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Last Updated: Sunday, 25 May, 2003, 16:41 GMT 17:41 UK
Cardiff seal promotion
Andy Campbell celebrates with the play-off trophy
Campbell scored the crucial goal in extra-time
Cardiff 1-0 QPR (aet)
Substitute Andy Campbell came off the bench to guide Cardiff past Queens Park Rangers in a nerve-wracking Division Two play-off final.

QPR's defensive partnership of Danny Shittu and Clark Carlisle had managed to shackle Cardiff's 35-goal striker Rob Earnshaw.

But with six minutes to go of extra-time, Campbell proved more elusive.

The former Middlesbrough striker, who had replaced Earnshaw in the second half, shrugged off Shittu and then calmly lobbed Chris Day, to ensure Cardiff returned to Division One after an 18-year absence.

Chances had been few and far between in normal time, but as both sets of players tired, the game opened up in those nail-biting final 30 minutes.

No more so than when Day made a superb one-handed save from a Spencer Prior header after Graham Kavanagh's in-swinging free-kick.

While Cardiff favoured a more patient build-up, QPR were keen to get the ball quickly forward to strikers Paul Furlong and Richard Pacquette.

Key moments
79 mins: Lawrence replaces Earnshaw with Campbell
104 mins: Day superbly saves Prior's header
114 mins: Campbell cleverly lobs Day to score the game's only goal

The experienced Furlong proved a handful for the Cardiff defence, holding up the ball well, though reflecting the tenseness of the occasion, his finishing was too hurried.

Notably after the restart, when the 34-year-old striker found some space in the Cardiff area, but having done the hard work, he blazed over the bar.

Furlong also had the best chance of the first half when he pounced on Danny Gabbidon's error, only to then rush his attempted lob over Neil Alexander.

On the flanks, Kevin McLeod and Kevin Gallen also provided plenty of impetus for QPR.

On 47 minutes Gallen ran on to a loose ball inside the box, but his low eight-yard shot flew straight at Alexander.

Gallen then unleashed a volley, which flew just over the bar.

Despite having plenty of the ball, Cardiff's attacks foundered against QPR's impressive central defensive partnership of Shittu and Carlisle.

Shittu made a superb defensive tackle to stop Gareth Whalley, when the former Bradford midfielder had a clear sight of goal on the edge of the box in the first-half.

As the game wore on, Carlisle's reading of the game time and again came to QPR's rescue.

Cardiff City's Gareth Whalley is tackled by QPR's Paul Furlong and Marc Bircham

With 10 minutes to go, Carlisle made a well-timed tackle to thwart Kavanagh on the edge of the penalty area and then produced an even better challenge to deny Andy Campbell.

The England Under-21 defender even found time to saunter forward to out jumped Prior, only to guide his header wide of Alexander's right-hand post.

So indomitable were those two QPR central defenders that in the closing stages of the game, Cardiff manager Lennie Lawrence withdraw the club's leading scorer Rob Earnshaw.

But as the game headed towards penalties, Carlisle conceded possession and as the ball broke forward, Campbell got the better of Shittu to send Cardiff into Division One.


Cardiff: Alexander, Weston (Croft 70), Gabbidon, Prior, Barker, Boland, Kavanagh, Whalley, Legg (Bonner 116), Earnshaw (Campbell 79), Thorne.
Subs not used: Margetson, Bowen.
Booked: Kavanagh, Campbell.

QPR: Day, Kelly, Shittu, Carlisle, Padula (Williams 79), Gallen, Bircham, Palmer, McLeod, Pacquette (Thomson 60), Furlong.
Subs not used: Culkin, Angell, Forbes.
Booked: Furlong, Palmer, Bircham.

Attendance: 66,096

Referee: H Webb (S Yorkshire).


WATCH AND LISTEN
Cardiff boss Lennie Lawrence
"It wasn't a classic but I thought we edged it"


QPR boss Ian Holloway
"I was proud of our efforts"


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