(Reuters) - Cardiff City’s Sol Bamba netted a dramatic late goal after a goalmouth scramble as they snatched a 2-1 victory over 10-man Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday to boost their hopes of avoiding relegation.
With seconds of normal time left Bamba’s overhead kick come back off the post and the rebound fell to Callum Paterson whose effort cannoned off the bar. But Bamba made no mistake third time round when he fired the ball into the roof of the net.
Brighton had led through an early Lewis Dunk goal before Paterson equalised and the visitors then had Dale Stephens sent off for a dangerous challenge before the break.
The win completed a day to remember for Neil Warnock, who was celebrating 100 games in charge of Cardiff, as the Welsh club recorded their second top-flight victory of the season.
“I didn’t even realise it was my 100th game until yesterday. Then it will be about my 70th birthday (at the start of December). But I don’t feel it and I feel really proud to be manager of this group.” Warnock said.
The result lifted Cardiff to eight points from 12 games, while Chris Hughton’s mid-table Brighton remained on 14 points.
Warnock added: “We are everybody’s favourites to go down, and we need three or four players In January, but we have come a long way in 18 months. You can’t say no to coming into the Premier League and we are going to enjoy it.
Cardiff did it the hard way after Brighton went in front in the sixth minute when England defender Dunk was left unmarked at the far post to head into the corner of the net after Solly March delivered a perfect free-kick from the left.
Then hosts showed their fighting qualities when they drew level after 28 minutes. Paterson’s header took a deflection as it flew past keeper Mathew Ryan after Kadeem Harris had weaved into the penalty box and chipped the ball into his path.
Their cause was helped when Brighton went down to 10 men in the 34th. Stephens took a heavy touch and in trying to win the ball back he flew into a challenge with Greg Cunningham and was shown a red card by referee Martin Atkinson.
Cardiff eventually took advantage of the extra man when Bamba scored the late winner but Hughton was fuming and felt the referee should have disallowed the effort for offside.
“We should be going home with a point. The last goal was offside. We knew we’d be under pressure when we went down to 10 men, but we stayed in the game.” Hughton said.
Reporting by Marc Isaacs; editing by Ken Ferris