Crystal Palace will enjoy a slim advantage going into the second leg of the Carling Cup semi-final after a 1-0 home success over Championship rivals Cardiff.
Palace have history in this competition and they will be hoping that their narrow win will enable them to improve on a record of having lost their three previous League Cup semi-finals, albeit to Premier League opposition.
For their part Cardiff have won on two of their last three trips to Selhurst Park and may feel they should have at least drawn tonight for their efforts particularly as they were harshly disallowed a leveller after the break, but Dougie Freedman’s injury hit team defended stubbornly for their win.
Cardiff for all their dominance did not create many clear cut openings even when they were pressing in the closing minutes.
The all important goal for the home side arrived just on half-time as Darren Ambrose sent over a free kick which Mile Jedinak helped on for Anthony Gardner to nod in from close range.
Kenny Miller it was who had a goal ruled out in the 57th minute for the merest of contact on Palace keeper Julian Speroni. But despite pushing forward the Bluebirds ran into a Palace defence well marshalled by Gardner.
The next meeting is in a fortnight’s time and the South Wales side will be hoping their impressive home league record will see them overturn the one goal deficit and become the first Championship outfit to reach the final since 2001.
Referee: Mike Dean
Venue: Selhurst Park
Palace scorers: Gardner 43
TRIBAL ASKS: Perhaps Cardiff will rue not trying harder to earn a draw
Yellow cards: Ralls (CAR)