn Waghorn. Anthony Gerrard restarts play with the free kick.
5:02 Ross McCormack takes a shot. Jack Hobbs gets a block in.
0:00 The match gets underway.
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